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Consequently, such bilingualism has led to the language shift from Kazakh to Russian


Academic year: 2023

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I would like to thank the teaching staff at the Graduate School of Education for introducing me to the field of multilingual education. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the factors that have influenced this shift, which is guided by the following research question: what are the factors of the language shift from Kazakh to Russian among university students. The results of the study showed that among De Klerk's (2000) influential factors on language switching from one language to another, the most prevalent factors were language networks (people from the surrounding environment), language attitude (the participants' attitude towards these languages) and mass media (the effect of mass communication on the participants), while economic (financial benefits) and gender factors were singled out as being less prevalent.

It was also identified that the educational environment, institutional support, the status and function of each language, and educational and literacy levels have a partial influence on the language shift from Kazakh to Russian.


However, this does not mean a complete loss of the Kazakh language; means a preference to use the Russian language. The aim of the study is to investigate the factors influencing language shift from Kazakh to Russian among ethnic Kazakh university students who studied in schools with KMI or Russian medium of instruction (RMI) and gradually switched from Kazakh to Russian. The research question for the present study is: What are the factors of language shift from Kazakh to Russian among university students in Kazakhstan.

It is followed by the literature review chapter which analyzes and synthesizes previous research on the language shift phenomenon and the factors involved.

Literature Review

Gafaranga (2010) states that it must be taken into account that “the language shift is happening out of sight and out of mind”. However, the most commonly used factors that emerged in the language shift studies have been cited in De Klerk's (2000) study. Therefore, within the framework of these factors, their effects on the language shift from the vernacular to the most dominant language were examined.

Therefore, both high and low socio-economic status of the parents can lead to the language switch, as it depends on the status of a language and its accessibility to people. The language shift is also manipulated by the educational environment, as it plays a significant role in the establishment of the students' language repertoire (De Klerk, 2000). The effective part of the teaching environment is the teaching medium, as it affects the language of the students.

However, Fierman (2006) conducted research in the Kazakhstan context and revealed that the medium of instruction does not prevent the language shift from Kazakh to Russian as it is supposed to. The level of education and literacy increases "the pace of the language shift" (De Klerk, 2000). The language shift starts in the home environment as it depends on the language used at home (Sabourin & Belanger, 2015).

Moreover, the role of language, its prestige and status influence people's language attitudes (Deji-Afuye, 2016). Taking into account the literature that examined the language shift, it is possible to consider factors of the language shift.


All other criteria can be changed during the participants' lifetime, while gender is a permanent criterion. The time and place for the interviews were chosen in a manner that was most comfortable for the participants. The interviews were conducted in the language of the participants' choice, which was agreed upon before the date of the interview.

In addition, some participants mentioned factors supporting the development of the Kazakh language (see Appendix C). In order to protect confidentiality and ensure the anonymity of the participants, the researcher changed the participants' real names to pseudonyms after the interview, as the participants allowed it. Because the study used snowball sampling, some participants knew each other but did not know the sequence of the interviews, which helps the researcher protect the confidentiality of the participants.

The information about the personal information of the participants was replaced by special codes in. In addition, the reactions of the participants to the questions were carefully observed, and the questions that eliminate psychological discomfort of stress were. In order to familiarize the participants with the purpose of the study, the detailed consent forms for the participants were prepared in two languages ​​– English and Russian.

Consent forms in Kazakh were not provided because participants are not fluent speakers of the language. No direct benefits were received by the study participants, but it may contribute to the understanding of the drivers of language shift from Kazakh to Russian and inform educational stakeholders.

Table 1. Background Information about the Participants of the Study  The
Table 1. Background Information about the Participants of the Study The


The third most widespread factor is mass media, as they play one of the central roles in the language shift from one language to another. As a result, these people influence students' attitudes towards the language they use the most. As a result, the language used in the mass media leaves an impression on the students' choice of language, which in turn also affects their language attitude.

This factor involves the status of the language for its speakers and how widely it can function in different domains. Consequently, the status of the language at the state level and at the individual level does not necessarily involve its functioning in all domains for people. According to Woolard (1985), political status of the language does not mean that the language immediately acquires a social value.

Thus, the institutional community directly influenced the language transition of the participants to Russian, as they communicated with their teachers in Russian. Thus, the girl's language shift was influenced by her mother, and the boy's by his father. During the interviews, language barriers emerged as an important factor influencing the transition of some students from Kazakh to Russian.

It showed that three of the factors seem to be most common in the language shift from Kazakh to Russian among university students who. Economic and gender factors also fall into the category of less influential factors of the language shift as they were mentioned by two out of six participants.


As the study investigates the phenomenon of language shift, it was revealed that language networks, as one of the most common factors, influence people's language shift, but it depends on the frequency and density of using Russian. Because the participants are university students and switched from Kazakh to Russian in childhood, the most influential networks were their parents, children, and teachers. Therefore, their preference for the language for daily communication was under the influence. However, the study of such a central phenomenon as language shift had to start somewhere and therefore De Klerk's research was useful for studying students' experiences of such a shift.

Since the language attitude includes the participants' motivation and desire to know and speak the language and its prestige, their attitude towards Russian is dominant compared to Kazakh as they speak Russian since their childhood, therefore it is easier for them to express their feelings. and thoughts in Russian and not in Kazakh. According to Jobo (2016, p.77), people, especially the young population, may have a negative attitude towards the use of the pure mother tongue for communication "since they have difficulty expressing themselves fully in the language". The influence of mass media always leaves a mark on people, especially the language used for information.

All social institutions have an impact on people's language repertoire, so it is important to support the existing languages ​​within the country, as ignorance of the language leads to displacement. He suggests that the medium of instruction does not influence the choice of language, as it mostly depends on people's attitude towards the language. The status of the language and its function depend on the speakers of the language as their preference for the language determines its status.

Also, if language can perform different functions for different purposes, it affects people's choice to use language as it gives people more options (De Klerk, 2000). Also, surrounding strangers with their comments can adversely affect people's choice of language for communication or even poison the mind against language.


Teachers and faculties at the educational institutions predominantly use the Russian language for teaching, communication and work. It is recommended that parents include Kazakh language practice in the home environment, as the language repertoire at home mainly affects children's language. It was also linked to relatives, who play an important role in the children's development.

Also, they can encourage their children to apply the Kazakh language every day, make them interested in the language and provide them with access to various interesting resources in Kazakh. However, the provision of such resources depends on the country's government and mass media. It also offers to provide free Kazakh courses to people in all regions of the country in order to make the language accessible to those who wish to master it.

Limited time also does not allow to find more participants from all regions of the country to look at the language shift phenomenon in various contexts. Implementation of the State Program on the Development of Languages ​​in the Field of School Education in Kazakhstan]. The Roles of the Language Shift in English Language Teaching (A Case Study in the Class of Grammar III in the English Department in Universitas Galuh Ciamis).

Language maintenance and shift under pressure: three generations of the Turkish immigrant community in the Netherlands. Factors in the change of language from Kazakh to Russian in university students DESCRIPTION: You are invited to participate in a research study to reveal the factors that predominantly influenced the use of Russian language. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors that influenced the language switch from Kazakh to Russian in university students.

Your opinions are important and valuable for this study, as we hope it will contribute to the expansion of the research literature on the investigation of the factors of language shift from Kazakh to Russian.


Table 1. Background Information about the Participants of the Study  The

Ақпарат көздері


The economic factors of partnership development In Kazakhstan, depend on the effectiveness of public reproduction, namely: the presence of an institutional structure, the development o