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How Perceptions of the English Language Have Changed in Kazakhstan: A Narrative Analysis

In: Central Asian Affairs
Author: Valerie Sartor1
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  • 1 Instructor, Defense Language Institute, Lackland Air Force BaseSan Antonio, TexasUSA
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Abstract

This study provides an overview of how perceptions of the English language in Kazakhstan have altered over time due to political, economic, social and technological changes. The sociocultural framework includes language commodification and critical pedagogy concerning Indigenous languages; the methodological approach is narrative analysis combined with Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism. Three generational shifts were identified, each reflective of sociocultural changes that have occurred as Kazakhstan has transitioned from Soviet republic to modern Indigenous nation: from the Soviet Era/Soviet Man; to Independent Kazakhstan/Patriots and Outsiders; to Modern Kazakhstan/Young Cosmopolitans. The ongoing popularity of English may eventually threaten the Kazakh language.

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