Results

1. Main Issues of Inventory
 
  2. 2. Transferable Results
   2.1. Function of Non-School-Related Environment (Friulans)
   2.2. Influence of the Home Environment (Slovenians in Italy)
   2.3. Artistic-musical Forms of Expressions and Language Acquisition (Friulans and Slovenians in Italy)
   2.4. Pedagogic Concept for Bilingual Kindergartens (Slovenians in Austria)
   2.5. Concept for the Training of Teaching Staff (East Frisians and West Frisians)
   2.6. Promotional Events (North Frisians)
  3. List of Publications

1. Main Issues of Inventory

  • In all involved language groups there are preconceptions regarding the bi- or multilingualism and the regional or minority language.

  • The training of teachers and instructors is antiquated concerning the language learning process.

  • There are no continuous curricula for the acquisition of a language (the transition from kindergarten to elementary school is not sufficiently co-ordinated, in most cases there is no connection to secondary school).

  • Alphabetization is not done consequently enough.

  • The transfer of student progress from secondary into primary language, concerning multilingual children, is ignored.

  • The state administration does not provide the necessary requirement for a broad introduction of immersion instruction.

  • To some degree the acceptance of the parents is missing (inferiority complex in the group environment).




    People in general are basically interested in the conservation of regional- or minority languages and young parents can be convinced that bi- or multilingual education is beneficial for their children. But if the state does not support the language conservation (that is: no special regulations for bilingual kindergartens, no special qualification of teaching staff, no separate set of laws for schools, insufficient appreciation of the merits derived from bilingual oriented regions), then much effort will be wasted without the prospect for achieving a stable situation.

    Top

     

  • 2. Transferable Results

    2.1. Function of Non-School-Related Environment (Friulans)

    Speaking in a regional- or minority language must be plausible for the child, otherwise it will not use this language. Inside the educational institution this realization is limited. Contact with people in the social surrounding or the perception of the natural environment in the regional- or minority language (external educational places) will immediately cause a strong motivation to learn and to use this language autonomously.

    Top


    2.2. Influence of the Home Environment (Slovenians in Italy)

    In the video "VideoABECEDA" a tilt connection between language and culture is created. The film was made for parents. It has a retro-effect for the families and contributes to lexical organization. At the same time important historic-cultural information about the own language group is imparted, which enhances the self-confidence of the speaker. The positive emotional attitude of the families towards the Slovenian language, own traditions and own culture has a motivating effect on the language acquisition of the children.

    Top


    2.3. Artistic-musical Forms of Expressions and Language Acquisition (Friulans and Slovenians in Italy)

    It is assumed that the joining of language acquisition and artistic expression would lead to an increased emotional and sensual participation and have a positive effect on the learning process.
    The experiences of the Friulans and the Slovenians in Italy confirm that theory. The combination with music, theatre or movement had a stimulating effect on the learning environment and motivation. The receptive and reproductive skill of the children improved in all the areas of language. Children with previous knowledge showed an obvious improvement in comprehending and mastering the minority language.

    Top


    2.4. Pedagogic Concept for Bilingual Kindergartens (Slovenians in Austria)

    In co-operation with the University of Klagenfurt a linguistic pedagogical concept was developed. The basic rule is that a curriculum of several languages in kindergarten can only be successfully implemented if strict regulations are followed. Kindergartens can combine person-, time- or theme-oriented models. But it is important to follow a strategic plan. Only careful planning insures that languages are used in all activities of the kindergarten in equal measure, and in turn, at all times of the day.

    Top


    2.5. Concept for the Training of Teaching Staff (East Frisians and West Frisians)

    This concept emphasizes the special general frameworks for the work with a regional- or minority language in the kindergarten. Most of the less common languages have image and recognition problems. This may cause difficulties with children, parents, administrators of the kindergarten, paediatricians or logopedics, which are based on their insufficient knowledge or prejudice. These potential conflicts should constitute a central theme for the training of the instructors. This way the students become aware of their own attitude towards the local- or minority language. So they feel more confident using the less common language. That has an impact on the interaction with the children (emotional warmth) as well as on the presence of the kindergarten in the community (more self-confidence in representing the multilingual concept).

    Top


    2.6. Promotional Events (North Frisians)

    The video "Zwei sind mehr als Eine" (Two are more than one), promoted for parents and teaching staff, shows that small language groups emphasize the correlation between language and historical-cultural identity. This correlation generates emotional openness regarding the cognitive contents and therefore amplifies the positive effect of a promotional event. Small language groups depend on this effect because in most of the cases they cannot rely on appreciation of their regional or minority language within governmental structures. The more a little promoted language is rooted in the educational system and governmental actions, the more it can do without emphasizing its historical and cultural uniqueness during the promotional process.

    Top

    3. List of Publications

    • "Zwei sind mehr als Eine - Friesisch im Kindergarten und in der Schule" ("Two are more than One - Frisian in kindergarten and school"). Film for promotional events with parents, instructors and teachers in North Frisia (in German and North Frisian, Video and DVD).
    • 4 volumes for the language acquisition of Saterfrisian in elementary school with 3 accompanying booklets (in German and Saterfrisian)
    • "Geschichte, Kultur und Sprache des Saterlandes" ("History, culture and language of the Saterland"). Teaching Unit for Social Studies in the sec. 1 (in German and Saterfrisian).
    • Review of the situation of regional- or minority languages in kindergarten and elementary school (West Frisian students did a comparing research on the situation of North Frisian, Low German in East Frisia, West Frisian, Sorbian and the Slovenian language in Kärnten). In Dutch and German.
    • Concept for a class "Early Multilingualism, including the regional language Low German" in the training of instructors (curriculum, in German).
    • Ostfriesische Landschaft (editor): "Frühe Mehrsprachigkeit unter Einbeziehung der Regionalsprache Plattdeutsch" ("Early Multilingualism including the regional language Low German"), material-folder and workbook for a training course for instructors. Aurich 2003 (in German and Low German).
    • Ostfriesische Landschaft (editor): "Mehrsprachigkeit in der Vor- und Grundschulperiode - Schwerpunkt: Bilingualer Unterricht" ("Multilingualism in the pre- and elementary school period - with main focus on bilingual education"). Aurich 2003. Documentation of the project activities and results in East Frisia (in German).
    • Mili Kuncic, Miriam Strmenik, Georg Gombos: "Skozi leto". Drava Verlag 2003. ISBN 3-85435-407-X (Training and advanced training folder for instructors in bilingual kindergartens in Kärnten). In German and Slovenian.
    • CD-Rom about the project activities in Friuli (in Italian).
    • Istituto per lŽistruzione slovena (editor): " VideoABECEDA". San Pietro al Natisone 2003 (video with accompanying booklet in Italian and Slovenian).
    • Istituto per lŽistruzione slovena (editor): "Eva e lvo - storie per scrivere" ("Eva and Ivo - stories for writing"). San Pietro al Natisone 2003 (a course for parallel lexical organization in Italian and Slovenian).
    • Istituto per lŽistruzione slovena (editor): "DELOVNI LISTI ZA VRTEC". San Pietro al Natisone 2003 (Handouts for the kindergarten).

    Top