Language as an Element of Identity: Language of National Minorities in the Educational Systems of Belarus, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine

Author: Barbara Grabowska
Institution: University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Author: Łukasz Kwadrans
Institution: University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Year of publication: 2020
Source: Show
Pages: 43-59
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/130/kie13003.pdf

Life in a culturally diverse environment and being a national minority member causes the socialization of young people to occur in more than one language. Language is not only a medium of culture but also a core element of identity. This article discusses the implementation of the right of national minorities to education in their languages. In Belarus, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine, there are national minorities of autochthonous character, along with schools with the language of a particular minority as the teaching language. The most developed and numerous network of schools operating in the official school system is in the Czech Republic. In Belarus and Ukraine, the legal possibility of opening and running minority schools was introduced several years ago. Not without significance is the functioning of parish schools, Saturday-Sunday schools, national or ethnic clubs. Apart from family, school is the basic place of learning the minority language, an important element of national identity. At school, learners deepen their cultural competences, within their national, majority group and European culture.


national minorities Education language identity Belarus the Czech Republic Poland Ukraine

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