ARPHA Proceedings 4: 862-877, doi: 10.3897/ap.e4.e0862
Promoting national identity: the case of language university students in Russia
expand article infoUliana V. Smirnova
Open Access
The contemporary context for facilitating cultural identification in Russian higher education is problematic with the main challenges for an educator encompassing the understanding of contemporary Russian identity and the methodological content and guidelines to promote it. The study investigates the national identity of Russian university students that they reveal in the course of studies at the Institute of Foreign Languages Moscow City University while doing adapted activities in a foreign coursebook. I argue that while students predominantly identify themselves as Russian their national identity reveals the complexity of intercultural and transcultural elements. The article proposes the understanding and knowledge students could be expected to learn in the process of promoting national identity (an understanding of what national identity and national identification mean and how the complexity of today's globalized world influence them; an understanding of what constitutes their "Russianness" and what could be elements of other cultures; an understanding of the role that the Russian language and culture play in their multilanguage identity; an understanding that they can be unconscious of how deeply they are influenced by home culture and that there might be contradictions between what they say and how they behave) and gives examples of activities in a foreign textbook adapted to promote Russian identification from the intercultural and transcultural approaches perspective. The research indicates that at the moment students do not feel that English class is the space where they can reveal their Russian identity.
national identity, ELT, intercultural approach, transcultural approach