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September 05, 2013

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has chosen: English first, Russian later

English-in-UzbekistanTwo decades after independence from the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan has relegated the study of Russian as a foreign language in favour of English.

President Islam Karimov’s latest education decree mandates that English classes start in the first grade, with Russian classes starting in the second.

In a country that has just celebrated twenty-two years of independence from the Soviet Union, schools are mostly taught in Uzbek – with English and Russian considered foreign languages.

Non-Uzbek schools have also shifted their priorities from once commonly spoken Russian – which is still widely spoken throughout Uzbekistan – to English.

In Tajik, Kazakh and Kyrgyz language schools the number of weekly Russian lessons has been cut from two hours to one.

In Uzbek-language schools, Russian will continue for now to be taught for two hours a week.

In Russian-language schools, Russian language and Russian literature will be offered as a native language, and the amount of time devoted to studying the language will remain unchanged.

This year, as last year, all school teachers in Uzbekistan are required to participate in weekly English lessons.

Gulbakhor Iskanderova, a teacher of Russian and literature, reports that teachers – regardless to the subject they teach – are mandated to open each school day by saying “Welcome children” and having a five minute conversation with their students in English.

Read the full article from Uznews.

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