chapter  7
36 Pages

Russian Language Teaching Policy in Soviet Central Asia 1958–86

ByJ. M. Kirkwood

Accounts of various parts of the topic to be discussed in this paper already exist (Shorish 1976, Bilinsky, Pennar 1981, Solchanyk 1983, Glyn Lewis, Mitter 1986). The perspective of this paper, however, differs in two ways. In the first place, more attention is devoted to theoretical issues in the field of language acquisition which have influenced developments in Russian language teaching in the Soviet Union. In the second place, the mode of analysis which is adopted in this paper is pragmatic. The present writer has been learning Russian for 28 years, teaching it for over 16 years (Kirkwood 1972, 1973a, 1973b, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1989). The conclusion to which he has come is that the influence of language learning theory on language teaching practice in the last twenty years has done more harm than good and that practical language learning in the classroom has been hindered thereby rather than helped.