Turkish-origin children in Germany suffering from inadequate language skills: Professor
ANTALYA – Doğan News AgencyThe children of Turkish immigrants living in Germany are generally underachieving and have “low employment success” due to inadequate language knowledge, according to Professor Erol Esen, the director of the EU Research Center of Akdeniz University (AKVAM) in the southern province of Antalya.
“In later school years, this inadequacy is not very easily compensated,” Esen said during a press conference organized at Akdeniz University on April 27.
Indicating that Turkish-origin children were also “quite disadvantaged” compared to other children of foreign-origin, he said: “It is important that the children learn both German and Turkish before starting school in kindergarten.”
The use of both Turkish and German in kindergarten at equal levels increases Turkish children’s chances of success, and so is a motivation for parents to send their children to preschool day care centers.
Esen also shared the results of his project, “One child-Two Languages,” during the conference. The project was a collaboration of his work that he conducted together with the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin in Germany.
“The children can learn more than one language during the preschool period; children that are raised this way are able to start school having the same level of knowledge of both their mother tongue and the language of the country they live in,” the professor said.
Following the preschool period, children are also able to learn other languages easily, according to Esen.
Esen collected the project’s results in a book, “Turkish-German Preschool Education Conditions and Opportunities in Berlin.”
The book focuses on suggestions on how to improve the education success of children of migrant parents living in Europe, Esen said during the conference.
Esen suggested that by raising kids both in their mother tongue and the language of the country they live in, migrant parents could also prevent “assimilation.”
He said such children were both able to “protect their family culture” and develop a sufficient knowledge of both the country they live in and its language.