The implementation of trilingual education in Kazakhstan: Data interpretation

One of the central issues of multilingualism in Kazakhstani society is the implementation of trilingual education in all educational levels, starting from preschool to higher education. I looked for the information about the implementation process, and selected particular three articles for data interpretation.

In the first articles “Trilingual education implemented in 117 schools in Kazakhstan – Education Ministry” a journalist mostly emphasized on the speech of Takir Balykbayev who is the Ex-Vice Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The journalist’s report was neutral. From Balykbayev’s speech one can understand that only small percentage (2.3% of the total number of students) of all students was studying by trilingual program. Furthermore, the content of the article implies that trilingual education means in-depth study of three languages: Kazakh, English and Russian. However, it is noticeable that more attention is paid for English since it was highlighted that English was used as the medium of instruction in some natural science courses, and a student can choose special course in English at 42 universities. Moreover, the number of schools (which is 17) and universities (which is 42) shows that the implementation process is taking its initial steps because these numbers are too small for the entire Kazakhstan.

As for the second article “Over 80% of parents supported trilingual education in Kazakhstan schools: Poll”, the correspondent of BNews.kz informs the speech of Serik Irsaliyev, the president of “Information-Analytical Center” JSC of MES of Kazakhstan. To begin with, it is written “a rapid analysis” was made on trilingual education, thus it makes the reader of the article think if the results of the poll analyzed correctly, whether the given information is reliable. Secondly, the answers of the poll said the majority (81% of parents) supports the trilingual education which implies that the implementation of trilingual education is associated with qualitative knowledge for the majority. Thirdly, approximately a quarter (27% of parents) consider the implementation of trilingual education needs additional support from professional tutors to acquire a foreign language because they answered they were not able to spend money for tutors. From this point, one can also percept that the teaching of foreign languages was not well developed at schools as long as parents thought of hiring professionals.

In the next article “In 2018 Kazakhstan schools switch to trilingual education model”, Azamat Syzdykbayev, a journalist, also referred to the speech of Takir Balykbayev. It might be understood that the voice of the Ex-Vice Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the area of trilingual education implementation was important. His mention about English medium of instruction for some disciplines at all schools implies that the government focused more on English language. He said it required “huge efforts” which means schools are not completely ready to implement trilingual education for some reasons. The repetition of the word “necessary” shows those reasons like the content changes and teacher trainings. Moreover, the expression “of course” highlights that not surprisingly the language skills of the students need improvements.

Overall, it can be concluded as Kazakhstan is implementing trilingual education, and the majority of parents is positive about this decision. However, there are still some obstacles to tackle with.

References:

Syzdykbayev, A. (March 2, 2016). In 2018 Kazakhstan schools switch to trilingual education model. Retrieved from http://www.kazpravda.kz/en/news/society/in-2018-kazakhstan-schools-switch-to-trilingual-education-model/

Trilingual education implemented in 117 schools in Kazakhstan – Education Ministry. (March 3, 2016). KazInform. Retrieved from http://www.inform.kz/ru/trilingual-education-implemented-in-117-schools-in-kazakhstan-education-ministry_a2877173

Over 80% of parents supported trilingual education in Kazakhstan schools:Poll. (August 12, 2016). Retrieved from http://bnews.kz/en/news/obshchestvo/obrazovanie/over_80_of_parents_supported_trilingual_education_in_kazakhstan_schoolspoll-2016_08_12-1285685

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2 thoughts on “The implementation of trilingual education in Kazakhstan: Data interpretation

  1. Well done, Gulnar. (4.5/5) This post shows some really strong reporting work, but not as much evaluative thinking work. You’ve done a nice job gathering current news articles and highlighting the main ideas they present. What I don’t see here are many evaluative comments about the data presented in the articles. You address the issue of the “rapid analysis”, but I see equally important questions in the other two articles. Be critical and demand evidence from your sources. Without clear data, how can we make informed decisions? Finally, I have one stylistic comment. I would avoid narrating your process of choosing articles in your introduction, unless this is essential information. Instead, tell us about the value of these articles.

    Compare these two:

    “I looked for the information about the implementation process, and selected particular three articles for data interpretation.”

    “The following analysis highlights what we know about the implementation process, as reported in three recent news articles. While these articles offer little concrete information and rely heavily on speeches by government officials, they can offer a general picture of the current stage of implementation.”

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  2. From @gulnarbakytzhanova:

    Deconstruction comment:
    The speech of the Ex-Vice Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan seems to be very enthusiastic. My first question is how he understands the implementation of trilingual education in our country. Because in my understandings, it is not only including teaching some disciplines English or Kazakh regardless of language of instruction. Also, the numbers of schools which were indicated does not say us anything. For example, “117 schools provide trilingual education”, but we don’t know how many schools we have got in our country, so we can’t compare the number, we don’t know whether it is small percentage or big one. Moreover, there is no clear plan for transition to trilingual education in Kazakhstan. For instance, it is planned gradual transition to trilingual education from 2017 to 2023, but what about exact steps towards implementation.

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