К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012
Автор: Новицкая Юлия Владимировна
there are between 5,000 and 7,000 languages in the world. It is difficult to
know the exact number of languages because the distinction between a language
and a dialect is not always clear. In fact languages are not isolated entities
and in many cases there are no clear boundaries between them, it is rather a
continuum that extends along a geographical area .
the whole society and individuals are influenced by the variety of languages in
the world. Taking into account that are between 5,000 and 7,000 languages in
the world and there are just about 200 countries, multilingualism is quite an
ordinary observable fact. The countries where more than one language is spoken
are the following: Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Nigeria, India and Mexico . The governments of many countries give official recognition to only one or
some of the languages spoken in the country and this creates the impression
that multilingualism is not a common phenomenon.
of the world’s population speaks more than one language but most of the population
in western cultures are monolingual in one of the ‘big’ languages in spite of
being exposed to other languages mainly in the school context. Therefore we can
say that multilingualism at the sociolinguistic level is more spread than
multilingualism at the individual level but even in this case it is extremely
common. The spread of multilingualism justifies its importance in research .
The goal of the
research is describing the possibilities for developing multilingual education
in secondary schools of Kazakhstan through comparing multilingual education in
other countries, contrasting and comparing them.
The goal that we
set determines the following objectives of the research:
1) Describe the
phenomenon of multilingualism;
2) Describe the
systems of multilingual education existing in different countries;
3) Analyzing these
multilingual education models, single out similarities and differences in their
possibilities for implementing some features of existing multilingual education
models in the institutions of secondary education in Kazakhstan.
The topic which we
try to develop is not sufficiently studied by the linguists and educators. A
lot of attention has been devoted to the phenomenon of bilingualism, which,
being similar to multilingualism, still possesses some peculiarities.
Multilingualism still needs attention of the researchers.
Methods of the
research that we use are the following: literature analysis, information
Multilingual Education as a Social and Psychological
define multilingualism as the
act of using multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a
community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in
the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon
governed by the needs of globalization and cultural openness.
The generic term
used to denote a multilingual person is polyglot. Polyglot is a person who can
communicate in more than one language, be it actively (through speaking,
writing, or signing) or passively (through listening, reading, or perceiving).
More specifically, the terms bilingual and trilingual are used to
describe comparable situations in which two or three languages are involved
speakers have acquired and maintained at least one language during childhood;
this language is called their first language. The first language or mother
tongue is acquired without formal education. Children acquiring two languages
in this way are called simultaneous bilinguals. Even in the case of
simultaneous bilinguals one language usually dominates over the other . This
kind of bilingualism is most likely to occur when a child is raised by
bilingual parents in a predominantly monolingual environment. It can also occur
when the parents are monolingual but have raised their child or children in two
different countries or when the parents are monolingual and raise their child
in a society which speaks a language different from their own, which is common
in immigrant populations of Western European countries.
basic distinction when discussing bilingualism and multilingualism is between
the individual and societal level. At the individual level, bilingualism and
multilingualism refer to the speaker’s competence to use two or more languages.
At the societal level the terms bilingualism and multilingualism refer to the
use of two or more languages in a speech community and it does not necessary
imply that all the speakers in that community are competent in more than one
can be the result of different factors. Some of them are the following:
Historical or political movements such as imperialism or colonialism. In this
case the spread of some languages, such as Spanish to Latin America, it results
in the coexistence of different languages.
Economic movements in the case of migration. The weak economics of some areas
and countries results in movement of the population to other countries and to
the development of multilingual and multicultural communities in the host
Increasing communications among different parts of the world and the need to be
competent in languages of wider communication. This is the case with the development
of new technologies and also with science. English is the main language of
wider communication but it is used by millions of people who use other
languages as well.
Social and cultural identity and the interest for maintenance and revival of
minority languages. This interest creates situations in which two or more
languages co-exist and are necessary in everyday communication.
Education. Second and foreign languages are part of the curriculum in many countries.
Religion movements that result in people moving to a new country .
Multilingual Education in European Countries.
Description of a trilingual school in Finland
current 48 states in Europe have 38 different official state languages. In
total there are about 240 spoken local languages. The five languages spoken by
most people in Europe are, by number of mother tongue speakers, Russian,
German, English, French, Italian. But most European countries operate routinely
with several languages. States such as Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Romania, and Ukraine have many indigenous minority or regional
of the minority languages in Europe have obtained official status. For example,
Basque, Catalan and Galician have official status in Spain. Welsh has protective
language rights in the United Kingdom, as does Irish in Ireland, Frisian in the Netherlands and the Sámi languages in Norway, Sweden and Finland.
When Finland declared its independence in 1917, it had been a part
of Sweden for more than 600 years (until 1809) and a part of Russia from 1809 to 1917. The influence of Swedish remained strong even during the Russian period.
As the Swedish-speaking population amounted to only 14.3 per cent of the total
population of Finland in 1880, the Swedish language obviously functioned as a
language indicating higher social status. Swedish was considered an important
part of Finnish society and in the constitution of 1919 Finnish and Swedish are
decreed as the two official / national languages of Finland .
on how trilingual primary education is defined, trilingual primary education
can be said to be found in all parts of Finland, since the national language
program encourages early introduction of several languages. Traditionally, the
languages have been introduced during specific language lessons and have thus
been kept separate from other content lessons. A growing interest for
integrating language and content has, however, lead to new experimental
programs during the last decade in Finland. In these programs, a second language
is used as the language of instruction for content learning and the same
teaching principle is gradually penetrating languages, which are introduced as
a third or a fourth language.
accordance with the stipulation for the national language curriculum it was
obvious that another language than Swedish (the immersion language) had to be a
compulsory part of the Swedish immersion program. Since almost all interest was
focused on Swedish as the language of instruction for monolingual six-year-old
Finnish-speaking children, the other languages of the program were not
discussed very much during the first years. English was not introduced as the
third language to the first immersion students until grade 5 and those who
liked yet another language could choose German as an option in grade 8 .
for the typology of the languages of the program, the first language of the
immersion students (Finnish) belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family and is
characterized by an entirely different language structure than the other
languages of the program. The other languages of the program (Swedish, English,
German / French) are all related.
the new language programs in Finland, the interest in experimenting with a
foreign language as the language of instruction in subject or content teaching
has led to a variety of different strategies in schools in Finland. Immersion teaching has been kept separate from teaching in a foreign language, since immersion
is by definition a very intensive language program where at least 50 per cent
of the time is spent with a foreign / second language as a language of
instruction. It is an extensive program often started in kindergarten and lasting
to the end of the obligatory education period. It is also defined by certain
linguistic and didactic criteria .
The time spent teaching in a foreign language in Finland is usually considerably more moderate than in immersion teaching (ranging from 4.4 % to 23 %
in grades 1 till 6). There is an estimate that three to eight per cent of
schools offer teaching in a foreign language for grades 1 till 6, whereas a
little more than 14 per cent of schools offer teaching in a foreign language
for grades 7 till 9 .
Both in teaching in a foreign language and in immersion teaching
there may be differences in how language and content are integrated or kept
apart. In immersion programs content is primarily or exclusively taught through
a second / foreign language and it is equally important for the students to
master both content and language. At the other end of the continuum of
content-based programs are language-driven content programs, where students
typically learn language during separate language lessons and language serves
as an effective vehicle for communicative language experiences. Language is
developed by using e.g. content or concepts already taught in the students'
first or second language. The teaching of the
third and the fourth language however must be defined as much more pronouncedly
language-driven programs and are at the other end of the continuum. The
teaching of English as the third language follows the same principles as the
teaching of the second language and a communicative approach forms the basis of
the teaching of the third language, but there are no subjects even partially
taught in the third language. Instead, content is conveyed by efforts of
coordinating the thematic units between the teachers of the first, the second
and the third language. In this way the content of the third language lessons can
build upon content and concepts which have already been or are currently dealt
with during lessons, where the first or second language is used as the medium
the whole planning of the curriculum the time spent in the first and the second
language in different grades is outlined in accordance with a Canadian early
total immersion program. However, the first language is already introduced in
grade 1, whereas in Canada the introduction of the first language is mostly
delayed until grade 2 or 3. The intention is not to learn literacy skills
(since these are learnt in the second language) but to concentrate on
communicative skills and cultural activities (literature, songs, and rhymes)
and giving the students sufficient opportunities to express themselves in their
first language. In grades 1 and 2, the first language (Finnish) is used two
hours / week, while English is used one hour / week. The rest of the time (17
hours / week) is spent with Swedish as the language of instruction including all
subjects which are offered during grades 1 and 2 (handicrafts, mathematics,
physical education, arts, music, religion, environmental studies).
grades 3 and 4 the first language of the students is used during seven hours /
week (language, handicrafts and physical education), the rest (except English)
is in the second language (Swedish). In grades 3 and 4 a week includes altogether 23-24 hours of teaching.
time spent in English has increased from one hour / week to two hours / week in
grades 3 and 4, and the same time is allotted to English in grades 5 and 6,
where also the fourth language (German or French) is introduced for two hours /
week. Instruction in the first language is now given for 7-11 hours / week (for
grades 5 and 6 a week includes altogether 27 hours of teaching) and includes subjects
such as language, history, physical education, arts, and mathematics.
instruction time in the first language increases in the higher grades, but
there are some variations, which are mostly due to the varying linguistic
competence of the teaching staff.
Education in the Basque Country
Several projects on trilingual education are being carried out in
a large number of schools in the Basque Country. The Basque Autonomous
Community is the most populated area of the Basque Country with 2,104,041
inhabitants, that is, 73 per cent of the total population of the Basque Country
The languages involved in the trilingual education projects are
Basque, Spanish and English. Basque is a non-Indo-European language of unknown
origin with a very rich inflectional morphology. Both Spanish and English are
Indo-European languages but Spanish is a Romance language and English belongs
to the Germanic branch. The status of Basque as a minority language within its
own territory has some sociolinguistic and linguistic implications. Speakers of
Basque in the Basque Autonomous Community are approximately 27 per cent of the
population and they are bilingual because they are also highly proficient in
Spanish. Monolingual speakers of Basque account for less than 1 per cent of the
population and the majority of the population is monolingual in Spanish.
projects to develop trilingual education in Basque schools have been developed
in the 90's and they can be regarded as an extension of the bilingual
educational system established in the Basque Autonomous Community in 1982. In this year, three models of language schooling were developed: models A, B and D. These
models differ with respect to the language or languages of instruction used,
their linguistic aims, and their intended student population.
Model A schools
are intended for native speakers of Spanish who choose to be instructed in
Spanish. Basque is taught as a second language for three to five hours a week.
Model B schools
are intended for native speakers of Spanish who want to be bilingual in Basque
and Spanish. Both Basque and Spanish are used as languages of instruction for approximately
50 per cent of school time, although there is considerable variation from
school to school
In Model D schools, Basque is the language of instruction and Spanish is
taught as a subject for three to five hours a week. Model D schools can be
regarded as both total immersion programs for native Spanish-speaking students
and first language maintenance programs for native Basque speakers .
goals of trilingual education differ depending on the bilingual educational
model. The D model schools reinforce the use of the minority language at school
so that children become fully competent in Basque and Spanish. At the same time
they try to improve the level of English proficiency so that schoolchildren
acquire basic communicative skills in this language. The program can be
regarded as a maintenance program in the case of native speakers of Basque and
an enrichment program in the case of native speakers of Spanish. The focus of
the program is set on Basque, which can be the first of the second language so
as to balance for its weak position in the sociolinguistic context. At the same
time, they try to improve the level of proficiency in English.
model B, English is taught for approximately three hours a week and the rest of
the time is divided between Basque and Spanish and the distribution varies
according to the school.
model D, Basque is the language of instruction and Spanish is taught three or
four hours a week, English is taught three hours a week.
of the Described Cases
The comparison is done so that differences and similarities
between the cases become clearer.
When it comes to the use of the state language, the minority
language and the foreign language in education, differences can be found
between the two cases.
In Finland, the Finnish language is usually the first language to
be used as a medium of instruction and English or Swedish is the second school
language. Thus English can also be the third language and in a few schools
German or French can be the third language. However, some schools start with
Swedish immersion for children with Finnish as their mother tongue and then
introduce Finnish and English.
primary education in the Basque Country there are three models with respect to
the three languages. In Model D schools, Basque can be considered the medium of
instruction, Spanish the school subject and English is always the third
language of instruction. Model A schools use Spanish as the medium of
instruction and Basque as the school subject and then there are Model B schools
in which both languages are used equally.
one thing the two cases have in common is the fact that the trilingual schools
are in a bilingual region instead of a trilingual region where all three
languages are spoken in daily life. The third language, English, is taught as a
language that can be used in the international communication. What is different
between the cases is the function of the minority language in daily life.
Basque is perhaps much higher valued by the population than Swedish and Frisian
in relationship to the national language.
primary education in the regions at issue has different backgrounds. Finland has had experience in bilingual primary education since 1968, when the learning of
two languages became obligatory. In 1991 it became possible to use not only
Finnish or Swedish as a medium of instruction. However, approval was necessary
of the teaching staff, the students and their parents. Since then, several
experiments in trilingual education were initiated.
the Basque Country bilingual primary education was regulated in 1982, when
schools could be divided according to three models. The educational system in
the Basque Country has adopted a third language into primary education in the
design of trilingual primary education in the different regions is largely dependent
on the different attainment goals that are set for every language.
the Finnish case, it is mentioned that it is the intention of the Swedish
immersion programs to better prepare the students for the labour market,
specifically on the Nordic common trade market. English, as a third language is
not used in daily life in Finland as such, although pupils are exposed to
English in the media. Therefore English is less directly instrumental for most
students, although the foreign language enables them to communicate on an
international level. This is probably the same for the other two cases
the Basque Country the goals of language teaching differ per model. Model A
schools use mainly Spanish and have adopted Basque and English as additional
subjects in enrichment programs. Model B schools try to promote proficiency in
both Spanish and Basque and on those schools English is an enrichment program.
The model D schools reinforce the Basque language in school so children become
fully competent in Basque and Spanish, but these schools also try to raise the
level of proficiency in English. Whereas the pupils in Finland and in the Netherlands are exposed to a relatively high amount of English in the media, the
pupils in Spain do not regularly see or hear English in daily life.
age-factor is an important issue in the discussion about trilingual primary
education. Different theories exist as to when a second and a third language
should be introduced to pupils. The belief that children learn a language more
easily when they are young is widespread.
primary school starts in Finland at the age of seven, all pupils involved in
trilingual primary education first receive teaching in Finnish and Swedish at
the age of seven. Some pupils already receive language instruction in two or
three languages in pre-primary school. When that project first started, Swedish
was introduced to the children at the age of six and English was introduced at
the age of nine. Nowadays pupils start with Swedish at the age of five and
English at the age of seven, whereas Finnish is used for a couple of hours /
week in grade 1 to approximately half of the instruction time in grade 6.
the Basque Country the pupils attending the trilingual programs are younger
than in Finland. Most pupils are introduced to the three languages successively
between the age of four and six, although primary school does not start until
the age of six, when compulsory education starts. A few schools introduce English
at the compulsory age of eight.
is difficult to teach a language or use a language to teach a particular
subject, if teaching materials are not adequate for the teaching process. This
might even have a negative effect on the motivation for pupils to learn the
Finland traditionally a textbook and an exercise book are used for the
teaching process. Teachers at the primary school use more and more self-made
materials or combine information from different materials. The teachers also
use the library and the possibility to exchange books on a regular basis, so
that each group of pupils has access to different books addressing the same
subject. This way, pupils also have the opportunity to learn to enjoy reading
books and get acquainted with literature. Despite all these provisions there is
still a need for more flexible instruction materials, developed especially for
the Basque Country the materials for Basque and Spanish are very diverse: textbooks,
exercise books, audio-visual materials and multimedia. All of them are being published
on a large scale. Teacher trainers and teachers themselves usually specially
develop the materials for the teaching of English between the ages four and
eight. Teaching materials for the teaching in English between eight and twelve
are widely available and have been published by commercial institutions.
a trilingual program to be effective, a certain number of hours per week over
the primary school period must be spent in those languages. In Finland usually Finnish is the language most used in class. Swedish is used for only a
couple of hours. Where English is used as a medium of instruction, the time allocated
to this language is comparable to Swedish. By contrast, the school in Vaasa uses the first language (Finnish) in grades 1 and 2 for two hours per week, while
English is used for one hour per week. The immersion language (Swedish) is used
for the remaining hours (17 hours per week). In grades 3 and 4 Finnish is used
for seven hours per week. English is used for two hours per week and Swedish is
used for 14 hours per week. In grades 5 and 6 Finnish is medium of instruction
for 7-11 hours per week, English two hours per week and Swedish 13-17 hours per
the Basque Country the time allocated to the teaching in the three different language
differs per school model. In model A schools Spanish is mainly used as medium
of instruction and Basque and English are taught for three to four hours per
week. In model B schools time is divided equally between Spanish and Basque as
medium of instruction and English is taught for three to four hours per week.
In model D schools Basque is used a medium of instruction and Spanish and English
are taught for three to four hours per week. In some schools English is also used
as a medium of instruction. For example, in three experimental D type schools,
English was used to teach content for seven hours per week in grades 3-6.
all subjects lend themselves equally well to be taught in a foreign language.
In Finland practically all subjects can be taught in Swedish. Mostly
environmental studies, music, mathematics and arts are taught in either Swedish
or English. In Vaasa the subjects are taught in thematic units of different
length. It is therefore difficult to state what subjects are taught in which
the Basque Country Spanish is used for all subjects in model A schools, and
Basque in model D schools. In model B schools each for them decide when to use
which language for which subject. In principle Basque and Spanish are both
equally used for every subject. English is usually used for handicrafts, but
some schools teach science, music and sports in English. Some schools use
English in a content based approach and include units on mathematics, science
or social sciences.
multilingual education in Kazakhstan
we have already mentioned multilingualism can be the result of different
factors. Kazakhstan is a unique place, since in combines several of the
factors, which determine the use of two languages on its territory and
stimulate learning of English as the language of globalization.
are lots of reasons which determine use of both Kazakh and Russian languages on
the territory of Kazakhstan because Russian and Kazakhstan have long established
ties. Historically Russian people lived on the territory of contemporary Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan once was a part of the Soviet Union. Thus, its population has been
exposed to the Russian language for more than one century.
Kazakhstan and Russia have strong economic and
cultural ties, which were established ling ago and are still existent. Russian
has long been the language of science, research and technology, and is still of
great importance. According to the census of 2009 63% of the population are
Kazakhs and about 24% of the population are Russians .
mentioned above creates the situation in which two languages co-exist and are
necessary in everyday communication. Beside English and Russian, English has
gained importance as the language of globalization and intercultural
Kazakh and Russian are used in governmental organizations, local government
institutions, documentation of state and governmental institutions,
constitutional documentation, arbitration courts, military, field of science
(including defense of dissertations); names of state institutions, texts of
seals and stamps regardless of the form of ownership, labels of goods, all
texts of visual information .
Kazakh or Russian may be used in postal-telegraphic messages and customs
Russian and other languages (if necessary) may be used in localities of compact
residence of ethnic groups in: documentation of non-governmental institutions,
courts, documentation of administrative offences, contracts of individuals and
legal entities, responses of governmental and non-governmental institutions to
requests of citizens, paper forms, information signs, announcements,
advertisements, price catalogs and lists; pre-school institutions, orphanages;
high, vocational and higher education; cultural events; press, radio and TV
Republic of Kazakhstan has adopted a policy according to which a lot of
attention should be paid to learning and being able to communicate in these two
languages equally well. State educational standards imply integrating the three
languages into the school curricula.
let us consider school education according to the same criteria we used for describing
trilingual schools in Finland and the Basque country.
Kazakhstan is a bilingual country: the Kazakh
language, spoken by 63% of the population, has the status of the
"state" language, while Russian, which is spoken by almost all
Kazakhstanis, is declared the "official" language, and is used
routinely in business.
the previous two cases we described two of the three languages belong to the
same language family: English and Swedish, English and German. The languages
involved in the trilingual education in Kazakhstan also belong to two different
language groups: English and Russian both belong to Indo-European languages of
West-Germanic and East-Slavonic groups respectively, Kazakh is a Turkic language.
to establish trilingual education have been made since the early 90s when Kazakhstan gained independence. Like in the Basque country there were established different
models of schools:
Model A schools
are intended for native speakers of Russian who choose to be instructed in
Russian. Kazakh is taught as a second language for five hours a week since the
Model B schools
are intended for native speakers of Kazakh who want to be instructed in Kazakh.
Russian is taught as a second language for five hours a week since the 1st grade.
both types of schools English is taught as a foreign language beginning with
the 5th grade for three hours a week (like in immersion schools of Finland).
in Finland, the national language program encourages early introduction of several
languages. Traditionally, the languages are introduced during specific language
lessons and thus are kept separate from other content lessons and are not used
as languages of instruction.
have already mentioned that teaching a second and foreign language can be done
through a second/foreign language program or by immersion language program. It
turns out that none of our secondary schools actually suggests language
immersion programs since only 13% of the curricula is taught in the second
language (in Russian for schools with the Kazakh language of instruction, and
in Kazakh in schools with instruction in Russian), and even less – 8% of the
curricula is taught in English. At that none of these learning is a content
learning; it is acquiring second or foreign language for practical purposes.
This is probably the main reason why school graduates are not proficient in
speaking three languages as it is intended to be.
have considered the phenomenon of multilingual education as a social and
linguistic phenomenon. To complete the project we set certain objectives which
have been fulfilled in the current research.
First, we studied the phenomenon of multilingualism and found out that multilingualism
is the ability of an individual speaker or all members of the community to
speak multiple languages. We described reasons which contribute to the
development of multilingualism, including colonialism, migrations, political
and cultural ties, education, etc.
To get a better understanding of what multilingual education is we studied the
experience of two European countries in establishing trilingual schools. We
studied the language immersion program in schools of inland and different
models of schools in the Basque country (Spain).
We found out that being different by their organization trilingual schools in Finland and Spain have some common features. In particular, in both cases languages are introduced
to school children at a quite early age and a part of the content learning in
these countries is done through the second language.
Finally we studied the possibilities for multilingual education development in Kazakhstan. We started with reasons that promote use of several languages in the Republic
of Kazakhstan, compared the system of language learning in Kazakhstan to two
described cases of Finland and Spain, found out similarities and differences
between them. We managed to find out that in terms of reasons, experience, teaching
materials, age of students and etc. our system of language learning does not
differ much from the systems of language learning in Finland and Spain. The
reason why Kazakhstan’s attempt to establish trilingual education is less
successful in our opinion lies in the fact that we approach it a second/foreign
language program, not as a language immersion program, which provides content
learning in the language other than native and thus guarantees better results.
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communities of the European Union
2. Delpit, L., Dowdy, J. K. (ed) The skin that we speak. Thoughts
on language and culture in the classroom. The New Press. New York
3. Gorter, D. et al. Cultural diversity as an asset
for human welfare and development. Benefits of linguistic diversity and multilingualism.
Position paper of research task 1.2
4. Hoffmann, C., Towards a description of trilingual
competence. International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol. 5, No. 1 (March) 2001,
Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2012