Everything is more difficult for Kurdish children who cannot speak Turkish.

Wall – Schools closed from March 2020 reopened on September 1 after an 18-month hiatus. Primary school students enrolled in 2020 could not go to school due to the epidemic. Students follow their lessons through an online application created. Thousands of children who did not have the opportunity were completely absent from teaching. Thus the students who have passed the first class start studying in the second class. This situation has opened the door to a more difficult process for Kurdish children who cannot speak Turkish and cannot receive education in their mother tongue.

How do children feel in this situation? What mental problems does he face? How should they participate in the learning process? What should parents and teachers do? Child Psychiatrist Association. Dr. Veysi Çeri and bilingualism, authored by children and education writer, educator Semil Gunes.

‘Children have serious problems that are difficult to solve’

Educationist Semil Gunes, author of the book ‘Bilingualism, Children and Education’, says that the issues discussed and discussed here are different from the millions of Kurdish children who may have experience in their mother tongue teaching language, experience and learning. The beginning of the teaching period. The sun continues:

“Often, we go back to the recipients of the process or those who blindly look at the process, not to mention the important issues, working on only a few dimensions. However, their right to education in their mother tongue is not independent of the problem posed by a person who was shot in the street for speaking Kurdish or insulted for speaking Kurdish on a television channel. Children who are unable to receive education in their mother tongue face extremely serious problems in the learning process which reach tragic levels and become increasingly difficult to solve. It would not be right to think of this education process only in terms of school. This process begins when the child rises from childhood and joins social life. Due to language barriers, these children face many problems not only in school but also in pre-school and post-school. In other words, they face language restrictions at home, outside, in the market and even on the playground. These elements of the learning process can also be evaluated as complementary elements of education. One of these barriers is the lack of education, but children who are not educated in their mother tongue face all these problems. So these children and their families are standing helplessly in front of us. ”

‘Social trauma is essential’

Noting that every person living in Turkey who cannot receive education in their mother tongue is not only a victim but also an accused and witness to this process, Gunes said:

“Because of this bitter reality, these people are more or less aware of the problems. In addition, according to many studies, children who do not receive education in their mother tongue do not seem to have academic failures, not being able to read, not being able to understand what they are reading, not being able to evaluate what they are reading and making something out of them. That they belong to school, social fears, violence against themselves, violence from friends, family and teachers, she faces dozens of problems such as withdrawal, regression in speaking skills, semi-linguistics, and self-insufficiency unfortunately unfortunately, Every problem we have mentioned and can count on causes serious trauma in children. This trauma seen in children can turn into social trauma in the following processes. Because the learning process is not just a process in which the child participates, it is a process in which family members and the environment participate together with the child, so feeling social trauma is inevitable. How is this trauma reflected in society? Families abandon their mother tongue for the safety of themselves and their children, stay away from their culture and social memory, leave the city they live in and cannot use the language we call second language well and face difficulties. ”

‘She started 2nd class without earning from 1st class’

Noting that inequality has brought the process to an end, Guinness goes on to say: “We know from research that children who are educated in their mother tongue are more successful in reading, writing, listening and analytical skills. Also, it is known that he benefited from the strength of the mother tongue, the feeling of being involved in the learning process and the benefits of productivity, confidence and mental relaxation brought by him in learning third and more languages. Paolo Freire says that ‘education has a liberating aspect, but it is possible with the mother tongue’. This statement actually shows us that the address of the solution is not so difficult. In addition to making the online learning process extremely difficult, we also discussed the placement of children in distance learning who are not educated in their mother tongue. Language problems are not a problem that starts at school. Acquiring literacy skills in a language other than their mother tongue begins in the first grade and is a difficult process. Writing skills are the most difficult in the first class. Although children should have strong hearing and comprehension skills, they tried to overcome this process in front of the television or with the help of tablets. Children start second class without getting first class achievement. In recent years, the rate of Kurdish speaking among children has decreased. The fact that families have stopped speaking Kurdish to themselves and their children deepens the process of quasi-linguistics. After all, the impossibility and the inequalities experienced during the epidemic make this process inseparable. “

‘They express the language of a person they don’t know increases stress’

Child psychiatrist said. Vesi Cheri says the situation of Kurdish children who cannot speak Turkish is a chronic problem. Cherry says:

“There are many children in Turkey whose mother tongue is both Kurdish and Arabic, where the language is spoken at home and who only speak these languages ​​until school starts. These conditions must be taken into account when enrolling children in education and training. Knowing that there is a language barrier for these children, they should start a pre-school education where teachers who are aware of their mother tongue will also be trained in this subject. Considering this, when they start school, it is absolutely necessary to prevent children from feeling too disconnected. Otherwise, the sudden departure of children and exposure to the language of strangers increases stress. It can increase children’s reluctance, anxiety and insecurity towards school. ”

‘Banning spoken language in schools increases insecurity’

There should be a system that will facilitate the learning of Turkish language by integrating a bilingual education with an educational system considering the situation of children who cannot speak Turkish. Cherry says: “Otherwise, children may be under a lot of stress. It is very unjust to teach children who do not know their own language. Since he has a negative childhood life, it may leave some lasting problems. Strict restrictions on the spoken language of children in school, intolerance and punishment cause anxiety and insecurity among children. The attitude of the teachers is very important. Teachers need to be aware of this situation and help them learn that it is not a wrong, bad or punishable situation, as it is a language that children need to learn in the current situation. Speaking Turkish directly to children, in the same way, in the same situation, is not both humane and educational in the curriculum. It can leave negative marks on children which can never be removed. Teachers who have a very negative attitude towards children’s language will cause emotional trauma to children. It’s a serious blow when you can’t express yourself. “

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