Nowadays, diversity is a main characteristic of society. Kazakhstan’s schools also face problems of cultural, social, and language diversity. Children from different cultural and social backgrounds communicate in one group. However, our Soviet pedagogical system teaches us that diversity is a negative aspect of society. Communist ideology tried to delete all thoughts about this. Nevertheless, many people in Kazakhstan hold on to the stereotype that we live in a monolithic society, i.e., we live in a multicultural country but with the same post-Soviet mentality. The statement came from our school experience, and when I compare it with the American school which I saw on TV, I can agree with this point. On the other hand, after 25 years of independence, the situation is changed. Our society is becoming more diverse than before. Our children speak in one language depending on the school instruction (Kazakh or Russian) but they have different sociocultural backgrounds. But, in my point of view, our diversity is determined by the region where you come from. For example, people from the south feel the influence from the Uzbek culture, the north – Russian, part of the west (Mangistau region) from Turkmenistan, and these differences make our diversity.
That is why I like the idea “diversity is seen as a resource that can be supported by classroom practices” (Ehlert&Boschman, 2013, p.4).Moreover, as the authors write, this pedagogical method can help develop tolerance and “multimodal channels of communication”(Ehlert&Boschman, 2013, p.4)between different ethnic groups.
Ehlert M.P. &Boschman L. (2013). Plurilinguals in Motion. Retrieved from the website of a
non-profit group, Multilingual Forum Canada Society (MFCS; http://www.multilingualForum.org) on April 18, 2014.
Great Britain is one of the leaders in the world educational system and its Universities take high places in the international leack table. Therefore, I want to share my education experience in the UK. I studied in the pedagogical internship program for 9 months at Reading University. My impression I divided into three main parts: educational coast, studding process and student life.
In my point, Universities coasts are the most arguable issue everywhere. Parents and other stakeholders think about price and quality. The price in the UK very high but government fines the best conclusion to give opportunity to studying. They, as many other countries, offer educational credits but I was impressed by the way how it return back. I think is the best decision because graduates don’t have obligation to return all money immediately, you do it only when you will get a good job with high salary. This process shows how people can get outcome of their degree.
The next point is discussion about studying hours. In the UK I read the article where author raises the question about contact hours, and he disagreed with Universities which provides only 2 or 4 hours a week per students and the remaining hours are for self education. Thus, author writes that it is improperly to pay twenty thousand pounds per year and have only 2 tutorial hours a week. Of course, Universities organize many different open lectures, conferences, seminars and other events to engage students, but I think lectures and practical work particular in your major will be more useful and can be combined with self-evaluation.
The third impression is student life. At the first I want to emphasis that I don’t blame English students but I was surprise when I saw how much they drink. One of our lectures said that alcoholism among young people becomes the big problem in Universities. It is dangerous signal for society and Universities should think about it.
In conclusion, I want to say that the UK Universities give a good education but at the same time they have outstanding issues. When I was going to Britain I thought that the UK Universities were ideal organization however, after 9 months I changed my mind. No one in the world can be perfect and Kazakhstan education system also has some good practice which we can share.
I was born in 1982 and it was the last decades of the Soviet Union. Therefore, as a many others family I was growing in the bilingual environment: Kazakh and Russian. In that time, Russian language was the first language which was the official state language and was used in everywhere in the USSR. Our small town, in the North of country, had only one Kazakh school and approximately seven Russian. I went to Russian school because it was very prestigious. We were too small but we understood how it important to speak in Russian. Ramanathan mentioned that this process can be call as a “linguistic imperialism” (2013, p.292). I and my friends saw some discrimination around pupils who studied in Kazakh school because all competitions, all sport and music activities were provided by local government had only Russian instructions. Of course we had Kazakh language subject but the quality of teaching was so poor. For example, the book of this subject was soft cover and had only 100 pages without colors pictures and in comparison with Russian there were a big gap because here we used 2 or 3 books which divided on writing and reading.
However, I was growing in a family where parents, grandparents could speak Kazakh. They taught me and my sisters to speak the native language. But, unfortunately it was only everyday language which didn’t help us to be more confident in Kazakh environment. This process can be described as a “diglossia” when people use two languages for different purposes (de Jong, Ester J., 2011, p.27). We communicated in Russian at the school and around it and spoke our native language only at home.
The situation was changed after the USSR collapsing. My family moved to the South of Kazakhstan where people spoke mostly Kazakh. Kazakh became a state language and local government, organization started to implement new language policy. Nevertheless, Russian hadn’t loose their popularity. For example, all my new neighbors were from Kazakh schools but they tried to speak Russian with me. In that point of view, I think there was the situation of “circumstantial bilingualism” when people think that is necessary to know Russian for convenient living in society (de Jong, Ester J., 2011, p.29).
I would like to know Kazakh and Russian in an advance level but it was so difficult when you lean Russian as the first language. On the other hand, I have met people who tried to change their instruction language. They studied at primary Russian school, then secondary Kazakh school. Though, it was not useful because students didn’t show a good proficiency in both languages. “Semilingualism or imperfect learning” (de Jong, Ester J., 2011, p.52) was the common situation in the post-Soviet period. In my point of view, it better when you can learn more than one language, but if it difficult, you should study only one or give additional attention for first of it.
Nowadays, many Kazakh don’t know their native language and they became as marginals in the own country. Our society don’t respect them but in the same time it easy to find a job if you know Russian or English. Kazakh is not obligatorily yet. I hope in the future our country will have a real multilingual society where Kazakh will become the first language for everybody.
Ramanathan, V. (2013) Review of research in education. from http://rre.sagepub.com
De Jong, Ester J. (2011) Foundations for Multilingualism in Education from Principles to Practice. Caslon Publishing.