Report advocates bilingual education to promote Kurdish

AY?E KARABAT 
ANKARA
 Report advocates bilingual education to promote Kurdish - Kurdish  children who start school with poor Turkish are facing many difficulties  and usually are not able to continue their education, a report issued  by Diyarbak?r Political and Social Research Institute (D?SA) pointed  out. The report, prepared by Vahap Ço?kun, ?erif Derince and Nesrin  Uçarlar following face to face interviews with students, their families,  teachers who do not speak Kurdish and teachers who do know Kurdish,  suggests a bilingual education system as a solution.
Kurdish children who start school with poor Turkish are facing many difficulties and usually are not able to continue their education, a report issued by Diyarbak?r Political and Social Research Institute (D?SA) pointed out. The report, prepared by Vahap Ço?kun, ?erif Derince and Nesrin Uçarlar following face to face interviews with students, their families, teachers who do not speak Kurdish and teachers who do know Kurdish, suggests a bilingual education system as a solution. The research, which came about with the cooperation of the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Chrest Foundation and Global Dialogue, notes that that one of the very first Turkish words that Kurdish children learn in the school is “be quite.” According to students interviewed in the study, they quickly discovered that they were not allowed to speak in Kurdish even during breaks and had a strong feeling of alienation and desire to return home as soon as possible.
First graders especially face many psychological hardship, such as not being able to express themselves, being unable to even ask permission to go the toilet, learning to read and write quite later, and even when they do learn, not understanding the meaning of what they are reading and writing. Most children also complained about the negative attitude by teachers and said they felt humiliated.
The children also felt that when they improved their Turkish, they were afraid of losing fluency in their native language and facing communication problems with their parents.
The teachers who don’t know Kurdish also face similar problems. The interviewed teachers pointed out that they are unable to enjoy teaching, disliked having to make hold students back to repeat the year and they too had feelings of alienation. Teachers that also spoke Kurdish are not immune from those feelings as they could not speak in Kurdish during class, but did so during individual conversations with their students.
Parents of the children who don’t know Turkish said they found it difficult to participate in school meetings and were not able to help their children, but that they still tried to encourage their children to learn Turkish.
The report stresses that the first years of school are significant for many communication problems between the students and the teachers.
“Many teachers pointed out that the students are willing to learn and trying to learn but as their Turkish is not good enough they miss the opportunity to continue to their education. Most of the children felt stressed due to their language difficulties and felt they were considered as less intelligent, lacking motivation and not studying hard enough,” the report pointed out.
According to the research, children face the feeling of being a loser from the very start of their school life and they try to cope with feeling of being behind because they spend their first years in school trying to learn a new language instead of new academic subjects.
The students complained that as they didn’t know Turkish they felt stigmatized and subject to physical violence not only by their teachers but also from their peers. The students also complained that some teachers forced some of the students to submit reports about who is speaking in Kurdish at school and after school thus creating further pressure on the students.
The report discusses these problems and provides international examples of bilingual education; however also points out that it is not easy to develop a model for this kind of education.
Other solutions that the researchers point out include transforming the dominant teacher/submissive student relations; creating university departments that educate teachers on bilingual education; training teachers on diversities of the languages and cultures; allowing Kurdish speaking teachers to specialize in bilingual education methods; encouraging teachers to learn other languages spoken in Turkey; opening reading and writing in Kurdish courses for the parents; raising awareness in society of languages other than Turkish and TV programs for bilingual students.


Related Articles

The winds of change are blowing

John’s candidature was swift and unforeseen. But it carried with it so much significance. He is part of the new republican generation

Berivan Sayaca awarded price by CHAK

Anti Pogrom Human Rights Organization CHAK awarded the human rights prize to TMK (Anti-Terrorism Law) victim, little prisoner Berivan Sayaca.Fifteen

Turkish Immigration to Germany – Part 2

Turkish Immigration to Germany – Part 2A Sorry History of Self-Deception and Wasted OpportunitiesBy Matthias Bartsch, Andrea Brandt and Daniel

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment