Barriers to CLIL Education: Evidence from Russia

Maria Rubtsova, Russia, ID CLL2016-705;          During the current conflict between Russia and the West, there are many concerns associated with the fate of the Russian language and spread of the English language. Previous research has shown a serious concern about the use of English language in the education system in Russia. Therefore, it is necessary to search the conception of using the English language, which will be adequate to the outlook of the Russians. The present study aims to investigate social and ideological barriers of implementation of bilingual education (in English and Russian) in St. Petersburg universities and to find a way of possible development bilingual education in future. The author conducts the expert research by formalized interviews. The sampling method: convenience sample. The results: despite the fact that the experts recognize that knowledge of English is useful in worldwide perspectives, the spread of the English language as a language of instruction at Russian universities is alarming. Education in only English without Russian is unacceptable. The Russian language should have priority in Russian university education; however, English can be one of working languages especially if it is possible to understand it as a financial investment and it will be proved that English can give financial profit. The results show a wide range of barriers, from concern for the preservation of national identity to fears that social change will occur more rapidly and existing knowledge can be devalued under the influence of English spread. However, economic motivation is very important and English can be accepted as a way to economic success.

Keywords: education in English, bilingual programs, social barriers to bilingual education