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Danish teacher: Bilingual children are linguistically neglected

- A deliberate effort must be made to ensure that bilingual children throughout their upbringing, especially before they start going to school, get the chance to speak Danish with children, who have Danish as their native language, says Jens Raahauge from the Association of Danish Teachers. Archieve photo

Danish teacher: Bilingual children are linguistically neglected

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Bilingual children should have more opportunities to speak Danish, says a board member from the Association of Danish Teachers.

Bilingual pupils must be challenged to a greater degree in Danish if they are to have a chance of becoming better at it. 

Denmark: This is what Jens Raahauge, boardmember of the Association of Danish Teachers, says upon a new statement from Copenhagen Municipality, which shows that a big part of bilingual children have difficulty with the Danish language. 

A total of 44.2 percent of non-Western pupils in Copenhagen preschool classes were in 2015 rated either to have "a need for comprehensive language stimulating actions" or "a need for extra language stimulation". 

To address the problem the children must play with Danish words already before starting school, says Jens Raahauge. 

  • The bilingual children have been linguistically neglected in their institutional life.
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  • And in case they have not gone in institutions, they are even more neglected, he says. 

Jens Raahauge also points to the many efficiency improvements within the child care area as one of the reasons that the Danish skills of bilingual children are poor.

Original text by Ritzau