From exclusivity of the standard language to critical discursive flexibility in first-language teaching: the Slovenian case
Traditional schemes and value systems, among which there is also the use of the standard Slovenian language as soon as an individual is positioned in a public or formal situation, no longer reflect the social practice and values of modern society. Such a situation is also reflected in interferences from non-standard language varieties or even in non-acceptance of the standard language by some native speakers of Slovenian language, especially those from marginal social groups. One of the main tasks of first-language teaching is, therefore, the development of critical discursive flexibility, where the central role is still kept by the standard language, i.e. the language variety allowing an individual to equally participate in education, professional and public life, but it is no more put in the schematic, hierarchical relationship with non-standard language varieties. To make some starting points, in the article, firstly the theoretical models of language stratification in Slovenian linguistics are reviewed and some contradictions between prevailing theory, based on the Prague structural functionalism, and modern discursive practice are pointed out. Further on, from the perspective of critical discursive flexibility and fluency in the standard language, current curriculum for Slovenian as first/national language in High school is analysed and some didactic principles and suggestions for developing critical discursive flexibility as an element of cultural awareness and linguistic correctness in the standard language as an element of language awareness are presented.
Key words: first/national language teaching, discursive flexibility, standard language, interferences, cultural awareness, language awareness