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» Journal Issues » 2018 » Journal Ukrainian Language №3 (67) 2018 » Language situation in Ukrainian schools

Language situation in Ukrainian schools

Journal Ukrainian Language №3 (67) 2018
UDC 81’276.3-053.5+811.161.2

Svitlana Sokolova
Doctor of Science, Professor, Leading Researcher of the Department of culture of language, stylistics and sociolinguistics, Institute of the Ukrainian Language of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
4 Hrushevskyi st., Kyiv 01001, Ukraine
Е- mail: a-senchuk@ukr.net

Oksana Danylevska
PhD in Philology, Researcher of the Department of Stylistics, Language Culture and Sociolinguistics, Institute of the Ukrainian Language of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
4 Hrushevskyi St., Kyiv 01001, Ukraine
Е-mail: od3556261@gmail.com

Heading: Researches
Language: Ukrainian

Abstract: The article describes the specifics of the real use of Ukrainian and other languages in secondary schools in different regions of Ukraine and different types of settlements. Ukraine-wide survey data of 2017 used, that was compared with official statistics on the number of schools and classes in Ukrainian and other study languages. The frequency of respondents’ perception of the environment of schools as Ukrainian language is close to the part of students, who study in Ukrainian in the western region only (over 90%).

In the central and northern regions (with the same number of Ukrainian schools and classes), the level of Ukrainian-speaking communication is reduced to 75 – 80%, and in the southern and eastern regions schools (where Ukrainian language school index is 60 – 80%) it is less than a half. The situation tends to improve over the past 10 years and a quite pronounced configuration based on the type of settlement (the opposition «city-village»). The proportion of the population, who want bilingual education for their children, remains high today. The need to study the state language in secondary school is more than 97%, and the Russian one – more than a half, but this indicator varies in different regions.  The attitude towards language policy measures in the field of school education also vary in regions. Over 98% of the western inhabitants are ready to complete the transition of teaching with the state language and about 90% – center and north, in the east and south 50 – 70% only.

According to the survey data of the education personnel it was found out that in areas, where the representatives of national minorities inhabit – less supporters of Ukrainian-language education exist, as well as fewer teachers, who speak Ukrainian outside the classroom than in the region in general. At the same time, teachers generally perceive the demand to speak Ukrainian as a worthwhile rather than acceptable. In areas inhabited by ethnic minorities (except Russian) education personnel are generally aware of this issue and the problem that not all, who speak a language different from the national one belong to the national minority is well understood. In the Russian-speaking regions we observe a chaotic picture of this question, as well as about the status of the state language, elements of manipulative influence on the consciousness of respondents, etc. In the settlements where the representatives of national minorities live, an enhanced study of public opinion on the linguistic question is needed.

Keywords: language situation, language policy, secondary education, Ukrainian language, national minority language, linguistic environment, mass interview, language preferences.


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