Primary school teachers' views on Syrian Students’ Turkish and math skills and the confronted challenges

Yeliz Bolat
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This research attempts to reveal the views of the primary school teachers, having Syrian students in their class, on these students’ Turkish and mathematics skills and the challenges they have confronted in the classroom. The research used a mixed research method and 347 primary school teachers who met the criterion of having Syrian students in their classes participated in the research. Quantitative data were gathered through a five-point Likert type questionnaire consisting of 27 questions, and qualitative data were collected with eight open-ended questions. Descriptive statistical methods were used during quantitative data analysis and descriptive analysis for qualitative data. The research findings revealed that Syrian students' reading, reading comprehension and problem solving skills were not sufficiently developed due to the lack of speaking Turkish. In the same vein, there were communication problems with students and parents due to the language barrier which affects Syrian students' choice of friends and their success in classes. Another research finding suggested that Syrian students were at a satisfactory level in operational skills that do not require verbal knowledge, especially in mathematics lesson. In addition, the parents were identified to be indifferent to the students' lessons and they did not help with their homework. The participants’ common view was that Syrian students should receive Turkish education in separate classes (preparatory class) in order to solve the language problem before schooling.

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