From Language Revival to Language Removal? The Teaching of Titular Languages in the National Republics of PostSoviet Russia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Minority language education has been planned in post-Soviet Russia for two decades. During this period, language policy in education has shifted from compulsory to voluntary study of native languages in school. The effect of this move in policy and its relation to general trends on language education has not yet been systematically evaluated. Addressing this gap, the current article employs a quantitative method to calculate dynamics in the relative share of native language learners attending school. This study demonstrates that, after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the significant investments by regional authorities to extend titular language teaching resulted in the provision of native language teaching to most of the titular students in some former autonomous republics, notably the Turkic republics in the Volga and Ural areas. In contrast, steps for the promotion of titular languages in the Finno-Ugric republics have had less impact on native language teaching. Throughout the two post-Soviet decades, the insufficient amount of teaching of the Finno-Ugric languages in titular republics failed to ensure the transfer of language competence to a considerable roportion of children. This failure to ensure revival of the titular languages may accelerate the language shift from minority languages towards Russian.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
Volume11
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)75-102
Number of pages28
ISSN1617-5247
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • minority language education
  • education reform
  • 517 Political science
  • Finno-Ugric republics
  • Volga and Ural Turkic republics
  • Russian Federation
  • 6121 Languages
  • language revival

Cite this

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title = "From Language Revival to Language Removal? The Teaching of Titular Languages in the National Republics of PostSoviet Russia",
abstract = "Minority language education has been planned in post-Soviet Russia for two decades. During this period, language policy in education has shifted from compulsory to voluntary study of native languages in school. The effect of this move in policy and its relation to general trends on language education has not yet been systematically evaluated. Addressing this gap, the current article employs a quantitative method to calculate dynamics in the relative share of native language learners attending school. This study demonstrates that, after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the significant investments by regional authorities to extend titular language teaching resulted in the provision of native language teaching to most of the titular students in some former autonomous republics, notably the Turkic republics in the Volga and Ural areas. In contrast, steps for the promotion of titular languages in the Finno-Ugric republics have had less impact on native language teaching. Throughout the two post-Soviet decades, the insufficient amount of teaching of the Finno-Ugric languages in titular republics failed to ensure the transfer of language competence to a considerable roportion of children. This failure to ensure revival of the titular languages may accelerate the language shift from minority languages towards Russian.",
keywords = "516 Educational sciences, minority language education, education reform, 517 Political science, Finno-Ugric republics, Volga and Ural Turkic republics, Russian Federation, 6121 Languages, language revival",
author = "Konsta Zamyatin",
year = "2012",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "75--102",
journal = "Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe",
issn = "1617-5247",
publisher = "ECMI",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - From Language Revival to Language Removal? The Teaching of Titular Languages in the National Republics of PostSoviet Russia

AU - Zamyatin, Konsta

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Minority language education has been planned in post-Soviet Russia for two decades. During this period, language policy in education has shifted from compulsory to voluntary study of native languages in school. The effect of this move in policy and its relation to general trends on language education has not yet been systematically evaluated. Addressing this gap, the current article employs a quantitative method to calculate dynamics in the relative share of native language learners attending school. This study demonstrates that, after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the significant investments by regional authorities to extend titular language teaching resulted in the provision of native language teaching to most of the titular students in some former autonomous republics, notably the Turkic republics in the Volga and Ural areas. In contrast, steps for the promotion of titular languages in the Finno-Ugric republics have had less impact on native language teaching. Throughout the two post-Soviet decades, the insufficient amount of teaching of the Finno-Ugric languages in titular republics failed to ensure the transfer of language competence to a considerable roportion of children. This failure to ensure revival of the titular languages may accelerate the language shift from minority languages towards Russian.

AB - Minority language education has been planned in post-Soviet Russia for two decades. During this period, language policy in education has shifted from compulsory to voluntary study of native languages in school. The effect of this move in policy and its relation to general trends on language education has not yet been systematically evaluated. Addressing this gap, the current article employs a quantitative method to calculate dynamics in the relative share of native language learners attending school. This study demonstrates that, after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the significant investments by regional authorities to extend titular language teaching resulted in the provision of native language teaching to most of the titular students in some former autonomous republics, notably the Turkic republics in the Volga and Ural areas. In contrast, steps for the promotion of titular languages in the Finno-Ugric republics have had less impact on native language teaching. Throughout the two post-Soviet decades, the insufficient amount of teaching of the Finno-Ugric languages in titular republics failed to ensure the transfer of language competence to a considerable roportion of children. This failure to ensure revival of the titular languages may accelerate the language shift from minority languages towards Russian.

KW - 516 Educational sciences

KW - minority language education

KW - education reform

KW - 517 Political science

KW - Finno-Ugric republics

KW - Volga and Ural Turkic republics

KW - Russian Federation

KW - 6121 Languages

KW - language revival

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 75

EP - 102

JO - Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe

JF - Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe

SN - 1617-5247

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ER -