Chapter 5

Performance Levels of Roma Pupils in Foreign Language Learning: Social Responsibility in School

Saša Jazbec, Branka Čagran and Alja L. Oštir

Abstract

The chapter addresses an insufficiently researched aspect of education of the Roma population, using the example of their performance at foreign language learning in Slovenia. The theoretical foundations of language learning, the historical situation, and the current living conditions of the Roma support the thesis that foreign language learning success among the Roma is poorer than the performance of non-Roma. This affects their success levels in other subjects requiring language competence. After considering the importance of foreign language learning for each individual and the current didactic concept of foreign language learning, our empirical research for Roma pupils demonstrates that they tend to learn foreign languages pragmatically rather than in academic ways that are more abstract; that lifestyle circumstances force them to speak at least two languages; and that they are more successful with German, which they are more likely to use and learn than English. Such results require radical reflection, revision, and innovation of existing language learning didactics.

Total Pages: 119-136 (18)

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