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Title: Mother tongue of Roma children from special schools
Authors: Kyuchukov, Hristo
New, William
Keywords: Roma; bilingualism; defectology; language education
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: RUDN Journal of Psychology and Pedagogics, Vol. 15, No. 3 (2018), s. 323-333
Abstract: The article presents research demonstrating that Roma children placed in special schools for ‘defective’ children in post-communist countries suffer not from learning disabilities or mental retardation, but from the tendency of such schools to misclassify minority students on the basis of their language knowledge. The research was done with Roma children from Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Results from data suggest that Roma children, with appropriate bilingual educational methods, can achieve proficiency in both Romani and official school languages. The children in the study (all together 111) — pupil in the first grade from Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, are tested with language comprehension test translated to national languages of the countries and to the Romani dialects spoken by the children in the respected countries. The testing was done in the school environment with each child separately (the first week in Romani and the second week in the official language). The results show that the children perform the test better in the official languages of the countries. The Bulgarian children show best results in both languages, the children from Slovakia know better Slovak, but they also have good knowledge in Romani and the children from Czech Republic show good results in Czech but very low results in Romani. The study shows that the system for selecting the minority children to special schools in those countries should be changed. In Czech Republic and in Slovakia still the Roma children are tested with culturally inappropriate tests only in the official language of the children. There is no testing in their mother tongue. The knowledge of the children in their mother tongue is not considered important.
DOI: 10.22363/2313-1683-2018-15-3-323-333
ISSN: 2313-1705
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WSiNoE)

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