DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGES IN KAZAKHSTAN

Abstract


The language policy of Kazakhstan is aimed at creating conditions for the full development of the personality of a young person, providing guarantees in the sphere of education, labor, employment and social protection. Therefore a new generation of Kazakhstani should be trilingual, fluent in Kazakh, Russian and English.Therefore, formation of trilingualism in the training of young professionals initiated by the President of the country and proclaimed one of the most important components of the state language policy was understood by Kazakh society.However, in our opinion, some aspects of formation of trilingualism require more in-depth analysis and rational approach.

IntroductionThe state language policy of Kazakhstan on the functioning and development of languages in the country is aimed at further development of important scientific directions. It contributes to the formation of various skills of professional communication, solution of the fundamental issues of the science of language as the primary means of human communication, as well as the problems of teaching and learning of languages and national cultures in Kazakhstan.Kazakh (national) language becomes the unifying factor of multinational Kazakhstan. The Law “On languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan” [9. P. 30] noted that the “national” and all the other languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan are under state protection. Government agencies create the necessary conditions for functioning and development of these languages”.An experiment in multilingual education on the students of non-linguistic faculties was put into practice on the basis of Karaganda State University named after academicianY.A. Buketov in 2008. The concept of multilingual education has been focused on in- depth study of the national Kazakh, international Russian language and English as the language of international communication. Particular attention is paid to professionally oriented language training in order to prepare professionals who are fluent in three languages, which corresponds to the Law “On languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan” [6. P. 8-9], and will undoubtedly increase the competitiveness of specialists.A search method, method of literature and statistics data systematization and analysis, descriptive method can be regarded as the primary methods of analysis and presentation of final research results.Language situation in Kazakhstan societyCase study on Russian language proficiency in its literary and non-literary forms of existence shows that 96.2% of all Kazakhstan respondents speak Russian, i.e. can speak and read, or speak, read and write. Among the Kazakhs, those who are able to speak, read and write in Russian is nearly 77.8%. If you attach to this category 9.2% of the Kazakhs fluent in speaking and reading, but having problems with writing, as well as the 6.8% who can express themselves, it is possible to conclude that 93.8% of Kazakhs know Russian language. When using the media and literature the entire population of the Republic is dominated by Russian, and Kazakh-Russian bilingualism prevail for Kazakhs [1. P. 11].Russian language is the native language of ethnic Russian in the Republic of Kazakhstan functions at full capacity. It has the largest number of speakers in the country (this includes people who speak Russian as a second language), has a developed structure and broad functional area of consumption. Its main functions are: 1) the function of political integration; 2) the function of the language of management; 3) regulatory function; 4) the function of storage and retrieval of scientific and technical information; 5) the function of multi-ethnic inclusiveness; 6) the function of language of industrial service lines [8. P. 11-12].Russian language in the Republic of Kazakhstan is polyfunctional. It is the dominant means of relations in all spheres of public life.Modern educational paradigm has demanded intertwined language learning through the lens of culture from specialists within linguistic and didactic aspect, which can be interpreted as the acquisition of language through the study of culture of native people of the target language. Consequently, core competencies that teachers’ methodological tools rely on in groups of multilingual education are professional, communicative, linguistic and cross-cultural.Necessity for the formation of professional competence of students of experimental groups demanded solid preparation of educational and methodical base. Since the linguistic identity of the trilingual specialist is focused primarily on successful communication in business, normative framework has been developed and academic base of training [5; 11; 12; 13] has been provided by teachers for this purpose: adjustment of curricula, the development of standard programs in accordance with the language level certification training, teaching materials for the level based training of students (variative levels of A1, A 2, the main - B1, B2, advanced - C1), multimedia presentation material, electronic textbooks, trilingual Kazakh-Russian-English, English-Russian-Kazakh terminological dictionaries on branch-wise knowledge, conversation books, etc. are published. Academic basis of the linguistic material in the initial training courses is intended to ensure preparation for the perception of specialization subjects in three languages.Questions of functioning of languages of Kazakhstan are reflected in the State program of development and functioning of languages in which along with the development of the state language “Development of linguistic capital of Kazakhstani people” is considered, involving the organization of system work on preserving the functioning of the Russian language in communicative language space of Kazakhstan, creation of favorable conditions for the study, preservation and development of languages of ethnic groups living inKazakhstan, as well as assisting in the study of English and other foreign languages as the means of international business communication. Such work takes place in three stages: stage 1 between 2011-2013 - improvement of the normative, legal and methodological basis for further functioning and development of languages; stage 2 between 2014-2016 - implementation of a set of practical measures for the introduction of new technologies and methods in the field of studying and use of the national language and the preservation of linguistic diversity; stage 3 between 2017-2020 - consolidation of results through systematic monitoring of the degree of relevance of the national language in all spheres of public life, the quality of its proper application and the level of proficiency with further preservation of the positions of other languages [2. P. 8].According to State Compulsory Educational Standard of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the main purpose of teaching a foreign language is to teach the basic level of foreign languages, as under market conditions knowledge of foreign language is necessary, including knowledge of the English language. “Young graduates of higher educational institutions with the knowledge of English should become the professionals in demand in every corner of the globe and be able to provide successful development and well-being for Kazakhstan in the XXI century” [7. P. 1713].English in the minds of the younger generation is associated with the possibility of receiving a prestigious education abroad, working in foreign companies, easily navigating in a foreign reality and feeling oneself comfortable in any company of people from other countries during the tourist trips and business trips abroad, getting new information from English language sources (literature, mass media, the Internet). And these factors are the motive for young people to seriously engage and deeply study English. Therefore, the danger of Anglification of parts of young people, especially urban is quite real. This is facilitated by a well developed, globally tested method of teaching English to all age groups, beautiful, well-illustrated books, a huge number of audio-visual aids and etc. That is why we consider it necessary to identify specific areas of functioning of English in Kazakhstan.Within the framework of the State Program of functioning of languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan it is necessary to develop a set of measures facilitating the implementation of the main provisions of the Program in the next decade in order to create and improve polylingual environment that is able to meet all the growing needs of the individual and society in a globalized world community.In the era of the information society and domination of knowledge, the world can no longer operate as separate, unrelated parts. Currently, all the peoples and cultures of the world have become much closer to each other and are in need of full communion.The problem of a bilingualism and multilingualism has been studied for a long time in foreign linguistics. Literature review of the article of P.F.P., Toassi & M.B., Mota [10.P. 393] and many others researchers proves that.The first issue we want to emphasize, is the term of introduction of the second, the third languages in the education system, namely, what is the best age to start teaching second/ third language? According to professor Z.K. Akhmetzhanova [2. P. 8] language currently observed imbalance in teaching foreign languages when a child begins to learn English language almost from kindergarten, and in many schools from 1-2 grades is considered a dangerous phenomenon. Currently parents are concerned about the factthat on the 2-3 year of teaching children try to speak more in English than in their native. Knowledge of two or more languages is emphasized as a progressive phenomenon, it facilitates accelerated intellectual development, forms flexibility of thinking. At the same time bilingualism and trilingualism are complex phenomena which should be thoroughly understood, especially when we talk not only about the intellectual development of bi- and tri-lingual personality, but also about the issues of his/her ethno-psychological and ethno-cultural development as a representative of a particular ethnic group.One of the prominent Kazakh sociolinguistic scholars Bahytzhan Khasanuly [4.356-357] writes about the consequences of the reverse phenomenon: “Trilingualism originated on the basis of mother tongue and developed in combination with other languages is a phenomenon that is always progressive. Trilingualism that originated on the basis of the widespread non-native language ... is regressive and temporary phenomenon, and in the end, it will lead to “glottophagy”, the absorption of one language by others, to the alienation of the native language. Unilateral bilingualism becomes a springboard to monolingualism”.Alexander Bitis says of multilingual Education in Kazakhstan: “As for the trilingual policy it makes perfect sense to me as a concept.I am tempted to say that Kazakhstan is linguistically the ‘Switzerland of Asia’ but this would be incorrect. It does not have three languages for three ethnic groups - it has one language for national identity, one for the region and one for globalization.Kazakhstan’s trilingualism can also serve as a model for other post-Soviet states. It would be however unfair for me to give a conclusion on the actual progress of the trilingual project during such a short stay. My impression was that Russian is thriving, at least in the two capitals, and that the general knowledge of English is at least acceptable amongst the younger generation.The only thing I know for sure is that the overall practical ramifications of a trilingual policy are both vast and hugely challenging. I sense that during my time in Kazakhstan I was able to glimpse only the tip of a large linguistic iceberg” [3].ConclusionThe problem of multilingualism is developed in Kazakhstan for the last two decades due to the prevalence of two, three, four and five languages in modern society that has great importance for the theory of language contacts and for solving many tasks of applied character. Kazakh language, being the national language of the Republic of Kazakhstan, performs the most important functions in the state and public life. Russian remains as the lingua franca for the people of our Republic, English is the most prestigious and common language, and has global significance.Policy of trilingual competitive personality’s formation is pursued on the state level as normative. Since 2011 subjects as “Professional Kazakh (Russian) language” and “Professional foreign language” have been introduced into standard curricula of undergraduate studies in accordance with State Compulsory Educational Standard.The process of introducing a new model at the E.A. Buketov Karaganda SU was preceded by extensive preparatory work. First of all, it is teachers’ acquisition of the methods of level model of teaching foreign languages through participation in methodicalseminars, qualification upgrading courses, at workshops organized by DAAD, French Embassy, US Embassy in Kazakhstan.Nowadays, training of specialists in three languages is carried out not only in the undergraduate studies, but in Master’s programme as well. Subjects of the curriculum are conducted in three languages.

Shara Mazhitayeva

Karaganda State University named after E.A. Buketov

Mukanov str., 1, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 100026

Akbota Akhmetova

Karaganda State University named after E.A. Buketov

Mukanov str., 1, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 100026

Altnai Zhunusova

Karaganda State University named after E.A. Buketov

Mukanov str., 1, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 100026

Saltanat Azhigenova

Karaganda State University named after E.A. Buketov

Mukanov str., 1, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 100026

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Copyright (c) 2016 Мажитаева Ш., Ахметова А., Жунусова А., Ажигенова С.

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