The war and siege: language policy and practice in Gibraltar, 1940-1985

Picardo, Edward Nicholas (2012). The war and siege: language policy and practice in Gibraltar, 1940-1985. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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My thesis explores language policy and practice in the history of the people of Gibraltar between 1940 and 1985. This period covers the wartime Evacuation and the Spanish border restrictions and closure, and it is also fundamental in the emergence of Gibraltarian identity and democratic rights. My contention is that these developments were facilitated by growing accessibility to the English language. From being largely the preserve of the colonial establishment and the elite, it emerged as pre-eminent in official use, the media and culture, and higher oral registers. This change was hastened by the Evacuation, which increased awareness of the need for English.
The Clifford Report of 1944 reformed the whole education system and gave a central role to English. Clifford, Gibraltar’s Colonial Secretary, and indeed educationalists at the Colonial Office, proved themselves far more enlightened than their governing counterparts in Gibraltar. Their reform greatly contributed to political development in the following decades. With the Spanish border closure, the English language and the sense of attachment to Britain gained further consolidation, co-existing with the move away from overt colonialism.
In my examination of language behaviour in Gibraltar, including bilingualism and the use of Spanish, interview material supplements written sources.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures


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