Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891
Email: editor@kurdishstudies.net

Great Expectations, Trivialised Gains: A Critical Enquiry into Kurdish Heritage Language Teaching in Berlin

Mehmet Şerif Derince
Keywords: Language Policy, Linguistic Hierarchy, Kurdish Language Teaching, Multilingualism, Migration.


Multilingualism is being embraced more and more rhetorically in Germany, yet the language policy approach put into practice in schools shows a hierarchical order within which languages are treated unequally. While some are viewed favourably, some others are either marginalised or largely ignored. Analysing the newly introduced Kurdish heritage language teaching in Berlin, this article seeks to explore how language hierarchies function in schools and how teaching Kurdish is confined by such hierarchies. Drawing on field notes and observations collected as part of a larger project, the article pinpoints the structural limitations and challenges faced by Kurdish heritage language instruction in Berlin and why it might contribute to the reproduction of hierarchical attitudes towards multilingualism rather than challenge them.

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