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The Education Reform in Russia and its Impact on Teaching of the Minority Languages: An Effect on Nation-Building?

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Author(s): Konstantin Zamyatin

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Russia | education reform | language education | minority languages | nation-building

ABSTRACT
Public minority-language schools have a crucial role in the preservation of the societal culture of the minorities. This article explores the institutional position of the languages of the minorities of the Russian Federation in the education system and its transformation as a result of the latest education reform. In the area of language education the reform was justified by the need to ensure the free choice of languages in education by citizens. However, it is argued that those who developed the reform were not as concerned with the rights of citizens as with a nation-building agenda. The analysis of policy documents and legal acts demonstrates that the education reform has not institutionally affected the modes of language education. It is further argued that the reform actually discourages teaching of minority languages and, therefore, will inevitably produce further decline in numbers of students learning their 'native language'.
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