Matevosyan Lianna Beniaminovna
Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology)
Yerevan State University
President of the Armenian Association
of specialists in Russian philology
II INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS «LANGUAGE POLICY
OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS) »
Abstract. Specialists in Russian philology, psychologists, theater critics, directors, lawyers, historians, political scientists and politicians from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine gathered in Almaty to discuss the language policy of the CIS countries: models of bilingual and multilingual education.
Keywords: congress, language policy, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), bilingualism, multilingualism, digital technologies, distance learning, Rossotrudnichestvo, Pushkin State Russian Language Institute.
The II International Congress «Language Policy of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) », which has become traditional, was held in Almaty from October 26 to 28. The Congress brought together about 150 linguists, as well as representatives of related specialties: psychologists, theater critics, directors, lawyers, historians, political scientists and politicians from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan (correspondence participation), Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. For three days, the Congress participants discussed language policy in the post-Soviet space.
The congress was organized by the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) http://rs.gov.ru/ and the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute https://www.pushkin.institute/. The choice of Almaty as a venue for the Congress was not accidental: Kazakhstan is a country where «balanced bilingualism»” is preserved.
Undoubtedly, the Congress was a success. «It was incredibly interesting! – Svetlana Kamysheva, head of the Center for Language Policy and International Education of the Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, said in an interview with the «Argumenty i Fakty» newspaper. – The fact is that each CIS country has a unique language situation, therefore it develops its own model of effective interaction of languages and their functional distribution. And we, scientists, of course, want to understand what this model is, how it works, and discuss the problems of multilingualism with experts. For this purpose, the intellectual elite of our countries literally gathered” .
On October 26, a 3-hour tour of Almaty took place – the participants got acquainted with the city. And not only with the city, but also with each other. The informal communication of the first day determined, in my opinion, the atmosphere of tolerance that prevailed for the next two days at the plenary and breakout sessions.
On October 27, 13 reports were read out at the plenary session from the leading specialists in Russian philology of the CIS: S. Y. Kamysheva – Ass. Prof., Ph.D. in Philology, head of the Center for Language Policy and International Education of the Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language; M. A. Osadchy – Dr.Sc. (Philology), Vice-Rector of the Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, Vice-President of the ROPRYAL http://ropryal.ru/ ; V.I. Karasik – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language; V. A. Maslova – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), P. M. Masherov Vitebsk State University; E. D. Suleimenova – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, President of KAZPYAL, member of the Presidium of the MAPRYAL https://ru.mapryal.org/; M. D. Tagaev – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Director of the Institute of the Russian Language of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, Editor-in-chief of the journal «Russian Word in Kyrgyzstan»; Sh. K. Zharkynbekova – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University;
V.E. Chernyavskaya – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University; T. P. Mlechko – Professor, Ph.D. in Philology, Ph.D. in Pedgogy, Chairman of the Moldovan Society of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature, member of the Presidium of the MAPRYAL; E.N. Stepanov – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Z. K. Derbisheva – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, President of the Kyrgyz Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature;
A.V. Golubeva – Ph.D. in Philology, Еditor-in-chief of the publishing house «Zlatoust».
At the plenary session, I also made a report on the topic «The Russian language in the educational system of Armenia».
In particular, I stated that «… the Russian language in Armenia today, although named among foreign languages, continues to be the first / compulsory (it is studied at school, at university) among equals, because there is motivation for studying it:
* the Armenian Diaspora of Russia has about three million Armenians;
* for Armenians living or traveling to the territory of the post-Soviet space, to the countries of Eastern Europe, the Russian language is an instrument of production and part of culture;
* the Russian language is a means of communication not only between specialists, but also between people from different countries. Today they are increasingly talking about the consolidating role of the Russian language in the development of intercultural relations throughout the Eurasian space, so that the real status of the Russian language in Armenia is much higher than its legal status. Russians make up approximately 1% of the population of Armenia, while Russian speakers make up 70% (data from the Russian Foreign Ministry).
Today, when international contacts are growing and expanding, ignorance or insufficient knowledge of languages causes not only moral, but also material damage to the country. Particularly acute in Armenia is the problem of language training of highly qualified personnel, personnel designed to develop and accelerate scientific, technical, and technological progress» [3, p. 51].
Breakout sessions were held on October 28. There were 7 sections at the Congress:
«Diversity of language situations in the Commonwealth countries»;
«Educational policy in the CIS countries: models of bilingual and multilingual education»;
«Russian language in XXI century in the context of models of bilingual and multilingual education in the CIS countries»;
«Active processes in the modern Russian language in the post-Soviet space»;
«Modern methods of teaching foreign languages in schools and universities»;
«The Integration of digital technologies in teaching foreign languages and distance learning»;
«Cultural, educational and language policy as a single vector».
At the Congress, Armenia was represented by A. J. Harutyunyan – Professor, Dr.Sc. (History), Yerevan State University; K.A. Hovhannesyan – Ph.D. in Philology, Yerevan State University; I. R. Sarkisyan – Professor, Dr.Sc. (Pedagogy), Yerevan V. Bryusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences; N. S. Sarkisyan – Professor, Ph.D. in Philology (Art History), Vice-Rector for Scientific and Educational Work of the Institute of Theater and Cinema; A. G. Sarkisyan – Honored Professor , Ph.D. in Philology, Russian-Armenian University; M. T. Frundjyan – Head of the Psychological Center «Ego». Thanks to colleagues for their participation and interesting performances!
I had the honor to be the moderator of perhaps the largest and most polyphonic, unpredictable by the intensity of passions section «Educational policy in the CIS countries: models of bilingual and multilingual education». The report of Ass. Prof., Ph.D. in History, Deputy Head of the Center for Language Policy and International Education of the Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language A. L. Arefyev (Moscow, Russia) «The Russian language and Cyrillic alphabet in the post-Soviet space» aroused interest [1, p. 94]. Cyrillic is also written in the Balkans – in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro. The report emphasized that thanks to the specialists in Russian philology of the former USSR, «the Russian language and the Cyrillic alphabet continue to maintain their positions in the post-Soviet space – both as a means of international communication and as a language of instruction » [1, p. 95].
Mentally returning to what I heard in speeches and discussions, I understand how it is not easy to determine the status of the Russian language in the CIS countries: the countries are different: multinational and mono-national; the situation in the countries is also different. However, throughout the CIS, people of different nationalities communicate in Russian. And the desire to learn Russian does not decrease: the motivation to study a particular language is a natural phenomenon. Not knowing this or that language does not matter, the trouble is to know and lose. This was discussed at the final session of the Congress.
On October 28, the II International Congress «Language Policy of the CIS countries» has closed. According to its results, a collection has already been published, which includes the main theses of speeches by specialists in Russian philology and other scientists on the language situation in the multilingual states of the Commonwealth. And ahead of the III International Congress on Language Policy, scheduled for 2023.
- L. Arefyev. Russian language and Cyrillic alphabet in the post-Soviet space // II International Congress «Language policy of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) » (Almaty, October 26 – 28, 2021) : collection of abstracts / comp. and resp. editor S. Y. Kamyshevа. – Moscow : Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, 2021. – pp. 94–95.
- Beloborodov National heritage. Kazakhstan received the leading specialists in Russian philology of the CIS // Arguments and Facts. – October 30, 2021.
- Matevosyan L. B., Frundjyan M. T. Russian language in the educational system of Armenia // II International Congress «Language policy of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)» (Almaty, October 26 – 28, 2021) : collection of abstracts / comp. and resp. editor Y. Kamyshevа. – Moscow : Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, 2021. – pp. 50 – 51.