From Language Barriers to Social Capital: Serbian as the Language of Education for Romani Children
Jelena Filipović, Julijana Vučo, and Ljiljana Djurić
261-275 (complete paper
or proceedings contents
The Roma represent one of the major ethnic minorities in a large number of European countries. It is Europe's largest transnational minority, a "non-territorial nation" of Europe. Almost two thirds of all Roma live in the former Communist and Socialist countries of Eastern and Central Europe, including Serbia, and everywhere they live, they make up the most stigmatized and marginalized segment of the population. Because of this, the Roma have had very limited success in gaining national or international affirmation in Europe. In this paper, a project of language and education support for Romani children returning from the countries of the European Union and internally displaced Romani children in Serbia is presented. The principal objective of this project was two-fold. First, the model of language support for Serbian as the language of education for Romani children aims to find a way to develop these children's competences in Serbian as the language of education, and to integrate the already existing linguistic and cultural competences of Romani returnee children and internally displaced Romani children into the Serbian formal educational system. Second, it aims to initiate the process of intercultural awareness rising among the members of both minority and majority populations in Serbia in order to begin a social change which would eventually put an end to centuries of segregation, exclusion, and depreciation of the Roma in this country. This implies that a significant amount of classroom time and effort is to be dedicated to strengthening and enhancing social identification and ethnolinguistic identity of Romani children in Serbian schools.
Selected Proceedings of the 2008 Second Language Research Forum: Exploring SLA Perspectives, Positions, and Practices
edited by Matthew T. Prior, Yukiko Watanabe, and Sang-Ki Lee
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