SZKOŁA POLONIJNA, CZY JĘZYKOWA? SZKOLNICTWO POLONIJNE W PERSPEKTYWIE DYDAKTYCZNEJ
A POLISH SCHOOL OR A LANGUAGE SCHOOL? THE POLISH SCHOOL SYSTEM ABROAD IN A DIDACTIC PERSPECTIYE
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The main task of Polish schools, which have been established in all larger emigration clusters, was to preserve the knowledge of the language among children. Its command was perceived as a symbol of one's ethnicity, a sign of belonging to a group, and an expression of acceptance of the system of values, which the group represented and cultivated. Knowledge of the language was also supposed to enable young people to access the products of Polish culture and, by means of that, facilitate communal bonding. This function remained unchanged. What changed, though, is the geopolitical situation affecting the position of the Polish emigrant group. The systemic transition, EU accession, and the possibility to participate in European educational programs make our country look quite different from the emigrants' perspective. This implies that the same function has to be realized in a manner which keeps up with the times. The contemporary ethnic school has to be modern. It has to offer interesting educational programs, which correspond to the reality, but which also enable cultivating the tradition, an aspect so important when living abroad. It should organize the educational process in such a way that the young people participating in it have a feeling that they not only learn things that are important for the community of which they are a part, but also, by learning the language, they gain an additional advantage on the labor market. The text presents a proposal of organizing the didactic process in an ethnic school with consideration for a factor which, so far, has not been acknowledged when assigning students to classes, namely the level of language command. It also proposes a conception of integrated teaching of language skills and the components of the Polish language system based on cultural texts, what can significantly increase the effectiveness of teaching.
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