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Immigrant children and intercultural differences at a primary level

Sara Šenica (2018) Immigrant children and intercultural differences at a primary level. MSc thesis.

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    Immigrant children are a challenge to Slovenian educational system and pedagogical workers who work with them. Preserving their mother tongue, culture and their own identity requires qualified teachers with vast knowledge, emotional and social competence. This master thesis deals with intercultural differences and difficulties which primary school teachers face when integrating immigrant children into their classes. In the theoretical part, we study a teacher's part when working with immigrant children in a classroom, and synopsize how many authors perceive intercultural competences of a teacher. Following, we get acquainted with data on the number of children who immigrated to Slovenia between 2006 and 2015. We have acquired the data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. The data show that the children mostly come from the region of former Yugoslavia (mainly Bosnia and Hercegovina). Following, we sum up crucial cultural characteristics of these countries (population, language, religion, nationalities), from which most children come to Slovenian primary schools. The empirical part introduces a research that was conducted among primary level teachers who currently teach immigrant children or they taught them in the recent years. We have amassed data from an online survey questionnaire which was fully completed by 136 teachers. The data collected were qualitatively and quantitatively analysed. The results have revealed that teachers frequently discuss the topics of intercultural differences through playing social games to embrace the difference and by referring to the contents of the textbook. When working with immigrant children, teachers mostly focus on the social integration of students into their class. According to their opinion, immigrant children gain most from their classmates' assistance when assimilating into the school environment. Similarly, discussion with the class teacher greatly benefits in children's easier assimilation into the school environment. Generally, teachers do not need assistance when conversing with parents of immigrant children. In most cases, parents speak or comprehend Slovene, moreover, they understand it despite their poor communication skills. Parents most frequently liaise with teachers and the school by attending office hours, parental and individual meetings. In 40.7 % of cases of immigrant children, teachers do not notice the cultural difference. In comparison to Slovene students, intercultural differences occur mainly in dietary habits and in celebrating certain holidays. The teachers have stated that many immigrant students perform relatively poorly, compared to Slovene students, their insufficiency is visible in several different development fields. Furthermore, half of the respondents want additional education since they feel least competent in the linguistic fields.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: immigrant children, cultural differences, intercultural, primary teacher education, teacher
    Number of Pages: 100
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Maja UmekMentor
    asist. dr. Irena HerganComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11918153)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4984
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2018 11:59
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 11:59
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4984

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