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Vanishing Languages in Context

Ideological, Attitudinal and Social Identity Perspectives


Edited By Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt

This volume grew out of the 36 th International LAUD Symposium, which was held in March 2014 at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Landau, Germany. There is general consensus among language experts that slightly more than half of today’s 7,000 languages are under severe threat of extinction even within fifty to one hundred years. The 13 papers contained in this volume explore the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why this matters, and what can be done and achieved to document and support endangered languages especially in the context of an ever increasing globalized world. The issue of vanishing languages is discussed from a variety of methodologies and perspectives: sociolinguistics, language ecology, language contact, language policy/planning, attitudes and linguistic inequalities.
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Danuta Stanulewicz & Małgorzata Smentek - The Kashubian language at school: Facts and attitudes


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Danuta Stanulewicz & Małgorzata Smentek

University of Gdańsk, Poland

The Kashubian language at school: Facts and attitudes

Abstract Kashubian, one of the West Slavic languages, is used by a community of people living on the coast of the Baltic Sea in the north of Poland. In 2005 the Polish Parliament recognized Kashubian as a regional language. In the most recent National Census of 2011, the number of people who declared they employed Kashubian at home amounted to 108,140. Kashubian was introduced as a school subject in 1991. In the school year 2014/2015, there were 18,000 students attending Kashubian classes in 430 schools: 14,490 students in 291 primary schools, 2,766 students in 112 junior secondary schools and 744 students in 27 senior secondary schools.

The paper presents opinions provided by students who attend two schools, only one of which offers Kashubian classes. It appears that Kashubian classes are beneficial not only for language acquisition, but also for culture maintenance and for discovering and preserving individual identity. Moreover, students appreciate participation in outside school activities, such as contests and cultural events.

Keywords: attitudes; education; Kashubian; statistical data; West Slavic languages

1. Introduction

The aim of this paper is to present statistical data concerning the presence of the Kashubian language in education as well as to analyze attitudes of students attending two senior secondary schools, only one of which offers...

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