Dr. Juldyz Smagulova – the ‘star’ of the Kazakhstani research!


Dr. Juldyz Smagulova is Acting Executive Director of Language Center, assistant professor of MA in Foreign Languages Program. Assistant Professor (PhD, King’s College London, UK; Candidate of Sciences, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan, MA in Linguistics and SLA, University of Minnesota, USA)

Dr. Juldyz Smagulova is my favorite research author with a very interesting biography.  She is an author and co-author of many books. She is very devoted to the researching and mainly interested in language policies including multilingualism and language planning. Dr. Juldyz published more than 20 articles on these topics in different International academic journals.

I had a chance of meeting her in person in a conference that took place in Astana in 2016. There I participated with her in a master class devoted to a curriculum problems regarding trilingual education in a multilingual Uzbek school. Listening to Dr. Smagulova’s dispute after the master class, I marked the line of an outstanding model of a researcher. I decided for myself what qualities best suits the researcher and what aspects I should improve in myself in order to  become a better boffin. The qualities I admired most in the professor were her confidence during a speech and a constructive criticism. Moreover, she showed braveness in explaining and putting into debate some issues regarding the trilingual policy in schools as well as defending the rights of language minority children in Kazakhstan.


Dr. Juldyz Smagulova is a versatile person and a researcher with original thoughts. That same year she conducted a lecture to MA1 group on different actual academic topics during her visit Nazarbayev University. One of her views I admired most was about the changing the image of the Kazakh language. According to her it was not right to associate Kazakh language with only Kazakh nation. This is exactly what happens in Kazakh language textbooks when a child sees pictures of a grandma and granpa sitting together around kazan, playing dombyra in a kyiz uyi. After hearing these types of examples I felt very lucky to meet such a skillful scholar and likened her to the “star” of Kazakhstani research, was I wrong?!


  1. Link retrieved from https://www.tedxalmaty.com/katalog/vystuplenija/zhuldyz_smagulova-42/
  2. Photo retrieved from https://www.tedxalmaty.com/katalog/vystuplenija/zhuldyz_smagulova-42/
  3. Photo retrieved from http://comode.kz/post/vospitanie-i-razvitie/nado-li-obuchat-detej-v-shkole-na-treh-jazykah/


6 thoughts on “Dr. Juldyz Smagulova – the ‘star’ of the Kazakhstani research!

  1. Thank you Dumankhan! I liked this post. I also would like to emphasize her opinion on what happens with Kazakh in terms of its perception by many learners. Hopefully books and illustrations therein will be re-designed to form a new image of the Kazakh language in order to present it as a language for everyone who desires to learn it. And what do you think Duman, how the shift to latin alphabet might affect the status and image of Kazakh for new learners?


  2. Duman, thank you for sharing about your lovely researcher. It is worth standing that you have chosen as your best researcher our Kazakhstani person. All we know that research world in Kazakhstan is not so developed as it can be. However, due to the people as Juldyz Smagulova I deem research will develop gradually in a right direction. Hopefully, you will be one who will make the significant contribution as well. Good luck.


  3. Thank you for your post Dumankhan. I share your admiration of Professor Smagulova. After meeting her in person at the conference, listening her speeches and reading her articles I can claim that she is, in fact, an outstanding Kazakhstani researcher.
    Noteworthily, I have found Professor Smagulova’s works to be very useful containing pertinent information about language policies in Kazakhstan after getting independence and I am utilizing her article about the influence of ‘kazakhization’ in my thesis.


  4. Thanks, Dumankhan.

    Your post is well developed, and is both informative and personally engaging. You always do a nice job inserting your personality into your writing.
    There are a couple times I scratched my head at your grammar or word choice, either because it is a silly mistake of an odd slang.
    “She is very devoted to the researching” (article)
    “boffin” (British slang)
    “braveness” (bravery?)


  5. What I really love about the works of Juldyz Smagulova is that in the relative scarcity of recent scientific information on many topics in the field of research, her studies are a breath of fresh air, which demonstrate the actual trends in various areas of enquiry. Many of us, in search of data for our theses have turned to this lifesaving empirical accounts of the state of education in Kazakhstan.


  6. Woow! It is great to read about the scholar who is a trailblazer in Kazakhstani multilingual studies. This semester I have read a couple of articles on post-Soviet linguistic situation written by her. The articles are so profound and analytical! I wish I met Prof. Smagulova.


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