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Bosnian immigrant children speak, can't read Bosnian

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  • Don Osborn
    This item may be of interest. (Reference seen on the Language Feed)... DZO Language gap affects young Bosnians at school, home By Eun Kyung Kim ST. LOUIS
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2006
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      This item may be of interest. (Reference seen on the Language Feed)...
      DZO


      Language gap affects young Bosnians at school, home
      By Eun Kyung Kim
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/E9ED78D9B86B86BC8625712C0020D95A?OpenDocument
      03/08/2006

      FILE PHOTO: Alen Besirovic, 11, a Bosnian boy speaks his native
      language in a class at the Islamic Community Center.
      (ODELL MITCHELL JR/P-D)

      Every Sunday, about a dozen young Bosnian children gather to rehearse
      a play based on a popular Bosnian children's book, "Hedgehog's House."
      But Emir Hadzisalihovic, 9, and the handful of other kids often recite
      their lines from memory rather than reading from the script. They
      can't read the words on the page - they're in Bosnian.

      An increasing number of Bosnian pupils who were either born in the
      United States or arrived here as babies don't have the ability to
      speak or read their native language. And that's creating a problem for
      the Bosnian community in the St. Louis area. A refugee population once
      criticized for not speaking English better now finds that the young
      speak it too well. Many fear that it could lead to a communication gap
      even within families.

      "We have a conflict of two generations. Grandma is not able to talk to
      the grandchild. That's big. We have to figure out how to survive
      that," said Sukrija Dzidzovic, publisher of SabaH, the largest
      U.S.-based Bosnian language newspaper.

      Most of these Bosnian children are in middle school or younger. Few
      can read or write in Bosnian, although many can speak it with their
      parents. But to siblings and friends - even fellow Bosnians - English
      is often the language of choice.
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