About Us

Executive Editor:
Publishing house "Academy of Natural History"

Editorial Board:
Asgarov S. (Azerbaijan), Alakbarov M. (Azerbaijan), Aliev Z. (Azerbaijan), Babayev N. (Uzbekistan), Chiladze G. (Georgia), Datskovsky I. (Israel), Garbuz I. (Moldova), Gleizer S. (Germany), Ershina A. (Kazakhstan), Kobzev D. (Switzerland), Kohl O. (Germany), Ktshanyan M. (Armenia), Lande D. (Ukraine), Ledvanov M. (Russia), Makats V. (Ukraine), Miletic L. (Serbia), Moskovkin V. (Ukraine), Murzagaliyeva A. (Kazakhstan), Novikov A. (Ukraine), Rahimov R. (Uzbekistan), Romanchuk A. (Ukraine), Shamshiev B. (Kyrgyzstan), Usheva M. (Bulgaria), Vasileva M. (Bulgar).

Additional Information

Authors

Login to Personal account

Home / Issues / № 3, 2015

Sociological Science

KAZAKH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND TRANSLATION FROM A FOREIGNER’S PERSPECTIVE: A CASE STUDY WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING RESIDENTS
Abdyeva R.S., Nogaybaeva J.A., Togzhanova L.K., Shynybaeva A.S.

Introduction.

Kazakh is a Turkish language with primary SVO order and a head-final, leftbranching structure, like Japanese. It does not match English in its word order or head direction. Thus, in Kazakh, relative clauses appear to the left of their heads. For example, in (4), the relative clause appears to the left of the head ‘girl'. In Kazakh, as in (4), there are no overt wh-operators or overt complementisers in relative clauses. The boundary between the relative clause and the main clause is indicated in the verbal morphology - for example, in (4), by the participial form of the verb ‘drink'. Lexically headed relative clause:

[Sut- isken ] kyz bolmege kirdi

milk-ACC drink-PART girl-NOM room-dat enter-past

‘(A=the) girl who drank (the) milk entered (a=the) room'.

Purpose of the study

head-initial, right-branching language. It matches English in word order and branching direction; it does not match Kazakh. This is illustrated in (5); the relative clause appears to the right of the NP head, ‘professor'. Lexically headed relative clause (5) Professor [kotory priglasil lektora] predstavil vraca professor-NOM who invite-PAST speaker-ACC introduce-PA doctor-ACC ‘The professor who invited the speaker introduced the doctor'. The L3 in our experiment, English, thus matches the L2 in branching direction, but not the L1. If the L3 learner is to draw on experience with a rightbranching language in constructing relative clauses in English, this experience would have to come from Russian, and not from Kazakh.

Material and methods

According to Cook, the tradition of excluding the native language from the second language classrooms had considerably limited "the possibilities of language teaching" (2001). The linguist claims that code switching assists in explaining grammatical and lexical materials; may be used as a tool for description of difficult concepts; reduces the time to explain tasks; and demonstrates real second language situation (2001).

Here it should be noted that nearly half the students switch back and forth between the Kazakh language and the English language when they do not want to make their speeches clear for everybody, i.e. show identity with a certain group. The overwhelming majority of learners (74%) switch from Kazakh to English to attract the listeners' attention. Most of the students (60%) switch when there is no equivalence of a word in one of the languages. However, as it is shown from Table 3, nearly half the respondents tend to switch back and forth between languages when an interlocutor does not understand the meaning of a word or expression. Approximately the same number of respondents (46%) disagrees with this statement. We assume that this situation is interpreted by the fact that target language exclusivity is considered as a positive phenomenon; therefore, students try to convey the meaning of a word or an expression by means of linguistic tools of a target language.

The majority of students unanimously respond that code switching contributes to effective language acquisition: it helps them understand difficult words and concepts, and explanation of difficult parts of the grammar in the native language assists in acquiring the proficient level of English. In general, students believe that code switching that students hold positive attitudes towards code switching in the process of second language acquisition. Findings of the study demonstrate that code switching contributes to increasing interest in learning as difficult linguistic material is easily learnt with the help of switching to the native language.

Some reasons for code switching have also been identified during the study. Kazakh-English code switching is used to attract the attention of the interlocutors, to convey more precise meaning, and make speech expressive. Code switching also serves as a means of identifying with a specific group. Kazakh-English code switching happens when the students do not know the appropriate word or expression and when there is no equivalent word in one of the languages.

A favorable environment is created for students and the process of language learning becomes more efficient. Students do not feel lost and feel satisfied in the process of language learning. However, as mentioned previously, many respondents do not switch forth and back between languages which is apparently interpreted by the fact that the use of only English is mostly encouraged by a teacher and code switching is regarded as a negative phenomenon.

The issue of code switching is currently studied from different perspectives and the attitude of a learner, speaking personality, towards code switching is one of the important ones. Code switching in educational environment is an unavoidable and necessary phenomenon.

At a more general level, if we had answers to these questions, they would prove important in terms of the articulation of a theory of the mind and language specifically with respect to the integration of hypothesised innate principles of language and language-specific properties in the development of a particular language grammar. In addition, results would uniquely inform us concerning how a learner moves from an ‘initial' state to an ‘end' state in grammar construction The L1 acquisition of relative clauses in English has a long and welldocumented history. Some of the early studies to which we make critical reference in this paper include Goodluck and Tavakolian, 1982; Hamburger, 1980; and Hamburger and Crain, 1982 among others. These studies have provided both natural speech samples as well as controlled experimental data.

Results and discussion

The inculcation of children with language skills, naturally, is not confined to the home. Among respondents of the titular nationality, more than 20 percent have not been able to place their children in a kindergarten

where Kazakh is the language of upbringing and instruction. Superimposed on this indicator, naturally, is the overall shortage of kindergartens and their high cost. Many Russians as well (16 percent) were not able to place their children in Russian kindergartens. About 16 percent of Kazakhs with school-age children were not able to place them in Kazakh-language schools and 4 percent were not able to place them in Russian-language schools.

Language acquisition is blocked by genuine difficulties being experienced by today's system of education. In our higher educational institutions, as we know, the principal language of instruction is Russian, and this situation cannot be changed now without impairing the training of future  specialists we need to affirm that the program for developing the Kazakh language in its official ranking has essentially failed to produce results. The place that Kazakh occupies in the social-communicative  realm is not in accord with its proclaimed status. It hardly performs official functions, or performs them only formally. The number of persons who are fluent in Kazakh has not increased very much, and basically it is among Kazakhs themselves, the overwhelming majority of whom have developed genuine bilingualism. Kazakh's functions continue to be limited to the household and traditional culture, and the farther from this sphere one goes, the more the Russian language assumes the main communication role. It is reasonable to suggest that as market relations become more established, the Kazakh language will yield even more ground; one example is in advertising. One positive change is the increase in the number of Kazakhs who have to be consistent, flexible, and balanced. The policy can be effective only if a number of tasks are resolved and certain conditions are met. It is necessary to strive for genuine, universal bilingualism that is stipulated as obligatory in all state-legal enactments. On the one hand, bilingualism must be viewed as a transitional stage during which Kazakh will gradually come to be adopted in everyday life; on the other hand, bilingualism needs to be viewed as a guarantee that the Russian language will remain in use among part of the population. In other words, the Kazakh language cannot develop and expand its entire functional zone by rejecting Russian; it has to draw on it for support. As a means of consolidating the nation, the official language does not always perform this function automatically.

Conclusions

Kazakh-English code switching is used to attract the attention of the interlocutors, to convey more precise meaning, and make speech expressive. Code switching also serves as a means of identifying with a specific group. Kazakh-English code switching happens when the students do not know the appropriate word or expression and when there is no equivalent word in one of the languages.

A favorable environment is created for students and the process of language learning becomes more efficient. Students do not feel lost and feel satisfied in the process of language learning. However, as mentioned previously, many respondents do not switch forth and back between languages which is apparently interpreted by the fact that the use of only English is mostly encouraged by a teacher and code switching is regarded as a negative phenomenon.

The issue of code switching is currently studied from different perspectives and the attitude of a learner, speaking personality, towards code switching is one of the important ones. Code switching in educational environment is an unavoidable and necessary phenomenon. We think that it contributes to efficient second language learning.



References:
1. Kazakh-English Code Switching and its Role in the Educational Space of Kazakhstan Damira Akynova

2. The Cumulative-Enhancement Model for Language Acquisition: Comparing Adults' and Children's Patterns of Development in First, Second and Third Language Acquisition of Relative Clauses, Suzanne Flynn , Claire Foley & Inna Vinnitskaya

3. The Present Language Situation in Kazakhstan M. M. Arenov & S. K. Kalmykov Russian Social Science Review, 38:3, 56-64

4. Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding Chiesa, Bruno Della, Ed.; Scott, Jessica, Ed.; Hinton, Christina, Ed. OECD Publishing NJ3



Bibliographic reference

Abdyeva R.S., Nogaybaeva J.A., Togzhanova L.K., Shynybaeva A.S. KAZAKH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND TRANSLATION FROM A FOREIGNER’S PERSPECTIVE: A CASE STUDY WITH ENGLISH-SPEAKING RESIDENTS. International Journal Of Applied And Fundamental Research. – 2015. – № 3 –
URL: www.science-sd.com/462-24896 (12.04.2024).