Slovenian minority honours Georg Gombos for research in early language learning

Klagenfurt, 15 November - Austrian professor of educational science Georg Gombos will be honoured in Klagenfurt, Austria, tonight with the Einspieler Award, given out by two Slovenian minority organisations in Austria for his work in researching and promoting language learning, especially in multilingual kindergartens in Austria's Carinthia.

Gombos developed a language education concept for private bi- and multilingual kindergartens, which provides the necessary framework for language acquisition for both teaching staff and parents. It promotes experiencing language through pictures, music and movement, while allowing children to freely choose the language they use.

All kindergartens that are part of the working group of private bi- and multilingual kindergartens in the Austrian region of Carinthia are obligated by law to use the language education concept.

The National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS) and the Christian Cultural Association (KKZ) will present the award at tonight's ceremony, at which the keynote address will be delivered by Stefan Kramer, one of the key figures that helped establish a working community of private bi- and multilingual kindergartens.

The two organisations have been presenting the award since 1988 to honour German-speaking individuals for their efforts for the Slovenian minority and their understanding of its issues.

The award is named after Andrej Einspieler (1813-88), a Slovenian priest, politician and author who worked for the equality of Slovenian language and Slovenians in Carinthia, for the coexistence of the Slovenian- and German-speaking communities in the province, for general suffrage and political freedom.

© STA, 2023