chapter  13
20 Pages

The Educational Language Rights of Kurdish Children in Turkey, Denmark, and Kurdistan (Iraq)

BySHELLEY K. TAYLOR AND TOVE SKUTNABB-KANGAS

Research on educational performance indicates that linguistic minority (LM) children taught through the medium of a dominant language in submersion (sink-or-swim) programs2 often perform considerably less well than native dominant-language-speaking children in the same class, both in general and on tests of (dominant) language and school achievement. They suffer from higher levels of push-out rates, stay in school fewer years, have higher unemployment, and, for some groups, drug use, criminality, and suicide fi gures, and so forth. There would appear to be a strong argument that such children do not benefi t from the right to education to the same extent as children whose mother tongue is the teaching language of the school, and that this distinction is based on language-see Skutnabb-Kangas (2000), for educational and sociological arguments, and for the human rights instruments that embody some linguistic human rights; for legal arguments, see also de Varennes (1996); Magga, Nicolaisen, Trask, Dunbar, and Skutnabb-Kangas (2005), for a summary of the arguments.