NON-NATIVE SPEAKER CHILDREN IN THE MOSCOW SCHOOL SYSTEM: INTEGRATION PATH

  • The authors:
    Tatyana N. Yudina
  • Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
  • Pages: 118-126
  • Section: INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND MIGRATION
  • URL: http://conference-ifl.rudn.ru/118-126/
  • DOI:
    10.22363/09669-2019-118-126

Abstract. The urgency of this topic is due to the increasing migration
activity in Moscow, including educational migration. Migration flows are
changing both quantitatively and qualitatively. Family migration takes place
that requires not only employment for adults, but education for children. In
the opinion experts, the total number of children of foreign migrants in
Moscow schools is no less than 50 thousand people. The children of foreign
citizens in Moscow schools became a “visible” group.
The school as a social institute has faced new problems, including education
for non-native speaker kids. Here we proceed from the definition that “nonnative children are the group of students whose families have recently
moved to Russia, their parents also have problems with the Russian
language, they speak their own native language at home. These are kids for
whom the Russian language is not a native one, it is difficult for
apprehension, understanding, and communication”.
At present, the problem of non-native student education remains poorly
studied: lack of statistical data, information on their educational and
professional climes and intensions, and interaction with peers and teachers.
Moscow schools are not ready to educate foreign students. Educational
programs do not take into account quite large share of non-native kids who
should adapt to new cultural environment supposing changes of their values
and standards but not requiring their identity change.
To reveal integration paths of non-native speaker children, the inquiry
among the teenager students in comprehensive Moscow schools, as well as
in-depth interviews of school teaching staff had been carried out. The
obtained results have allowed us to reveal main pressure points which nonnative speaker students face in the Moscow school system, to reveal their
motives to study Russian language, and determine their life strategies. We
have managed to reveal high motivation interest among migrants in host
society language study: more than 80 % of non-native speaker children
admitted that learning Russian is their top priority. Already in their teens,
migrants realize that learning Russian can provide them with additional
opportunities later in life in a new place: getting higher education, good
work, appropriate communication with others. Being very interested in
studying Russian, not all migrants want to forget their native language and
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DOI: 10.22363/09669-2019-118-126
refuse to study it further. At present, comprehensive schools, unlike schools
having an ethnocultural component, cannot provide children with the
opportunity to learn the language of their people. 26 % of respondent
migrant-kids expressed their concern that did not have the opportunity to
learn their native language, although they would very much like to. 18 % of
respondents told that they kept on studying their own language in their
family, at evening classes, and at ethnocultural centers. We have discovered
that the assimilation model of adaptation, which until recently was
considered to be the most successful among specialists, is often not accepted
by the migrants themselves. They are rather prone to an integration strategy
when the assimilation of behavioral models and values of the host society
does not demand full or partial giving up their own cultural identity.
Our research have confirmed the results obtained by other authors, it is
necessary to develop state and municipal programs for including migrant
children into the Russian educational system through Russian language
teaching. Adaptation of foreign children would go faster if there were
programs for teaching Russian as a foreign language in schools, including
more information about the culture and traditions of other nations. It would
be useful for teachers to attend training courses dedicated to work with
multi-ethnic classes. The financial rewards for school teachers for additional
work with migrant children is required, because the existing payment
system does not provide for this.
For more complete inclusion of foreign children in the Russian-speaking
environment, it is necessary to develop out-of-school activity, especially
teamwork; create special programs for working with children during
summer holidays, more actively involve them in hobby clubs. For each
migrant child, an individual accompaniment system should be developed as
a part of the educational process. It is also necessary to use such relatively
low-cost measures as regular meetings with parents of migrant children.
Keywords: non-native speaker children; school education system;
integration path

Tatyana N. Yudina
Russian State Social University, Moscow, Russia,
e-mail: judinatn@rgsu.net

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