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Speech and language service delivery for members of non-Slovenian language and national communities in the Republic of Slovenia

Katja Raztresen (2015) Speech and language service delivery for members of non-Slovenian language and national communities in the Republic of Slovenia. Diploma thesis.

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    Due to more than 6900 existing languages one could say the world we know today is linguistically and culturally diverse (Anderson, 2010; Kornakov, 1997). In the European Union one daily meets people speaking different languages, multilingualism has therefore become a fact (Mednarodni dan maternega jezika, 2009). Between half and to two-thirds of the world population is bilingual (Baker, 2001), there are also numerous multilingual people. Some researches even show that dialects and language forms are organised separately, as if there were two different languages involved. Taking that into account, one could say every person is bilingual if not even multilingual (Ozbič, 2014). Definitions and divisions of the first, second and foreign language, bi- and multilingualism vary from one to another, but the basis for successful acquisition or learning of the second language is undoubtedly mastering the first language. Since 2011 the population of Slovenia is growing. The number of Slovenian citizens is declining whereas the proportion of foreign citizens is rising. They represent almost 5 % of Slovenian population (Prebivalstvo, Slovenija, 1. januar 2015, 2015). In the last census, conducted in 2002, Slovenian was the first language for 88 % of Slovenian inhabitants. For most of the others, Italian, Hungarian and languages of the former republics of Yugoslavia were first languages (Mednarodni dan maternega jezika, 2009). Consequently, Slovenian speech and language therapists (SLTs) come and will keep on coming in touch with members of non-Slovenian language and national communities. For these persons Slovenian language is often not the first language, some of them are not even familiar with the Slovenian culture. That is why I took a closer look in what kinds of experience Slovenian SLTs have with this population, what their opinion is and what their needs are for service delivery to this population. All of this I mostly compared with SLTs’ vicinity or distance from areas of national minorities, years of their working experience and levels of their foreign language competence. The results of the research have shown that SLT’s workplace has a positive influence on level of their foreign language competence in speaking. SLTs who do not work in areas of national minorities usually come in touch with languages of the extended area of the former republics of Yugoslavia at their workplace. Slovenian SLTs think that knowledge of Slovenian sign language is the most important besides knowledge of Slovenian language. They attributed less importance to the knowledge of languages of national minorities in the area of the Republic of Slovenia. Members of non-Slovenian language and national communities mostly seek SLT’s help because of speech or language disorders. The majority of interviewed SLTs think that a SLT can neither assess speech/language/communication nor execute speech and language intervention in the language in which he/she is not fluent. To more than one third of the interviewed SLTs knowing at least the basics of their clients’ first language does not seem to be important, almost a half of them think that it depends on their disorder. Majority of the SLTs wish to have an interpreter when dealing with members of national minorities, immigrants or foreigners. SLTs attribute greater meaning to the knowledge of their clients’ cultural particularities than to their language. Interviewed SLTs who have up to 5 years of working experience expressed larger need for international cooperation and education with foreign SLTs.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: speech and language therapy service delivery, national minority members, immigrants, foreigners, first language, second language, foreign language, bilingualism, multilingualism, biculturalism, speech and language therapy guidelines, speech and language therapy code of ethics
    Number of Pages: 120
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Martina OzbičMentor
    asist. dr. Damjana KogovšekComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10607433)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2884
    Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 13:46
    Last Modified: 02 Jul 2015 13:46
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2884

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