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A Tribute To The Linguist and Educator Janko Bezjak Phd At The 160th Anniversary of His Birth

Ivo Ban

In the year 2022 we are celebrating the 160th anniversary of the birth of an important personality who has left significant marks, particularly on the professional realms of linguistics and education. This anniversary is an opportunity and an obligation to pay tribute to Janko Bezjak as the pioneer in the field of establishing Slovenian as the language of instruction within the then Habsburg monarchy, as well as highlight further areas of his activity. Considering that his figure and his achievements in several areas have only been explored to a limited extent, the anniversary should be comprehended as a call and an impulse for a deeper understanding of his actions, as this will facilitate a more complete and objective overall picture of his societal role and greatness which have so far obviously been overlooked or even neglected. The life and work of Janko Bezjak have so far primarily been a subject of lexicographical studies, where individual entries or general descriptions were referred to and also his most important works were stated. Some response to his work can be found in professional articles (e.g. Matej Rode, Natalija Žižić), as well as in the article which appeared at his seventieth birthday (Dragotin Přibil). Before having prepared this lecture, I had presented the life and work of Janko Bezjak at two previous conferences It’s About People (2018 and 2019), where I had pointed out the triadic concept of his work, namely that of an educator, organizer and supervisor of the learning process, a scientist and a publicist (pedagogical writer). Inspection and analysis of the existing literature on Janko Bezjak PhD show a gap in the realm of the analytical and comparative evaluation of individual works, especially considering his relentless fight to establish the mother tongue as the language of instruction in the Slovenian territory.



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