ARPHA Proceedings 3: 2715-2730, doi: 10.3897/ap.2.e2715
Culture-Related Content in Russian Language Textbooks in the Field of Bilingual Education
expand article infoTatyana S. Veselovskaya
Open Access
This study investigates culture-related content in Russian language textbooks for primary school children with different levels of Russian language proficiency (native speakers, migrants, bilinguals, etc.). Textbooks play a central role in teaching and are supposed to be a platform that introduces cultural diversity, teaches tolerance and respect for other cultures. The study of cultural information incorporated in the textbook helps to identify the main and secondary components that influence the formation of sociocultural competence, national stereotypes, and autostereotypes. These issues are especially relevant in the context of bilingual education for young language learners since the process of their inculturation and socialization is in the initial stage. The material of the study is TIRTEC (Text-Image Russian Textbook Corpus) includes Russian language primary school textbooks. The method of content analysis, based on a conception of the ‘textbook as a corpus’ was applied. In order to determine how basic knowledge of the target language (Russian) is offered to learners, the data collected from the selected textbooks were analyzed according to the several “cultural dimensions” (product, person, tradition, proverb, idiom, etc.). These aspects were adopted to codify both verbal and visual culture-related content and were distributed on the scale of target and source cultures. Statistical analysis of data obtained according to each parameter revealed an imbalance in culture-related and pragmatic textbook content. On the one hand, other cultures are represented extremely sporadically in the Russian language textbooks, on the other hand, the image of Russian culture is mainly associated with folklore, fiction texts, and the cold climate. It can potentially be of interest to the textbook authors and editors aimed at creating a modern textbook.
textbook corpus, Russian language textbooks, culture-related content, text-image corpus, bilingual education, evidence-based pedagogy, Russian language for young learners