Can a person speak 5+ languages

No Ü-Tüpferl cavalry please!

This time the FPÖ uses a few Turkish words on a worksheet to emphasize that German is spoken in Austria. Yes, but not only. Austria is multilingual. After German comes the so-called BKS language group (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian), followed by Turkish as the third most widely spoken language. The proportion of female pupils with a non-German colloquial language was a full 52.9 percent at primary schools in Vienna in the 2010/2011 school year. The future belongs to those people who use other languages ​​in addition to German in their everyday lives.

This reality can be heard and seen on the streets of Vienna, but our educational system is slow to adapt to it. And then there are also persistent deniers of reality like the FPÖ education spokesman Walter Rosenkranz. In the form of a parliamentary question and in a blog close to the FPÖ, the use of a worksheet at an elementary school in Lower Austria is weathered. Here the umlaut letter Ü is not introduced with German, but with Turkish words. It is not even a matter of learning the Turkish vocabulary, but simply of recognizing the letter visually. It's a shame actually.

Children accept multilingualism naturally and enthusiastically. This can be seen in multilingual families or in the course of some innovative projects, such as that of multilingual literacy. With curiosity and enthusiasm, for example, the pupils of the Viennese elementary school Brüßlgasse 18 tell each other how individual words and sentences are in their mother tongue while they are learning letters. As with the worksheets mentioned above, it is by no means about instructing children or even forcing them to learn (other) migrant languages, as the FPÖ side says. It's about dealing with the multilingual reality in our schools in a constructive and future-oriented way.

More well-trained native language teachers for Turkish and BKS language classes. More innovative working documents that support the multilingualism of the individual children. Better training for prospective primary school teachers, which prepares them for the multilingual reality in school classes. This is the only way we can prevent children with a non-German mother tongue from becoming educational losers in the worst case. In the best case scenario, Austrian compulsory schools will leave Austrian compulsory schools with multilingual, open-minded people who can get along well in a multicultural society regardless of their mother tongue - no practice riders. (Olivera Stajić,, August 23, 2012)