HOW READING INFLUENCES A PERSON’S CHOICE OF LANGUAGE IN A BILINGUAL ENVIRONMENT

Keywords: bilingual speakers, Ukrainian-Russian bilingualism, language use, bilingual environment, reading

Abstract

This article presents the results of a survey which allow us to clarify the role of reading in a situation where bilingual speakers have to choose their language of communication. Our study is a continuation of previous projects in which we identifi ed factors that might infl uence the choice of language in the Ukrainian-Russian language environment that has been historically formed over a long period of time in Vinnytsia and the Vinnytsia region. These factors are: 1) a media; 2) urban society; 3) the parents’ language; 4) language used in a school; 5) education etc. In the current study, we conducted a survey with more than 5000 students aged 14–18 years old who live in the Vinnytsia region and the city of Vinnytsia (Central Ukraine). The survey included a number of questions concerning the use of Ukrainian and Russian in everyday reading. In addition, the respondents were asked to identify the language of communication of their parents and friends. Reading is one of the important factors that affect the formation of world personalities, because the correlation between language and the respondent’s level of erudition and education can be measured through reading, that was the hypothesis in this study. Our previous surveys showed a strong correlation between the level of education of the respondent’s family and the choice of language in bilingual conditions, so the survey would answer the question: What factors are important in choosing one’s language in a bilingual environment. For research purposes, we chose the method of questioning high school students (in 10-th – 11-th grades) about the number of books read during the year, what books were available in their home library, their interest in the process of reading (both from the printed page and electronic devices), and how they exchanged with friends, teachers, etc. about the books, they found interesting. Survey results showed that residents of the city read more than in the country-side. There is also a connection between the mother tongue and location of the schools in which students study (schools in the center of a city). Russianspeaking respondents generally read more; they are mostly city-dwellers and attending central urban schools, they have larger home libraries, their parents read more. However the Ukrainian-speaking students read more than just the curriculum-books. An analysis of the questionnaires showed a loose link between the reading level of the respondent and the language he chooses in a bilingual environment. This will need to do further research.

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Author Biography

Taras Tkachuk, CHEI «Vinnytsia academy for Further Education»

Taras Tkachuk - h. D in Philology, Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor at the Chair for Philology and Humanitarian sciences

Published
2017-12-29
How to Cite
Tkachuk, T. (2017). HOW READING INFLUENCES A PERSON’S CHOICE OF LANGUAGE IN A BILINGUAL ENVIRONMENT. Theoretical and Didactic Philology, (26), 173-183. Retrieved from https://tdp-journal.com/index.php/journal/article/view/94