Polylingual education as one of the fundamental factors of the formation of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The  article,  basing  on  The  Message  from  the  President  of  Republic  of  Kazakhstan  Nazarbayev   N.A. «The new Kazakhstan in the new world» attempts to examine the factors and basis of polylingual education in Kazakhstan, the problems of polylingual education in Kazakhstan, theoretical foundation of polylingual education and the cultural project «The unity of three languages» in Republic of Kazakhstan. So, according to the Message from the President, Kazakhstan must be accepted as a highly developed country where the population speaks three languages: Kazakh, Russian and English.

Introduction: To preserve the best traditions of Kazakhstan education and at the same time obtaining the quality of knowledge that meet international standards, the project «The unity of three languages» started in our country. According to this project, the level of language proficiency of students will be improved. This means that three languages will be developed hard: Kazakh is as the state language, Russian is for interstate communication and English is for a successful association with the global education.

Materials and methods: The problem of state and prospects of the language situation in modern Kazakhstan is prominently reflected by the President of Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in «The unity of three languages». According to the idea of the head of state, positivity of three languages’ development is possible if there is united political, ideological and cultural platform as well. The essence of a given platform strategy «The unity of three languages» is defined as follows: the study of Kazakh language as the state, Russian as the language of international communication and English as the language of successful integration into the global economy.

Discussion: The successful experience of implementing polylingual education indicates systematic initial positions which have its origins in a conceptually reasonable strategy of «The Unity of three languages» realization and development.

In conclusion it should be noted that today we can say with confidence that polylingual education programs due to the Kazakhstan logic development and international integration processes are in high demand in Kazakhstan's education system. This is due to high academic motivation of students and practitioners, their desire to improve the professional competence and competition in Kazakhstan’s international integration.

The factors and basis of polylingual education in Kazakhstan

Polylingual education is a purposeful process of forming a polylingual personality on the basis of simultaneous mastering of three and even more languages.

Kazakhstan is unique with its strong multinational. Unique polylingual space has formed on this land, which is a powerful factor in the progressive development of society. Eurasian roots of the people of Kazakhstan can join Eastern, Asian, Western, European flows and create a unique variant of the Kazakhstani personality in polylingual space.

On the necessity of learning the state of multilingualism, Russian, native and one of the European languages — and continuously remind the President: «I am personally for that in our country know and Kazakh, and Russian. As for the Kazakhs, they speak both languages. Therefore, the challenge is to other people mastered the Kazakh language as the state — it will work for mutual understanding. I think that would be good for Kazakhstan possession and English, which would only elevate us all. I'm sure one day we will live to see such a great time when we can without interpreters to communicate with the world».

Pollylingual education in the Republic of Kazakhstan at the moment is one of the main directions in the system of higher education. And that school is the most important stage in the process of formation and development of the individual in pollylingual space of the university stage when consciously formed the core values and principles of life. That institution is able to provide the student with an environment that provides a harmonious combination of universal humanistic qualities of the person with the ability to complete the implementation of its national, cultural, linguistic and ethnic needs.

In this connection, one of the important tasks of universities is expanding multicultural component content of higher education, rising of future specialists to master the world cultural heritage and foreign languages. Foreign language provides direct access to the culture and social experience of other nations, and also calls for the learning process of cultural dialogue, opening more opportunities for cross-cultural interaction.

Students of different cultural, ethnic and social groups study in institutions of higher education. Studies show that sometimes there are cases of disrespect to the cultural differences among students, conflicts in interpersonal relationships within a multi-national student group, so the relevance of this study is also caused by the fact that in their future careers, students should be prepared to address these issues.

Speaking of personality, instilled under pollylingual conditions, as a person who knows how to conduct a dialogue, the ability to understand people of another culture, so take it as it is, keep it in a critical situation, as well as a person has the opportunity to enrich their culture, because when you understand the other person, to enrich itself, we can say that such a person can be an effective means to counter the negative effects of globalization, globalization mitigating factor.

Second, the vocational training provided in higher vocational schools should aim to acquire a future specialist of any sphere of professionalism in the broadest sense, be focused on the understanding of them, not only with the knowledge and professional skills, but also on the establishment and improvement of professionally important personal qualities that are integral to professional specialist. In this regard, the formation of personality in pollylingual space is important in the training of qualified specialists.

However, the modern university education process is still traditional and does not have sufficient capacity to deal with the problem. One reason for this is the lack of a holistic concept of forming a multi-cultural identity of the student in the learning process by means of subjects. But there is a set of philosophical, psychological, pedagogical ideas that can form the basis of a set of conditions for the efficient formation of a personality of future professionals of any sphere in learning foreign languages.

It should be noted that the formation of the personality of students in polylinguality-was the subject of a special study. According to the analysis of scientific papers, we have seen that there is currently no consensus on the phenomenon of «personality, brought up in polylinguality», no generally accepted structure of personality development in pollylingual space of the university, did not fully identify opportunities of foreign language in the formation of the individual.

Modern science should be done at universities. The benchmark for a high school of our country is the Nazarbayev University. As you know, the university is the place where human capital is formed, and we strive to make our high school had all the conditions for this. At this point in our country under the leadership of the Head of State built a system of higher education, which is being developed entirely in line with the world's most important trends. Among them — the integration and internationalization of the education system of the world, promoting the autonomy of universities, independent of their accreditation, the international mobility of students, teachers, knowledge and innovation, and others. Implementation and management of the program in high schools need to consider factors such as the formation of a specialized trained faculty, trilingual.

Thus, to date, has developed a certain contradiction between the lack of elaboration of pedagogical conditions conducive to the successful development of the individual in polylingual space of the university and demand in a globalized world of the individual specialist of a sphere, capable and ready for full cooperation with the representatives of various cultural groups in the framework of the their professional duties.

Nowadays a person is characterized as a personality who can speak fluently two and even more languages, who realizes his belongings to his own national culture, who understands and respects original culture of a person he speaks to and who can take part in an intercultural dialogue.

«Nowadays Kazakhstan must be accepted as a highly developed country where the population speaks three languages. They are: Kazakh, Russian and English languages. Kazakh is a state language, Russian is a language of national communication, English is a language of a successful integration into a global economy», said Nazarbayev N.A., the President of Kazakhstan Republic. The words said by him have become one of the main tasks for Kazakhstan modern education which must be competitive, of high quality and available for school graduators to continue their further education at the international universities in accordance with the international qualifying requirements.

The aim of Kazakhstan education is both knowledge and forming of such important competencies as polylinguistics, Eurasian multiculture and communication skills that must involve youth into a future life in society.

The UNESCO confirmed the term «polylingual education» that means the use of not less than three languages, i.e, native, regional and international language in education which was adopted by General Conference in the 12th resolution, 1999. Therefore, English language has become the important means that provides children’s skills to interact with the representatives of different cultures [1].

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, sets complex and ambitious goals in High schools, the realization of which needs to keep on the best traditions of Kazakhstan education and to provide qualified knowledge according to the international standards at the same time. All said above needs the increase of students’ language level and education of their linguistic realization [2].

The factors of polylingual education are as a derivative of its basis. So, if basis specifies potential possibility of realizing pedagogical activity in polylingual education, so factors are able to have an influence on it.

The meaning «factor» has a wide range of use in science. So, Averyanov A.N. points out internal and external factors. According to his point of view, internal factors include element’s natural quality, mutual supplement, factors of induction, constant and stabilizing factors, etc. Nikolayev V.N. and Brook V.M. describe factors as systematic creative and systematic destructive factors. Nein A.Y. supposes that factors are directly connected with the functioning of some phenomenon and act as an active element of influencing   on a process [3]. According to Kedrov B.M., Smirnova P.V. and Judina E.G., polylingual education is specified by two main factors. The first factor presents different needs of society and its social substructure and the second one presents the needs of science. In other words, internal factors are defined by inquiries and demands of practice and external factors are defined by the needs of society.

Therefore, according to said above, historical pedagogical premises have been determined, social pedagogical conditions of its forming have been found out and theoretical foundation of its conceptualizing has been defined as well.

One of the pedagogical reality transformations is a stable tendency of forming polylingual education that is a powerful mechanism promoting the development of democratic type of thinking and behavior of social subjects, their communicative skills and tolerance in an interaction.

The positivity of pedagogical innovations and success of its introduction into everyday life are defined by both social economic and political factors and the heritage of historical past as well. The historical roots of these or those phenomena determine the character of modern social achievements.

It’s  necessary to  keep in mind  that the  history of Kazakhstan  starts from the XVIIIth  century and is closely connected with the history of Russia. That’s why, the sixth period of reunion of Kazakhstan with Russia has been actualized. As for an investigated problem, this period is defined as Pre-soviet period of linguistic education. Later, according to the Professor Kaliyev’s idea, Soviet and Post-soviet periods of linguistic education in Kazakhstan have been defined. There is a definite difference as they reflect mutually specified phenomenon and connection between them [4].

As for polylingual education, the events of Soviet period of pedagogics and development of education have a great importance. However, that doesn’t mean the neglect of studies and outlooks toward language in mental development and morally spiritual forming of an individual that have found its reflection in artefacts of pre-written culture, in antique archeological monuments, in cultural heritage of Arabian Middle ages and Kazakh khanate.

The problems of polylingual education in Kazakhstan

The modern Kazakhstan society is characterized nowadays by social modernization and aim at world integration processes where the education takes the leading position in modernization process. It’s widely known the society will be able to develop itself successfully and to join the leading countries of the world  if it is able to create adequate conditions for its citizens in qualified and modern education.

The introduction of educational system in three languages at school is a progress according to the education Concept of Republic of Kazakhstan till 2015. One of the basic attributions is three languages’ educational system, Eurasian multiculture and communication skills [5]. Therefore, in main regulations of the Concept is said about a qualified mastering of foreign language by a school-graduator. It’s an every day necessity as an intensive rate and science and engineering development level need speaking any foreign language fluently for getting necessary theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and experience. These regulations are already being realized at schools where the teaching is conducted in Kazakh, Russian and English languages. That promotes pupils’ communicative skills, knowledge in culture and traditions of different   nations. All that will lead to forming of polylingual personality. In its term, polylingual education is a purposeful, organized and triune process of teaching, education and personality development as a polylingual personality on the basis of simultaneous mastering of several languages as a person’s experience embodied in language skills and experience, language and speech activity and emotional attitude toward different languages and culture.

A polylingual person is an active speaker of some languages who presents a complex of psychophysiological features that afford a person to speak simultaneously some languages. A communicative person is a set of abilities to the verbal behavior and use of several languages as a means of communication with different linguistic societies. Lexical or ethnosemantic person is a symbiosis of world outlook placing, valuable directions, behavior experience that are reflected in lexical system of several languages.

The teachers of foreign languages determine polylingual education both as introduction into culture of English-speaking countries and introduction into the features of Kazakhstan way of life, spiritual heritage of Kazakhstan and its contribution to the world culture.

Theoretical foundation of polylingual education

The theoretical methodological conceptualization of polylingual education comes from dialectical logic canons that investigate both principles and categories which are in nature, history, thinking and in perception as well. One of the typical features of dialectics as a logic is another and more higher dialectics. Thus, the dialectical contradictions inevitably emerge that reflect contradictions in the very object of perception and contradictions of subject and object of perception in an interaction and contradictions in the very process of perception. This change needs solution of contradictions between an old theory and a new system of facts. There are essential characteristics of language situation in Kazakhstan polylingual situation:

  • Kazakh language is a state language according to the law of Republic of Kazakhstan but Russian is officially a language of international communication in multicultural and polylingual society;
  • at the same time, there is a positive tendency of assuming Russian language as a language of international cooperation;
  • realization of foreign languages advanced study to integrate into the world

Those conclusions are done on the basis of functioning state documents in language politics. Real situation of lingual social practice needs the solution of many points connected with study problem and various languages use. So, new knowledge, new theories for achieving new facts of real situation are needed. Ethnic lingual didactics may become that new knowledge. In this regard the problem of theoretical foundation of new scientific knowledge and methodological ensuring of a new situation of social development practice are being actualized nowadays. It should be noted the meaning ethnic lingual didactics is represented in ethnic lingual didactical context of teaching foreign languages by the professor Baryshnikov N.V. and Russian scientists within scientific school «Lingual didactics and theory and methodology of teaching foreign languages in multilingualism situation». Ethnic lingual didactics in that school is determined as methodology of teaching foreign languages in multilingualism situation. The features of interpretation are defined in two main principles:

  • ethnic cultural process of teaching;
  • culture of neighbouring ethnic

According to scientists’ point of view, the realization of these principles affords the learner to feel belonging to the unique community and realize himself as a citizen of multinational country and an individual of international civilization on the basis of natural bilingualism — polylingualism.

The cultural project «The unity of three languages» in Republic of Kazakhstan

Within discussion of such actual problem as the language policy in Post-Soviet Union, an interesting analysis of a language situation in Kazakhstan with 30 % of Russian population and nearly 130 representatives of other nationalities has been represented. It is important to pay attention to the cultural project «The unity of three languages» which has started in the country in 2007.

In 2007 Message «New Kazakhstan in a new world «Nursultan Abishevich suggested to begin stageby-stage implementation of the cultural project «The unity of three languages». The project was pointed out as the separate direction of domestic policy. «Kazakhstan has to be adopted around the world as a highly educated country, the population of which speaks three languages. They are: the Kazakh language is a state language, Russian is the language of international communication and English is the language of a successful integration into global economy», — was told by the President. The State program of functioning and development of languages for 2011–2020, being the continuation and addition of the similar program for 2001– 2010 became the result of such message of the President.

The activity in the sphere of Kazakh language includes: creation of stimulation system of state language training process, expansion of state language use, integration into all spheres of activity. The activity in the sphere of Russian language includes: preservation of Russian language function, further educational and methodological providing training system in Russian, creation of new distance learning programs, educational and methodological literature, electronic interactive text-books, improvement of quality of teaching Russian by introducing innovative methods of teaching Russian [6].The activity in the sphere of English includes: development of the international cooperation with foreign language culture, providing with available educational and methodological literature for collective and independent training, educational programs’ control, strengthening of requirements toward training system and process of future foreign languages teachers, preparation of teachers for training natural sciences and mathematics in English [6].

Nowadays, there is an undeniable change of language priorities in Kazakhstan. No doubt, there is language policy when teaching foreign language becomes more important than teaching State language and Russian language that are officially adopted by State bodies. Meanwhile, there has been no visible progress in the development of Kazakh language. «Eurasia Heritage» Foundation together with «CeSSI Kazakhstan Institute» partners and «Strategy» Center of social and political research conducted a survey in November 2007 after the realization of cultural project «The unity of three languages» and as a result, it has become clear according to the similar survey held in 2002 that the number of Kazakhstan people speaking Russian language has become less, i.e, from 54,7 % to 43 % and the number of people speaking just Kazakh language has become less too, i.e, from 40,9 % to 32 %. Percentage use of Russian language at work is divided as follows: 50 % of respondents speak Russian language (it was 47,4 % in 2002) and only 16 % speak native language (it was 27,3 % in 2002)» [7]. The survey results show the fact of decreasing number of citizens, i.e, 11,3 % speaking just Kazakh language in comparison with 2002 and it doesn’t accord to the project «The unity of three languages» aims.

These facts explain why the new project was met with criticism in the society of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The famous cultural workers, literature workers, editors-in-chief of newspapers and magazines that are published in Republic, high society representatives, heads of civil society organizations, i.e, 124 men and 5000 supporting men confirmed on November 26, 2009 that thanks to the policy of the «The unity of three languages» Kazakh language will be gradually excluded but Russian and English will take the dominant and progressive role [8]. In this situation, the opinion of independent observer who is the Director of Central Asia and Kazakhstan investigation Center at the Seattle University in the United States William Fierman is as follows: «In my opinion, this idea is correct and will contribute to the development of the State. But it is too early to speak of the Unity of three languages in Kazakhstan. Russian language is being dominated for now. Although according to the Kazakhstan Constitution, Kazakh language is a state language. So, the problem of Kazakh language is in its low demand while English language, strangely enough, started taking a significant position in Kazakhstan» [9].

It should be taken into consideration that the Kazakh language will not be able to withstand competition with rich Russian language and popular worldwide English language. The possibility that Kazakhstan people will stop developing Kazakh language and will use just Russian and learn English intensively is very huge and all said above will lead to the situation when Kazakh will be forgotten and eliminated from the public life of the country.



  1. The education in multilanguage world. UNESCO assigned document, Мoscow, 2000.
  2. The Message from the President of Republic of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev N.A. «The new Kazakhstan in the new world».
  3. Nein A.Yа. The problems of professional education development: regional aspect / Nein A.Yа., Kluev F.N.,
  4. Zhetpisbayeva B.A. Polylingual education. Theory and methodology, Almaty: Bilim,
  5. The Conception of education development of Republic of Kazakhstan till 2015.
  6. State program of languages’ functioning and development for 2011–2020. Given source, http://www.geokz.tv/article.php? aid=11278, free.
  7. The doctrine        of        contention,         [ER].        Information        syndicate,         Мoscow:        Neonomand,        2011, http://www.neonomad.kz/neonomadika/politika/php? ELEMENT _ID=6445.
  8. Language policy in Kazakhstan, [ER]. The free encyclopedia Wikipedia, Moscow, 2010, Access mode: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Языковая _политика _в_Казахстане.
  9. The idea of the unity of three languages in Kazakhstan is correct and will contribute to the development of the country-the American scholar, [ER]. Information system Section, Мoscow: National information agency «KAZINFORM», 2008, Access mode: http://www.zakon.kz/111622-ideja-triedinstva-jazykov-v-kazakhstane.html.
Year: 2015
City: Karaganda
Category: Pedagogy