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Volume 3 Number 2, Spring 2006, Pages 1-192   


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Russian English: Status, Attitudes, Problems

    Zoya G. Proshina


Today there is no doubt about the pluricentricity of the English language. Kachru's (1988) theory of concentric circles, with the division of English functions into three types - English as a Native Language (ENL), English as a Second Language (ESL), and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) - has become axiomatic. However, attitudes to the status of EFL in Russia are complex and even confusing. Most Russian linguists and educators, though admitting the existence of World Englishes as regional varieties of English, deny the existence of Russian English among them. When asked what kind of English they speak, most Russians will say that they use British or American English. The reasons for this are to be found in education traditions which saw the British model dominating Russian school textbooks. This article discusses the results of a sociolinguistic survey of both teachers and students of English in the Russian Far East. The aim of the survey was to investigate Russian communicators' attitudes to the English language they learn / teach, their preferences in communication through English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), and their name of their variety of English they speak. The results of the research are compared with those obtained by Campbell, Ekniyom, Haque, and Smith (1983) and Kachru (1982) in other countries of the Outer and Expanding Circles.