Nederlands als tweede taal
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In this article some results are presented of a twofold study into the Dutch language proficiency of Turkish children who were born and bred in the Netherlands. The oral Dutch language 'profi-ciency of eighteen Turkish and fifteen Dutch children was studied in September 1981, at the moment all children entered primary school, and in March 1984, when they had reached third grade. A number of morphological, syntactic and lexical features were studied. The results can be summarized as follows:(1) in the first grade, at the very start of their (primary-) school career, the Turkish group is significantly less proficient in oral Dutch than their Dutch peer group in all but one of the grammatical features.(2) In the third grade, after two and a half years of primary school education, the Turkish group is still significantly less proficient in oral Dutch than the Dutch group in most of the features.(3) As for several morphological aspects of oral Dutch language proficiency, most of the individual Turkish children progress faster in two years of education than the Dutch group: that is, many of the Turkish children are morphologically less behind after two years of primary school than at the beginning of their school career.(4) As for a number of syntactic aspects and one aspect of lexical diversity of speech, most of the individual Turkish children do not progress faster in two years than the Dutch children: syntactically they are equally behind after two years of primary school.(5) In none of the features that were studied did the differences in language proficiency between the Dutch and the Turkish groups increase during two years of schooling: thus, no evidence is found for a possible cumulative difference between this specific group of second language learners and native children.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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