U.S. English Foundation Research



Language Research

3. Language issues: Where does one observe language to be a problem in the country?

The Slovenian State does not yet have a document that would provide “global solutions” to issues of newly formed ethnic communities. Primarily members of the nations of former Yugoslavia–ethnic Serbs, Croats, Kosovar Albanians, and non-native Roma from Kosovo and Albania comprise these groups. This does not mean that the subject is treated as being of marginal interest. In 1998, the Ministry of Culture allocated 5,600,000 SIT for the cultural programs of newly formed ethnic communities. Many of these 5,000 to 10,000 non-Slovene citizens of the former Yugoslavia migrated internally to Slovenia during the decades leading up to independence because of the economic opportunities. Most opted not to take up Slovene citizenship during a six-month window in 1991-92 and have been living in the country as essentially stateless persons since then, while others were without residence status because of slow processing of their applications by the Government. In August 1999 Parliament passed legislation that addressed the problem of these persons by offering them permanent resident status; a six-week window for applications closed at year’s end.

In the field of education Roma children receive special care but on the other side too little has been done to remove language barriers, to introduce the Roma language into schools and to nurture Roma cultural traditions.

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