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Arts & Humanities Research Council
British Academy

CEELBAS-supported PhD student writes report on language policy for the Government of Tatarstan (Russian Federation)

17 July 2013

Kazan Internship

Following her recent research internship at the Department for Languages, Culture and Sport of the Government of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation, Teresa Wigglesworth-Baker (University of Sheffield) has written a report for the Tatar government giving recommendations for consideration as part of its 2013-2022 Tatar language policy.

Drawing on the expertise and knowledge gained from her PhD work on Russian-Tatar bilingualism in the post-Soviet period, Teresa carried out quantitative research into the roles of the Russian, Tatar and English languages in Tatar society during the time of the 2013 Universiade Olympic Games in Kazan. The surveys were carried out in Kazan Federal University, Kazan Technical University as well the Tatar Institute for Law.

The research revealed that compulsory Tatar language learning in schools is having a positive effect on reading and writing proficiency levels on all nationalities in Kazan and that, if Tatar is used for certain subjects in higher education, there is a strong possibility that Tatar will continue to be used after students finish school. The recommendations in the report for further development of Tatar are as follows:

  • To improve Tatar teaching methods and materials so they reflect the everyday lives of citizens;
  • To create Tatar textbooks in the context of business, industry, medicine, finance etc;
  • To widen the use of Tatar to all subject areas in higher education;
  • To continue free Tatar courses for adults;
  • To localise all websites into Tatar
  • To widen Tatar language use in IT;
  • To make the choice of Tatar more visible and apparent in public spaces, such as in shops, advertising, ATMs etc;
  • To develop the choice of Tatar language in areas of sport, art and music;
  • To carry out a survey of needs and requirements of the population in Tatarstan to find out from the citizen level what they want in terms of Tatar language use;
  • To make sure that Tatar language is available for all nationalities to learn.

Read the full text of Teresa's report: Russian version / English version.