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One of the major and most profound reforms named ‘The Trinity of Languages’ specifically targets the in-depth learning of three languages


Academic year: 2023

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To investigate this phenomenon, the following three research questions were asked: What are teachers' perceptions of the trilingual education policy in Kazakhstan. In the first part, the chapter presents a historical background of the study and defines the trilingual education policy. Another factor that influences the trilingual education policy is the political and geographical situation of the country.

This chapter provides the overview of the literature related to teachers' language choices within the trilingual policy in Kazakhstan. Therefore, the Soviet-era teachers' views of the trilingual policy will be important to learn. This chapter discussed the methodology part of the study on the teachers' attitudes and their language choices for teaching and learning purposes.

Results related to research question 1: What are teachers' perceptions of the policy of trilingual education in Kazakhstan. Awareness of trilingual policies refers to teachers' understanding and awareness of the existing trilingual policy. It is clear from these excerpts that the participants are aware of the trilingual policy and feel comfortable talking about this new reform.

The data collected on the effects of the trilingual policy on teaching proved to be controversial, as the participants were divided. As for science teachers, they all reported the presence of and. All teachers seem to understand the value and importance of each of the languages ​​represented in the trilingual policy.

Table 1. Information on study participants
Table 1. Information on study participants

The previous chapter presented the findings resulting from semi-structured interviews with ten teachers from the Nazarbayev Intellectual School on their views on language incorporation. The main aim of the study was to find out the attitudes of teachers towards the languages ​​and their language choices they make in their teaching practice. Teachers' perceptions and understanding of the trilingual education policy Findings 1 and 2 in the section below discuss the findings that answer the first research question, which is to investigate teachers' perceptions and understanding of the trilingual education policy in Kazakhstan.

The participants' claims, understanding and interpretation of the policy are consistent with the texts of the trilingual educational policy of the Autonomous Educational Organization of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (AEO NIS). This idea is sometimes in line with the literature review, where Mehisto (2015) mentioned that Nazarbayev intellectual schools actually share their experiences with the trilingual policy with other schools to help improve the latter. In addition to understanding the policy, teachers showed that they felt positive about the policy and saw opportunities for their students to master the three languages.

The teachers' positive attitude towards the trilingual policy is in accordance with the research conducted by Zharkynbekova, Akynova and Aimoldina (2013), which through interviews also revealed that the participants have a favorable attitude towards the trilingual education policy expressed. From the participants' answers, it can be said that they show no resistance to this policy. As Terhart (2013) accurately put it: "You cannot achieve school reform against the will of the teachers, but only with the teachers" (p. 2).

Therefore, the positive attitude and non-resistance of teachers is one of the main factors in the implementation of any reform or policy. Even if the policy is a top-down approach and has characteristics of a prescriptive nature, teachers do not feel pressured and remain positive about the reform. However, one of the science teachers (P6) expressed concerns about the language of instruction, as science subjects are supposed to be taught in English.

The science teacher expressed a lack of confidence in the English language, but nevertheless understands and recognizes the advantages of a trilingual policy. All five language teachers seem to associate the trilingual policy only with science subjects, as these subjects will be taught in English.

This may mean that the students' home language may not have a positive impact on the development of the target language. Some of the science teachers use trilingual dictionaries, provide trilingual terms, code switching and translanguage for the better. One of the language teachers' response, "Sometimes I have to resort when teaching grammar" (P1) can relate to Macaro's (2000) first case.

It seems that language discipline teachers are closer to Macaro's (2000) maximum position due to the maximized use of the target language in the classroom. From the analysis of the results, it was clear that all three positions of Macaro (2000) were present in the study. Both the language and science teachers' general perception of the trilingual education policy was quite positive.

However, one teacher from a science discipline expressed mild concerns regarding a change in the discipline's language of instruction. The teachers of the scientific discipline had a positive attitude towards the integration of the three languages ​​into the trilingual policy. The vision of the maximum position also corresponded with the practice of the language discipline teachers.

Some teachers in the language discipline expressed their reluctance and unwillingness to use languages ​​other than the target language. The characteristic of the third position, which is optimal, was reflected in the practice of teachers in the science discipline. Some teachers in the scientific disciplines use trilingual dictionaries, provide trilingual terms, codeswitch and translanguage for better understanding.

Moreover, some of the language teachers in the 20-34 age group showed some openness to the inclusion of languages, but not in the sense that science teachers do. Do you think that all three languages ​​represented in the trilingual policy should be used in your teaching? All names will be changed to pseudonyms to maintain confidentiality and anonymity.

All audio recordings and notes are kept on the researcher's PC with a password. In addition, all materials and instructions must be provided in the English language only.

According to OECD (2014), one of the indicators that show a teacher's competence is his or her level of education. Therefore, it can be said that the age factor can actually also play one of the important roles in shaping the teachers' practice. The next chapter synthesizes the points discussed and provides the study's limitations as well as recommendations for various parties.

The chapter also presents the limitations of the study and further recommendations for schools and policy makers. Apart from this concern, all ten teachers, including the science discipline teacher, believe that teaching science in English is beneficial, as most of the latest materials and resources are found in the English language. The findings revealed that the teachers have very contradictory attitudes towards the languages ​​in the trilingual policy.

The teachers from the science disciplines said that they prefer to include languages ​​in the teaching process. Furthermore, because all interviewed participants are from the same school, their responses cannot be generalized to other teachers at other schools. Therefore, this is considered as the limitation of the study. Policy makers who in most cases opt for a top-down approach must ensure that the key policy actors understand and implement the policy correctly.

Therefore, to avoid any misinterpretations of the policy, the teachers' voices and opinions must be heard and proper training must be provided. Purpose of interview: To find out teachers' language choices for teaching-learning purposes in the classroom. Can you think of the situation when using L1 was beneficial in your lessons.

Kazakhstan's Bilingual Education Policy and Monolingual Teaching Tools: Language Choices for Teaching-Learning Purposes in the Classroom. All audio recordings and notes will be kept on a researcher's personal computer with a password for three years. According to the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an individual under the age of 18 is considered a child.


Table 1. Information on study participants
Table 2. The participants’ views

Ақпарат көздері


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