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News Time about the Russian Language and Migrants

The newspaper News Time published an article by Maria Dubnova entitled Non-native Speech, devoted to the issue of teaching children whose native language is not Russian at Moscow Schools.

As a whole, this article is correct, the author managed to find a balanced approach and objectively to tell Russian schools which problems exist in teaching Russian to children who are growing up in another language environment, as well as to prepare their training in Russian for usual educational institutions, and about problems, which such schools face.

Our attention was drawn to two aspects of this article: wrongful, in our opinion, was the ethnicizing of the term "migrant" which in the article designates exclusively non-Russian immigrants from abroad, and also incorrectly used statistical data.

By expert estimations, the number of migrants who find themselves in the territory of Moscow, make up from one to three million. As is officially on the registration account from January 15 till August 31, 2007, according to the Moscow Department of Education of Moscow, 1 080 185 people were recorded is written in the beginning of the text. And then: The non-Russian population of the capital has exceeded a 15-percent boundary. In this case there is an unreasonable substitution of concepts as, on the one hand, a migrant can be of Russian ethnicity, and on the other hand, native Muscovites are not only Russian.

It is necessary to notice that experts from the Russian school, who were interviewed in M.Dubnova's article, try to be correct: they usually name the country from which the child comes: the boy from Vietnam. However and they are brought down by a melange of terms, when they speak, for example, about phobias which arise in Muscovites, whose children study together with children of migrants. That also ethnicizes the term "migrant".

On the same mixture of terms journalists are waylaid: One of the reasons for which the city has attended to the problem at hand, according to sociologists, is: in 2005, at the moment of the acceptance of the program in Moscow, the degree of prevalence of negative ethno-contact sentiment has achieved 47 %, writes M.Dubnova. Also, she draws the following conclusion: approximately half of Muscovites, to put it mildly, are not fond of migrants.

The article in News Time raises an important problem. What is offensive is that its author uses a concept, characteristic of nationalist press, broadcasting, probably, even unconsciously, the language of enmity.

Source: : Centre ""


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