Monthly Archives: March 2017

To all procrastinators out there..

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Procrastination. A ubiquitous term permeated our everyday lives so deeply that each of us can relate to a habit of putting off things until the last moment. Interestingly enough, that long before people became obsessed with efficiency and productivity ancient Egyptians had two different verbs for denoting procrastination: one for laziness; the other for waiting for the right time. Almost poetic, isn’t it?

Well, it could be. If people weren’t prone to think of it as the root of all-evil. Not that it is completely untrue; but Adam Grant (2016) in his book titled “Originals” debunks the common assumption and assures that even though procrastination can be “a vice for productivity” it can serve as “a resource for creativity” (p. 95).

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As it turns out, there are three types of people in this world. First, are pre-crastinators, the ones who rush in and cannot live without finishing everything in advance. Then, there are chronic yet moderate or “strategic” procrastinators. Ideally, this is the type you would want to be. And, as you may have already guessed the third ones just wait til the very last moment and miss the benefits of procrastination that it has to offer if it’s done right.

Speaking of which, procrastination makes you more creative and leaves room for improvisation and spontaneity (Grant, 2016). To prove the theory, Grant, who finished his thesis four months [FOUR MONTHS] before the deadline and is a vivid example of pre-crastinator, with his procrastinator student have run a series of surveys and experiments.

So, what they did is they accessed several companies and conducted a survey among employees about their procrastination experiences. After, the employers were asked to rate their employees’ level of creativity. Surprisingly, procrastinators got higher scores. However, they did not stop there and designed an experiment where people were asked to generate business ideas. They had two control groups: the first group had to start immediately; second were given 5 minutes to play a computer game, i.e. to procrastinate. Again, the ideas of procrastinators were rated 28 % more original and creative.

The key point here is that people were more creative only if they knew about the task before they started to procrastinate. Thus, it is only when we start thinking about the problem and then procrastinate on its solution we open the door for the diversity of ideas. Because even if we are not directly involved in doing the task, it is still active somewhere in the “palaces of our mind”. So, when we actually start working on the problem our subconscious allows us to think in creative and non-linear ways.

Moreover, it “keeps us open to improvisation” (p. 100). Usually, we tend to plan our steps and try to stick to it, otherwise why plan in the first place, right? Studies of numerous successful executives have shown that the habit of procrastination made them more strategically flexible. Of course, as a great procrastinator you still need to plan, at least make a plan for your procrastination and “test and refine different possibilities” as they cross your mind (p.102). And do not wait until the last night before the X day. Just don’t.

If you’re not convinced and feel like it got out of control, check these guides on how to deal with procrastination and how to avoid our common frenemy. It won’t hurt for sure. However, if you think that you’ve already lost the battle don’t stress out either. Instead, learn how to make it work for your benefit. In other words, learn how to procrastinate wisely.

And don’t forget to remember “they call it procrastination, we call it thinking” (Sorkin, 2002).

References:

Grant, A. (2016). Originals: How Non-conformists Move the World. New York: Viking

Couric, K. (2002, May, 22). Interview with Aaron Sorkin. Retrieved from http://www.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/flatview?cuecard=2090

Peculiarities of Kazakh-Russian code-mixing: data interpretation of the scene from the sketch comedy “Q-eli”

In this data interpretation, I will analyze the scene taken from the sketch comedy popular among the youth of Kazakhstan called “Q-yeli”, which depicts a stereotypical image of Kazakhstani regions and their inhabitants.  Three minute and fifty second video consists of a dialogue between the urban married young couple which uses code-mixing recurrently in their predominantly Kazakh speech. Thirty two Russian words appear during the dialogue, including 20 nouns, 7 verbs, 1 interjection, 2 adverbs and 2 conjunctions. In the video, the Kazakh language functions as a “matrix language” (Auer & Muhamedova, 2005) where the Kazakh sentence structure pattern dominates the sentences, with Russian words “embedded” to them.

In terms of morphological structure, Russian verbs are embedded into the speech in two different ways: (a) preserving the morphological form of the Russian language (3 verbs); (b) taking on the morphological form of the Kazakh language (4 verbs).  For instance, the Russian verbs “посмотри” [look], “слушай” [listen], “скажи”[tell me] are used preserving their morphological structure in the second person singular form, imperative mood of the Russian language. While the verbs “экономдап жатырмын” [I am saving], “пландаймыз” [we will plan], “звондаймын” [I will call], “заказ беру” [to order] are modified and adjusted to the Kazakh sentence by adding Kazakh verb forming suffixes ( –дай, -дап), morphemes indicating person  (–мын [1st person sing], -мыз [1st person plural] ) and auxiliary verb (жатырмын − used to form present continuous first person singular) to the Russian roots -план-, -звон-, -эконом-.  Interestingly, in Kazakh the word “to order” is a compound word which consists of the nominal part “тапсырыс” [the order] and verbal part ‘беру’ [to give], while in Russian the simple verb “заказывать” is used instead. To say the word “order” in the phrase “рестораннан заказ бергенің” the speaker uses the compound verb instead of adding the verb forming suffix to the root “заказ” which makes the sentence more compatible with Kazakh morphology. But, at the same time, she replaces the Kazakh word “тапсырыc” [the order] with the Russian equivalent “заказ”. Compared to verbs, all the Russian nouns used in the dialogue carry the morphological form of the Kazakh language. For example:  the words with the endings of different cases (dative, locative, ablative): интернет-тен [from the internet], ресторан-нан [from the restaurant], ресторан-дар-ға [to restaurants], ресторан-да [at the restaurant] and etc.

Most of the Russian nouns embedded to the speech are used instead of relatively new Kazakh terms that have not been fully integrated into common usage. For example: ресторан − мейрамхана [restaurant], интернет − ғаламтор [internet], кредит − несие [credit], процент − өсім, пайыз [interest], квитанция − түбіртек [receipt]. Frequent usage of the Russian equivalents demonstrates that those new terms in Kazakh have not become pervasive among the young speakers of Kazakh language yet.

By using the sentence structure common to both languages, the speakers show their knowledge in both languages and bilingual identity. For instance, the words such as “не…, не” in Kazakh and “либо…, либо” in Russian, meaning “either…, or” in English, are used interchangeably in the sentences “Либо ананы төле светті, либо маникюр жаса” [either pay for the electricity, or get your nails done] and “Не бізге шығындарды азайту керек, не сен табысыңды көбейту керексің” [We should either cut down on expenses, or you should earn more]. Moreover, the Russian-Kazakh code mixing, especially the usage of transitional words such as “тем более”, “так” can be a demonstration of urban identity of speakers, as code-mixing is more prevalent in urban areas.  During her speech, the wife used the Russian regular expression “ой, все” popular in Internet, meaning “oh, enough”, that expresses a stereotypical image of girls that always end their argument saying “oh, enough” unable or unwilling to justify their point. Thus, the expression is used to show stereotypical “girlish” side of the character.

Limitations of this data source consist in that films are artificial set-ups that use prechosen codes that can differ from the speech produced in natural environment.  Moreover, script-writers may use abundance of code mixing to create a comic effect, or, conversely, eliminate code-mixing to promote pure Kazakh speech.

References

Auer, P., & Muhamedova, R. (2005). “Embedded language” and “matrix language” in insertional language mixing: Some problematic cases. Rivista Di Linguistica, 17(1), 35–54.
Continue reading Peculiarities of Kazakh-Russian code-mixing: data interpretation of the scene from the sketch comedy “Q-eli”

A broad look at the big concerns of boarding schools in Kazakhstan

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Why to send your child to a boarding school in Kazakhstan? Is there a huge difference in a quality of knowledge gained between a boarding school and a mainstream school? What are the advantages of being a boarding school student?

As a graduate of a boarding school I can make many assumptions about the boarding schools based on my personal experience. Most of my statements are positive because a boarding school offers a completely unique education experience, with many advantages over other education experiences. Diana Stewart-Brown (2015), author of the article about boarding schools, claims that each child is different and whilst some children thrive at boarding school, others loathe being away from home. So sending your child away from home is something that needs to be carefully considered.

Although there are some disadvantages of boarding schools I see plethora of pros that overshadow the cons. There is also a blind belief that the boarding schools are very expensive there is a totally different reality. Improving foreign languages skills, International competitiveness, ISO standards, creating/integrating innovative education techniques and improvements are the current image of boarding schools in Kazakhstan. There is a same admission test for all from which there is a selection of top students. This is a current practice of the admission process in Kazakhstan.

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If a student is accepted he/she joins a school that fosters supportive “all for together” community where students have opportunities to learn in collaboration. For instance, in our class we developed the strategy of so called “brotherhood” system which strengthened our friendship and practiced “pair help” in which one partner who had better academic achievements had a responsibility to improve his pairs’ grades which were generally at “satisfactory” level. Children are kept in safe from the parties, drinking and drugs that are sometimes more easily available to pupils at day schools especially in higher school teenager period. There is less use of technology. During school years we were forbidden to use smart phones in order to concentrate on better excellence of our academic skills. These all makes top boarding schools such as KTL and NIS (partly boarding schools) a way ahead in Olympiad competitions at all levels.

Boarding schools in Kazakhstan, especially Kazakh-Turkish lyceums, honor and maintain the traditions that they represent. There is a holistic approach to learning that extends well beyond classroom walls. We had many lessons of different subjects outside classroom, in a garden mostly in autumn and spring. This diversity allows for fuller integration of curricula and programs. In addition during an etude (two hour preparation for home tasks in the evening) we had an opportunity to take extra lessons from the subject teachers. Strict routine and independence from parents fosters self-responsibility among boarding school boys and girls. The dormitory plays vital role in students’-self reliance as a student is in charge for his/her bed, shelf and room (if a student is on duty) tidiness.

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Teachers and older students in a boarding school environment are uniquely supportive of younger students. A class teacher and an abi (mentor, tutor) are responsible for the development of a class in the boarding school. Also older class students are very friendly to younger students and try to help in every possible way. This makes students of boarding schools more confident as they see support from other students. Students are often more social with one another because there is a huge range of activities like birthday celebrations and parent interviews.

Finally, all listed above should be a good recommendation to select boarding schools. There is also an evident difference in a quality of knowledge gained between a boarding school and a mainstream school. In addition to this boarding schools often create stronger friendships and alumni networks which last for a lifetime.

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References

Photo credits to Dumankhan Abdashim.

Steward-Brown, D. (2015). Pros and cons of boarding school. Retrieved from http://www.ourkids.net/school/pros-cons-boarding-school.

 

 

 

Does school really make kids less intelligent?

link to the ted talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yt6raj-S1M 

This is about a TED talk “How schools make kids less intelligent?” From the title, we can assume that the main content of the talk would be something against the traditional way of teaching and learning. Exactly, it is given by an Asian-American boy, Eddy Zhong, who claims that a child is becoming less creative and less intelligent as he or she spends more time at school since school curbs children’s passion for things other than academic achievements. He argues that if he continues studying hard in order to attain his parent’s expectation of good academic performance, he would never have opportunities to compete in various business creative plan competitions and never achieve the current success he has (as he owns his own technology company). Zhong intends to call all students, parents, teachers and educators to realize that academic excellence is not the only path for a child to achieve life success, and the most important thing is to follow inner passion and believe in it.

Zhong pinpoints his claim with the arguments from his personal experience; he and his team from one business competition went to different schools to collect students who are interested in their business prototype. He found that elementary school students showed greater interest in the business project compared with those in high schools, who just made fun of it and told them that it was unrealistic and unachievable. This experience led Zhong to make the conclusion that children become less creative and less intelligent as they attend school for more years. Zhong believes that it is the school that kills the imagination, creativity and self-confidence of a child.

However, I would like to posit the view that the school should not take all of the blame for this since school opens the door for children to learn and explore this credible world. Although some famous entrepreneurs who did quit school or university, starting their own business and made a change to the world, most of them have learned and mastered the basic knowledge and self-learning abilities at schools. Moreover, younger children are more curious and more energetic than students at high school, those who have higher academic requirements and more pressure; people become more realistic and less curious as they grow up and start to shoulder more responsibilities. Thus the argument provided by Zhong is not strong enough to deny the benefits of the school; it is barely one personal experience and is partially subjective opinion which may reflect unpleasant memories or biased views of the speaker about the school.

I strongly believe that there are many other ways apart from academic excellence, leading to the success of life. It is the diversity which makes the world to be complete and balanced; some students may enjoy studying at school and others are interested in other extracurricular activities. The judgment should not merely based on the academic assessment, rather take account into other performances; and it is important to teach every child to follow their inner passion and be adamant about the choice made by themselves. This kind of choice may not lead to so-called “success” of life but it can empower individual with nature ability to live a peaceful and happy life.

Shala-Kazakh phenomenon

 

Хочу сені, хочу полюбить,

Жаным сени не могу забыть,

Қайта қайта думаю тебя,

Шын ғашыкпын, че там говорить.

These are the lyrics of modern Kazakh song, the name of which can be translated as “I want to love you or Shala Kazakh kyz”. This song is performed by a man and a woman as a conversation between them. The main idea of the songs is the love story between the man who speaks in Kazakh language and the woman who doesn’t know the Kazakh language properly and is considered as “shala Kazakh”. Therefore, in the song are used Kazakh and Russian languages by mixing them in the sentence and word structures. Currently, in Kazakhstani society, the number of such songs is growing and they are getting their popularity among youth. Moreover, in society the usage of ‘shala kazakh’ language is becoming popular not only in informal speech but also in TV programmers and in official channels, in addition, some celebrities in their speech mix Kazakh and Russian languages. Therefore, below we will discuss this issue.

Firstly, coming back to the song, generally, the whole song is a mixture of Kazakh and Russian languages. The exception is the first part which sings the man but in other parts, he uses style shifting in order to communicate with his partner. According to Labov (as cited in Jaspers, 2010) “style shifting is speakers’ capacity to change something about their way of speaking was related to social parameters and to situations where these parameters mattered” (p. 8). In this case, the man also mixes languages in order to feel himself on the same wave with the woman.  As it is given in the song the woman uses “shala Kazakh” language. In the song can be found the language mixing in sentence and word structure levels, for instance, in the sentence “хочу сені, хочу полюбить” (want you, want to love) three words in Russian while one from Kazakh language or in the phrase “жігіт молодой” (a man young) has N+Ad structure while in Kazakh language usually is used Ad+N structure for such phrases. Regarding sentence structure, “Не по теме сойлемеші” (out of theme don’t speak) sentence starts in Russian and ends with Kazakh verb as in Kazakh a verb stays always at the end of the sentence. In general, this song contains a hundred word while 59 of them in Kazakh language and 41 in Russian respectively. From this proportion, it can be clearly noticed that this song represents “Shala Kazakh” phenomena in Kazakhstani society by completely mixing two languages. Moreover, the implicit and hidden meaning of this song is to mock young population who doesn’t speak in pure Kazakh and mixes it with Russian. However, the main purpose is not only criticizing but to encourage them to speak in pure Kazakh and to save their national identity.

Unfortunately, in the recent years, such examples are appearing frequently not only in songs and TV shows but because of such phenomena speaking in “shala Kazakh” becoming popular. For instance, recently in Astana was meeting of “shala Kazakhs”.

Currently, in the Kazakhstani society “shala Kazakh” phenomenon is a heated discussion. In most cases, it is not just a joke but the serious problem for Kazakhs who don’t know their native language in high level. Thus, in society, it is associated with negative interpretation. I deem that such separation doesn’t solve the issue but makes it worse. Therefore, we have to support and to encourage each other to speak purely.

 

Reference

Jaspers, J. (2010). Style and Styling. Language and Variation (pp. 177-204).

Ad nauseam citation: deficiency of contemporary academia

Citation. You always hear this world if you are in academia. Citation became an accompanying sign of a quality and trustworthy paper. The vaster your reference list is, the more valuable your piece of writing is, apparently. Some researchers abuse the right to cite other authors and, thus, produce papers the benefit of which could be questioned. Personally, I find articles with 4-6 citations in one paragraph less credible and devoid of the author’s voice. Overuse of citations could harm development of young researcher’s skills and tell about author’s inability to comprehend the paper thoroughly.

Contemporary researchers fear that overuse of citations may lead to “erosion of scholarly rigor” (Pierce, 2010, para. 3). One of the reasons to that is superficial attitude of some researchers who do not study papers in-depth. It prevents researchers from applying their critical and analytical skills and producing a worthwhile work. Ideally, if someone cites one work that automatically means he/she has read that work meticulously paying close attention to the main arguments. Thus, citing someone entails certain responsibilities. Useful tip to overcome this challenge would be to dedicate sufficient amount of time and do the work qualitatively.

Works saturated with citations could be a signal that writer is incapable of adding his new personal idea or opinion. Yes, sometimes other works can serve as a base for new opinions to emerge. That is totally fine. But we need to evaluate the article first and ensure that the paper is reliable and fundamental. Incorporation of one’s opinion in his/her work might at first be challenging, but practice is the best assistant in this laborious task.

Pierce (2010) discloses a curious statistics that “random samples of research articles published in the American Journal of Physiology reveal that the number of papers per bibliography averaged approximately 29 in 1989, 37 in 1999, and 42 in 2009” (para. 3). In your opinion, what are the reasons behind that tendency of ample use of citation?

Nowadays there are some journals which limit the number of sources one used in his/her paper. I partially support this policy and believe people must be more accountable for the sources they claim to have used to produce the paper. Do you agree with this policy? How can we enhance the quality of the papers while using less or more citation?

Reference

Pearce, W. (August 1, 2010).  Citations: Too Many, or Not Enough? TheScientist.

Retrieved from http://www.the-scientist.com/?          articles.view/articleNo/29170/title/Citations–Too-Many–or-Not-Enough-/

Critical Thinking vs. Languages (part II)

This is the extension of the discussion on “Critical Thinking vs. Languages” (part I). The follow up comments to the previous post raised the question on how students’ CT can be fostered in school settings. To answer it we will look at how different scholars have reported on building students’ thinking skill in schools. By now, the promotion of CT in education has been asserted to be a convoluted process of rigor attention, demanding a lot of resources and energies, rather than the issue constrained by a single subject.

Last decade studies on facilitating critical thinking in teaching have broadened the scope, requiring the alliance of school administration, teacher performance, and education curriculum in promoting CT. Tomilison (as cited in McCollister & Sayler, 2010) points that “whether enrolled in preschool, elementary, middle, or high school, the integration of critical thinking skills into the daily content and lessons is essential” for education system (p. 41). Tsai, Chen, Chan, & Chang (2013) found that enhancing student’ critical thinking in science classes not only helped students understand the scientific process, but also increased students’ resourceful and inquiry skills. Waraporn, Kowat & Anan (2016) proposed the two stages development program for primary school teachers. The primary school teachers who volunteered to this longitudinal development program, reached “the highest” level critical thinking ability and demonstrated the readiness to adjust it to their teaching. Paul & Elder (2008) stress that “there is no perfect technique for fostering critical thinking, no ideal method for engaging the intellects of students” and propose that “discipline thinkers need a good deal of active thinking” (p. 34). The authors see classroom thinking experience in CT as “spoon feeding passive activity”, keeping in mind that it goes beyond even regular thinking practice inside school (p. 35).

Additionally, the number of recent works have shown how critical thinking can be facilitated in EFL (English as a foreign language) classroom (Ordem, 2017; Zhao, Pandian,  Singh, 2016; Yimwilai, 2015; Zhou, Jiang & Yao, 2015;). None of them claims that it is the only subject where the CT should be the focus. Moreover, in congruent with Paul & Elder (2008) it is even less than “spoon feed” to fill the need for students’ CT. It must be realized that critical thinking does not only entail an individual teacher or a subject, it is a scrutinized cooperative work of all school units towards one bigger goal.

Kazakhstan is now depositing much on the implementation of trilingual policy. Apparently, human and material resources are not fathomless. Reasonable and expedient spending on what is really important will not only save our energy, it will ensure better life for citizens, because how we live our lives hinges upon how we think more than how many languages we speak.

Learning new vocabulary became easier with Quizlet

Learning the vocabulary and terms is the difficult task for any person. A big amount of new lexis is not kept in one’s head, thus, it is important words to be practiced and recalled. Obviously, limitless of exercises and ways exist in learning new vocabulary, e.g. by repeating the word for several times, hanging stickers with words on the walls, writing a word in one language on one side and another language on the another side, switching the language in a smartphone or a computer. A widespread strategy to divide a notebook into three columns is not effective because of the high possibility to lose or tear the notebook and less possibility and time is available to rewrite it. Therefore, I would like to suggest a new approach and website to learn vocabulary – Quizlet.

Quizlet is a free online service where you can create flashcards and teaching games and practice the vocabulary. The author of this online tool,15 years old American student Andrew Sutherland, invented it when they were asked to learn 111 names of animals in French. In order to make his life easier, the teenager created the mega project which is complement by 3 million users each day and in 100 languages. The idea of this service is not complex, all you need is to register in Quizlet.com, and add a translation or a definition of a word in the form of cards.

Quizlet offers to learn words though games by creating a list of vocabulary which is called ‘sets’. The words provided with translations might be presented as a list of definitions, images or photos with explanation. The sets created by other individuals might be changed or added into the list of your page. Making the list of words in English is not time-consuming as terms are already ready for use; you need to type the words in other languages though. Then, you may start the exercise. You can select the necessary set and learn it as it is, but it may bore a learner and is not always effective. Instead, the designers of the website propose several sorts of games for decreasing the time spend for learning and encouraging the word learning process. After practicing vocabulary, a test might be completed in order to know result. Four types of tasks are available (“multiple choice test”, “matching”, “write a word”, “true or false”), it is particularly effective when a teacher checks their learning. After having learnt each set, the statistics is constructed to trace the progress of learning. You may create a class, trace their result as well as see the record made by your students in games, which extremely advantageous in awakening students’ interest.

To sum up, this service offers a diverse range of functions: it is free and accessible, provides engaging exercises and games,  enables to trace students’ progess as well as to see the record made by students. Most importantly, it is simple and flexible tool in use which allows to learn new words easily and willingly.

 

What is Blended Learning?

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Blended learning is a combination of e-learning and the traditional on-site learning in a classroom. Learners have more or less fixed schedule to attend some of the classes at the educational institution and for the rest; they can make their own schedule. Students can attend the rest of the classes and complete their assignments online.

It is a student-centered approach which builds up a productive learning experience for learners who can interact with the instructors, students, and with content through integration of face-to-face and online environments (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). It incorporates, builds and creates new materials, content, and activities in the classroom by a variety of modes such as traditional lectures and online tutorials. Blended learning can come in numerous shapes and sizes.  According to Masie (2002), blended learning can be of different models such as:

 

  • Online: Instruction occurs via an online platform, with periodic face-to-face meetings.
  • Rotation: Student rotates between self-paced online learning and face-to-face instruction.
  • Flex: Most instruction is delivered online, with teachers providing as needed support in small-group settings.
  • Personalized blend: Teacher designs face-to-face learning options. Learning is the constant and time is the variable.
  • Online lab: Instructions takes place in a  lab. Delivered by an online teacher.
  • Self-blend: Students take online courses to supplement their tradition schools face to face course catalogue.
  • Face-to-face: Teacher face-to-face instruction, supplemented with technology in the classroom or computer lab.

These multiple modals of blended learning in contrast to teacher-centered approach, provide different ways to access content. A blended approach gives learners the opportunity to become more responsible for their learning, which creates a meaningful learning on an individual level. Learners construct knowledge through personal efforts, demonstrate a thorough understanding beyond memorization, and transfer what they have learnt to new settings (Massie, 2002). Blended learning clearly brings more engaged students, motivates students for a deeper learning, and finally  extends time for learning new knowledge.

What do you think of blended learning?

 References

Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The internet and higher education7(2), 95-105.

Masie, E. Blended Learning: the magic is in the mix. The ASTD E-Learning Handbook. Edited by: Rossett A. 2002.

To mix, or not to mix, that is the question!

Looking through the blog post of my group mates, I found out that the most popular topics are mother tongue usage and mixture of languages. The blog posts: “‘Shala Kazakh’ and other obstacles for the pure language”, “Why does the status of Kazakh remain low?”, “Why don’t Kazakhs speak in Kazakh as the native language?”, “Use mother tongue or not…”, “Who are we in this country?” look at these issues from diverse angles. Some of the posts were addressed to the code-mixing/switching issue. I have read all the blog posts and have watched the video with code-mixing/switching. Then, I decided to analyze the video, and find out what may cause code-mixing/switching.

The interview in the video was supposed to be in the Russian language. The theme of the interview was the opening of a new fashion shop. The shooting took place in Canada, the country that is considered to be multilingual and multinational/multicultural. The speaker had the Russian language as a native, but she moved to Canada many years ago, and the English language became dominant in the usage. By listening and transcribing the speaker’s speech, I found out that there was a case of code-mixing/code-switching between Russian and English, with a few elements of the Ukrainian language. This switching happened, as proposed by Poplack (2004), inter-sentential, intra-sentential, and extra-sentential. The lexical units represent the number of words in this speech. Totally, there are 344 words, out of this number 242 words were told by the speaker in Russian, 100 words in English, and only 2 repetitive words were in Ukrainian. After calculating the number of English and Ukrainian words appearing in the speech, it became distinct that the English language emerged almost at a half of the speech. Several points may influence this process.

First of all, the country, where the speaker lives, is mainly English/French speaking. Thus, she communicates in English everyday, and the English language is a part of her routine. While living there for too much time, she might forget a substantial amount of words in the Russian language. However, listening to her speech, it is obvious that the grammatical structure and sentence building in Russian are correct. In addition, as the speaker became connected with fashion in Canada, many of those words were taken in English, and she was adapted to use them in that language rather than in Russian or Ukrainian. Most of the words were dedicated to the topic of fashion and colors. Consequently, the speaker might not know the analogues of these words.

The increase in the usage of English all around the world may contribute to the next suggestion. For the Russian language speakers, English is believed to be prestigious, and the stereotype that the person, knowing English, is more educated, may occur. Comparing with the study of Yee Ho (2007), who conducted a research on the use of English in the Cantonese language, the same point is raised in the findings. “The use of English in Cantonese utterances delineates social stratification more clearly and divides those with good education, great prestige and high social status from those without” (Yee, W. & Ho, J., 2007). This point could be one of the influences to code-mix/switch as well.

To conclude, it could be suggested that code-mixing/switching which occurred in the interview might represent the speaking style of a person at the particular case (talking about fashion). Living too many years in an English speaking country, the lack of vocabulary may be one of the reasons to code-mix/switch, but there could be another reason for it. Code-mixing/switching could occur to show the side of an educated person, who really knows their job. However, there are many other reasons of code-mixing/switching. Do you code-mix/switch? If yes, what are the reasons?

 

 

References

Yee Ho, J. W. (2007).  Code-mixing: Linguistic form and socio-cultural meaning. The International Journal of Language, Society and Culture. 21 (1-8). Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.575.1796&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Poplack, S. (2004). “Code-Switching”. In U. Ammon, N. Dittmar, K.J. Mattheier and P. Trudgill. Sociolinguistics. An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society (2nd ed.). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 589–596.