To the issue of the «multicultural linguistic personality» term

The article contains an analytical review of the scientific literature of near and far abroad countries on the definition of the «multicultural personality» term. The importance of a clear definition of this category is due to the urgency of the problem of the multicultural language personality's formation in the education space of Kazakhstan. The conceptual content of the term is revealed through its constituent concepts: «polycultural personality» and «linguistic personality». The multicultural language personality is regarded as a linguistic personality developing in a multicultural environment at all levels of intercultural communication: global, interethnic and interpersonal. The goal of the Kazakhstani education system is the formation of a student's multicultural personality, that is, a person who is able to identify himself not only as a representative of his national culture, but also as a citizen of the world, perceiving himself as a subject of the cultures' dialogue and aware of his role, importance, responsibility in global human processes.

The primary goal of language education modernization in Kazakhstan today is the formation of a multicultural linguistic personality. Realization of this difficult task is a vital necessity, an actual problem, with a tendency for development.

According to President N. Nazarbayev «Kazakhstan is unique and strong with its multinationality. On its land, a unique multicultural space has formed, in which two streams are leading. One reflects the revival of Kazakh culture and its constituent elements, language. There is an objective process of restoration of the lost. The other stream is a Russian-language culture, based on the native traditions of the Russian people and everything that they absorbed in the course of centuries of development. Recognition of self-existing cultural streams does not negate their complementarity and mutual enrichment, which does not mean assimilation. The multiculturalism of Kazakhstan is a progressive factor in the development of society. The Eurasian roots of the Kazakhstani people allow connecting Eastern, Asian, Western, European flows and create a unique Kazakh variant of the development of multiculturalism» [1].

Based on this Strategy, today the values and principles necessary for overall survival and free development become priorities. First, it is a strategy of nonviolence, the idea of tolerance for other people's positions, values, cultures, the search for mutually acceptable compromises, the idea of dialogue and mutual understanding, etc.

Kazakhstan's desire to enter the education space of the world requires maximum openness to different points of view, the ability to rethink and evaluate the contribution of different cultural historical paradigms to the education process. To enter into a single global educational environment and ensure the social mobility of the Kazakh people, it is necessary to develop a dialogue of cultures and traditions, customs. In connection with the foregoing, the educational institutions have a great responsibility – the education of an ethnically identical and multicultural personality, oriented through their culture to others. Therefore, the issue of educating a spiritual, moral, free, tolerant, civilly active, highly intelligent and healthy multicultural personality in conditions of a multi-ethnic environment acquires paramount importance.

In this regard, the importance of a clear definition of «multicultural linguistic personality» is explained. Before disclose the conceptual content of the term of this category, let us consider the constituent concepts of it: «multicultural personality» and «linguistic personality».

The concept of ethno-cultural education of the Republic of Kazakhstan provides a detailed description of the multicultural personality. In the document, a multicultural personality is viewed as an individual, oriented through its culture to others, possessing an integral worldview, the sum of psychological qualities expressed through linguistic, historical, geographical, legal, artistic and aesthetic consciousness [2].

Analysis of the works of M.M. Bakhtina, B.C. Biblera, S.L. Frank, Z.A. Malkova, M.S. Kagan, Yu.M. Lotman and others allows us to understand the leading role of culture as a factor that lays life's value, which fosters tolerance and stimulates self-development of the individual.

Multicultural personality's ideas were reflected in the writings of N.K. Roerich's «beneficent synthe- sis», which is understood as the «unity of cultures», creating a beneficial cooperation of people, the views of Yа.A. Komensky on the need to develop students' ability of living in peace with others, fulfill their mutual duties, respect and love people, the work of philosophers A.J. Toynbee, Yu.V. Yakovets on the integrity of the cultural and historical mankind's development also lead us to an understanding of the concept's essence of a multicultural personality. Separation of individual, original cultural worlds by researchers, attempts to answer the question about the nature of interaction between them in many ways determined modern approaches to the definition of multiculturalism and multicultural education. At the heart of these theories are ideas of the singularity and uniqueness of each culture and the need for dialogue between them.

Relying on the research of psychologists, we can comprehend the formation of the multicultural personality as a spiritual and practical activity aimed at understanding the truth, entering culture (L.S. Vygotsky, A.N. Leontiev), and cultural change of the personality (V. D. Shadrikov).

The importance of communication, dialogue interaction in the formation of a multicultural personality was considered on the basis of the work of B.G. Ananyeva, A.G. Asmolova, S.L. Bratchenko, M. Buber, M.M. Bakhtina, B.C. Bibler. The provisions of M.M. Bakhtin about a man as a unique world of culture, entering into interaction with other personalities – carriers of individual culture, creating itself in the process of such interaction and influencing others, contribute to the fuller understanding of the essence of the multiculturalism phenomenon [3].

Lets consider several interpretations of the term «multicultural personality» of various researchers.

According to J. Bourges a multicultural personality, accepts life patterns that are different from his own, psychologically and socially ready to embrace different cultural realities [4].

G.D. Dmitriev refers to the primary qualities of a multicultural personality as the ability to «work with people culturally different, correctly understand the human difference, be tolerant to them, be able to assert cultural pluralism in society with their personal deeds and words» [5].

L.V. Kolobova, studying the process of personality formation in multicultural education, singles out its specific characteristics: intercultural communication, the integration of personality into culture, its selfidentification, the possibility of self-realization while preserving the relationship with his native language, culture [6].

In this way, each of the existing definitions given by the researchers claims full disclosure of its essence, emphasizing the various aspects of this multifaceted phenomenon and consider the following characteristics of the multicultural personality to be most significant: respect for cultures and traditions of different peoples, the need for their national culture and language, cultures as the highest form of communication, respect for other cultures, ability to constructive dialogue.

In our understanding, the «multicultural personality» in today's Kazakhstan reality, when people living in a multicultural society need to learn the values of the «alien» culture and transfer this knowledge and valuable experience of communication with other cultures to succeeding generations, contributing to the unity of the multicultural space of Kazakhstan .

The concept of «linguistic personality» is based on the concept of personality as a subject of relations and conscious activity, determined by this system of social relations, culture and also conditioned by biological characteristics.

The first appeal to the linguistic personality is associated with the name of L.Y. Weissgerber, who spoke of the dependence of the whole man's life on his native language, on the relationship of the native language and the spiritual formation of man. The social essence of language lies in the fact that it exists, first of all, in the linguistic consciousness – collective and individual. Accordingly, the linguistic collective and the individual are the carriers of culture in the language. The collective as an ethnos and an individual are the extreme points on the conventional scale of linguistic consciousness [7]. The language of a particular person does not exist by itself. It is formed by the language of other people who belong to one nation, have a common culture and traditions.

The most complete and systematic substantiation of the «linguistic personality» concept is presented in the works of Yu.N. Karaulov. He noted that «since it is impossible to study any one aspect of the scientific and linguistic paradigm about language, the output can be seen only in addressing the human factor and introducing into the linguistic paradigm of the linguistic personality as an equitable object of study as such a conceptual position, which allows us to integrate disparate and relatively independent properties of lan- guage» [8; 22]. Yu.N. Karaulov developed a methodology for the reconstruction of the linguistic personality and defined it as «a set of human abilities and characteristics that determine the creation and reproduction of speech products (texts), which differ: a) the degree of structural and linguistic.

The study of the linguistic personality inevitably involves in the sphere of interests of linguists those issues that unite all specialists who study a person from different positions. An important issue in the theory of linguistic personality is the selection of the linguistic personalities' types. The typology of linguistic personalities can be constructed on various grounds, depending on the approach to the subject of study, which is carried out from the standpoint of either personality or language. Conventionally, the following types of personalities:

  1. A person for whom communication in his native language is natural in his communicative environment.
  2. A person for whom it is natural to communicate in a foreign language in his communicative environment.
  3. A person who speaks a foreign language with learning objectives that do not belong to the characteristics of the natural environment of communication. [9].

The question of the correlation between the individual and the linguistic personality is extremely important for the development of the conceptual foundations for the language personality's formation. According to the research of A.G. Fomina, «the linguistic personality is interpreted not only as part of a voluminous and multifaceted understanding of the personality, ... but as a kind of full-fledged representation of the personality, containing both psychological, social, ethical, and other components, but refracted through lan- guage» [10].

This idea is consonant with the thoughts of V. A. Maslova, who singles out several components of the linguistic personality: the I-physical, the I-social, the I-intellectual, the I-emotional, the I-Verbal and cogitative. She notes that by acting on any person's personality, one can influence all other aspects of the personality of the addressee. The linguistic personality enters into communication as a multidimensional one, and it corresponds with the strategies and tactics of verbal communication, with the social and psychological roles of communicants, the cultural meaning of information included in communication [11].

In our study, we adhere to the concept of Yu.N. Karaulov, that the linguistic person is composed of three levels [8]:

  •  zero level – verbal-semantic, or lexicon of personality, understood in a broad sense, and including phonetic and grammatical knowledge of the individual;
  •  the first level – logical-cognitive, represented by the thesaurus of the person, in which the «image of the world» or «the system of knowledge about the world» is imprinted;
  •  the second level – the level of activity-communicative needs, reflecting the personality pragmatist, that is, the system of goals, motives, attitudes and intentions of the individual [8].

G.V. Elizarova and L.P. Khalyapin take into account the fact that in the structure of each linguistic personality there is an existence of an invariant part, the singling out of which determines the existence of a nation-wide linguistic type and determines the individual's belonging to one or another linguistic cultural community. It is the invariant part in the structure of the linguistic personality that provides the opportunity for mutual understanding of the carriers of different social and cultural codes, different national concept spheres [12].

T.E. Dobrova notes that later L.P. Khalyapina introduces the notion of a «multicultural language per- sonality», believing that in the context of a global multicultural society, one should not speak of a secondary linguistic personality but of a multicultural one that can interact with representatives of different countries and cultures. She believes that today, in the context of the process of globalization, it is necessary to speak not so much about the process of intercultural communication that involves only a dialogue of cultures, but rather about multicultural communication that assumes a polylogue of cultures, carried out through the language of global communication – English [13; 111].

Taking the scientists' point of view who believe that for the formation of a linguistic personality it is more important to involve not only the linguistic, but also the conceptual system of the bearers of another culture, we can conclude that in the context of the society's globalization, the task of comprehending the foreign language teaching system conceptual systems of different cultures.

Proceeding from the theory of the linguistic personality, we believe that in the conditions of a global multicultural society, the secondary linguistic personality is not in great demand, but in the process of teaching foreign languages it is attached only to the conceptual system of speakers of the second (foreign) language, and the multicultural linguistic personality in which ability and willingness to interact with representatives of different countries and cultures. The multicultural linguistic personality is a person in whose structure the foreign language has formed such a complex of competences that allows it to navigate in the conceptspheres of the universal and ethno-cultural types, which ensures the development of its readiness and the ability for active positive interaction with representatives of the multicultural world. In other words, a multicultural linguistic personality owns the concept spheres of one's own and other cultures and is able to determine the content of the concepts that the communication partner operates on the basis of the analysis of linguistic means and speech behavior.

Having formed this type of linguistic personality, we will prepare it for productive participation in the situation of multicultural communication.

The need for the formation of a multicultural language personality is dictated precisely by the conditions of the global world, for effective functioning in which it is not enough to study and understand only the country's culture of the studied language (which is characteristic of the existing system of teaching foreign languages). We need a fundamentally different approach to the formation of a linguistic personality – an approach that would be based on a cognitive level of comprehension as universal cultural concepts of panhuman value, and on the understanding of the specific cultural nature of the expression of these concepts in various ethno-cultures.

We believe that the study of nature and the definition of the structure of a multicultural linguistic personality should be conducted, on the one hand, using the most advanced scientific tools (in particular, the dominant competence approach in the field of methodology), and on the other hand, through the maximum possible attraction of real living experience in the conditions of modern complex society. Such an opportunity is provided by the experience of communication in the Internet environment, which not only serves, but also reflects the most modern multicultural world.

At the same time, it is quite obvious that the formation of a linguistic personality in demand of the new conditions cannot be limited to the formation of individual abilities, knowledge or skills. A complex of competences and competencies that is would require providing a pragmatic aspect of communication.

Thus, the analysis of domestic and foreign philosophical, psychological and pedagogical literature allowed us to determine the desired definition.

The multicultural linguistic personality is a person who is the subject of a cultural polylogue, having an active life position, possessing a developed sense of empathy and tolerance, emotional stability, the ability to live in peace and harmony with people as representatives of different cultural groups, capable of successful self-determination and productive professional activity in conditions of cultural diversity of society. This person with a developed sense of tolerance and empathy, having an active life position, the ability to live in harmony with the representatives of various cultural and ethnic groups, capable of successful selfdetermination and productive professional activities.



  1. Nazarbyaev, N.A. Stratehiia transformatsii obshchestva i vozrozhdeniia tsivilizatsii [The strategy of the transformation of society and the revival of civilization]. Retrieved from transformacii-obshchestva-i-vozrozhdeniya-evraziyskoy-civilizacii [in Russian].
  2. Kontseptsiia etnokulturnoho obrazovaniia v Respublike Kazakhstan [The concept of ethno-cultural education in the Republic of Kazakhstan]. (1996, 7 avhusta). Kazakhstanskaia Pravda – The Kazakh truth [in Russian].
  3. Agranat, Yu.V. (2009). Formirovanie polikulturnoi lichnosti budushchikh spetsialistov sotsialnoi sfery pri obuchenii inostrannomu yazyku v vuze [Formation of the multicultural personality of the future specialists of the social sphere in the teaching of a foreign language in higher education]. Candidate's thesis. Khabarovsk [in Russian].
  4. Bourget, J. Development of Polycentric Consciousness: A Model for Multicultural Education. Retrieved from http// [in Russian].
  5. Dmitriev, G.D. (1999). Mnohokulturnoe obrazovanie [Multicultural education]. Moscow: Narodnoe obrazovanie [in Russian].
  6. Kolobova, L.V. (2006). Stanovlenie lichnosti shkolnika v polikulturnom obrazovanii [Formation of the student's personality in multicultural education]. Extended abstract of Doctor`s thesis. Orenburg [in Russian].
  7. Rumiantseva, M.V. (2012). K probleme formirovaniia polikulturnoi yazykovoi lichnosti v protsesse inoiazychnoho obrazovaniia v vuze [To the problem of the formation of a multicultural language personality in the process of foreign-language education in a higher educational institution]. Sovremennaia vysshaia shkola: innovatsionnyi aspekt – Modern Higher School: an Innovative Aspect, 1, 74–79 [in Russian]
  8. Karaulov, Yu.N. (1987). Russkii yazyk i yazykovaia lichnost [Russian language and language]. Moscow: Nauka [in Russian].
  9. Nefedova, L.A., & Venediktova, L.N. (2009). Krosskulturnye osobennosti yazykovoi lichnosti [Cross-cultural characteristics of the language personality]. Proceedings from Cross-cultural and multilingual education in the modern world: Mezhdunarodnaia nauchno-prakticheskaia konferentsiia – International. scientific and practical conf. (pp. 14–20). Kostanai [in Russian].
  10. Fomin, A.G. (2005). Psikholinhvisticheskaia kontseptsiia hendernoi yazykovoi lichnosti [Psycholinguistic concept of gender language personality]. Doctor`s thesis. Moscow [in Russian].
  11. Maslova, V.A. (2001). Linhvokulturolohiia [Lingvoculturology]. Moscow: Akademiia [in Russian].
  12. Elizarova, G.V., & Khaliapina, L.P. (2005). Formirovanie polikulturnoi yazykovoi lichnosti kak trebovanie novoi hlobalnoi situatsii [Formation of a multicultural language personality as a requirement of a new global situation]. Saint Petersburg: KARO [in Russian]
  13. Dobrova, T. E. (2011). K voprosu o linhvisticheskikh sredstvakh formirovaniia polikulturnoi yazykovoi lichnosti studenta- filoloha [On the question of the linguistic means for the formation of the multicultural language personality of the studentphilologist]. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburhskoho hosudarstvennoho universiteta – Bulletin of St. Petersburg State University, 2, 111–115 [in Russian].
Year: 2018
City: Karaganda
Category: Pedagogy