Language preserves the spirit of a nation, it is a bridge connecting stages of historical development and connecting generations to generations. It is very important for the Kazakh nation to preserve native Kazakh language.
The linguistic dictionary of T. Zherebilo (2010) defines “trilingual” as following:
“The operation of the three languages in a territorial community: state, region, city, town, where each of the languages is correlated with a specific area of communication.
Possession by the individual of three languages at the level necessary to satisfy his communication needs.”
In addition, B. Khasanuly (2007), in his article, “Language of the Kazakh Nation” provides the following definition of trilingualism: “alternating use of three languages in a heterogeneous society by members of the same ethnic group” (p.356).
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in his traditional speech addressed to the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan said that there is a limit of human life, and there is no end to education. He also said that he supports today’s generation to learn three languages. About the Kazak language which is the state language of the Republic of Kazakhstan he said that it’s the language of the state-forming nation and the Russian language knowledge is a great wealth. Also, he said that we must learn English because it is the language of advancement and technology. Also, he noticed that the Kazak language bringing together all the people of Kazakhstan, bringing them closer together and bringing mutual understanding and love. The purpose of the President of Kazakhstan is to ensure that citizens of the country have the right to choose their place of living, multilingual and multicultural, who are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in science, equally with the citizens of other developed countries to form a personality that can be traced back to knowledge. The reason is that in a few languages, free speech and writing can become a competitive person.
Current reforms in language policy are focused on the need of trilingual education. The Kazakhstani trilingual policy was reflected in the Address of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev “New Kazakhstan in a new world” (Nazarbayev, 2007). Moreover, the problem of trilingual policy is mentioned in the policy documents of the State program of education development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020, the State program of languages development and functioning for 2011-2020, the Roadmap of trilingual education for 2015-2020, the law “On languages of the Republic of Kazakhstan”.
The main site for implementing the policy is educational institutions. Trilingual education has been piloted in a network of 33 schools for gifted children since 2007 (Daryn National Scientific-Practical Centre, 2012). Trilingual education is also piloted in seventeen Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools established to become sites for the development of a wider range of best educational practices as part of the ongoing national reform of education. By 2020, the number of trilingual schools in Kazakhstan is meant to reach 700.
According to the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools 2015 Annual Report, trilingual education is an important part of the realization of the Integrated Education Program (IEP), which adheres to the Policy of Trilingual Education by using team teaching and subject-integrated learning (CLIL).
Monitoring is aimed at checking the 4 types of speech activities: “Reading,” “Listening”, “Letter” and “Speaking”. Assignments are designed in accordance with the levels of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR. They divided students into four levels.
- Beginner – the student understands and can use familiar everyday words and phrases about everyday topics and has a limited vocabulary.
- Basic – the student understands the general idea of short texts on familiar topics, information on everyday topics, participates in the conversation if the person speaks slowly and distinctly, can compose short texts (letter, announcement, statement, etc.), but has a limited vocabulary, difficulty when expressing their thoughts, grammatical and punctuation errors.
- Good – understand the overall content of the texts on various topics with complex sentence structure, is able to identify the main idea, purpose and structure of the text, the target audience understands the contents when slowly and clearly stated, understands their conversation partner. Has a sufficient vocabulary for writing, can articulate their thoughts in a conversation on familiar topics, admit some mistakes.
- Advanced – understands the contents of complex texts on various topics, determines the structure of the text, can write a text where the target audience recognizes the meaning in the hidden details. Understands dialogue at a rapid pace and determines the views of the speaker.
Analysis of the results showed that a majority of the 7th grade students have a basic or good level of knowledge of all the languages .
MES (Ministry for Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan) (2010), State Programme of Education Development for 2011-2020, Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, No. 1118 from December 7, 2010, Astana. Retrieved from www.akorda.kz/upload/SPED.doc
MES. (Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan) (2014). National report on current state and development of education system of Kazakhstan. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.kz
Nazarbayev, N.A. (2007). New Kazakhstan in a new world: Address by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the People of Kazakhstan, Astana. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.kz
NUGSE (Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education). (2014). Development of strategic directions for education reforms in Kazakhstan for 2015-2020: Diagnostic report. Astana: Indigo Print. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.