The First Foreign Language Influence on the Second Foreign Language in Bilingual Environment of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia
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This paper investigates the problem of the second foreign language acquisition in bilingual environment. The main goals and principles of such international examinations as Cambridge First Certificate in English and Chinese Proficiency test are analyzed in this study. The first-year undergraduate students of bachelor programme “Pedagogical Education” have been tested in the format of these international exams and the subsequent independent analysis performed on the test results. These languages are learnt as major foreign languages in NEFU of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), located in the Arctic zone. Applicants of this University have already enrolled with the knowledge of English, while Chinese language has been studied only from the first year of education. In addition, most of the students living in the Arctic are bilinguals from birth; they know their native and Russian languages. The students’ proficiency in English as their major language, using Cambridge FCE test, has started in NEFU since 2017. Moreover, students of “Pedagogical education” have passed HSK test only since spring 2019. We believe that the predisposition to learning another foreign language, as Chinese, is determined depending on the level of English proficiency. To achieve this, English proficiency was assessed at the very beginning of study, and Chinese proficiency was estimated at the end of the 1st year. The test results under the format of CEFR grid have revealed the phenomenon of linguistic interference of the 1st acquired foreign language in the progress of the 2nd foreign language learning.
KeywordsCEFR Cambridge exam HSK Bilingualism Language interference
We are grateful to Sidorova Marianna, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of NEFU English Language Department for the information as to how to test foreign languages proficiency, for opportunities of testing students in English, and collections of material for this paper.
We are also grateful to Panina Svetlana, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor of NEFU Pedagogy Department for theoretical support and assistance in writing on the results of the study.
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