SPSU’s Center for Sociological and Internet Research presents the results of a survey of residents of St.Petersburg and Leningrad region.
Residents of St.Petersburg and Leningrad region believe that in order to improve the knowledge of Russian language among Russian schoolchildren the state should primarily improve the quality of teacher training in pedagogical higher education establishments across the country. Three-quarters (75,8%) of respondents from St.Petersburg and more than two-thirds (67,4%) of their counterparts from Leningrad region share this opinion. More than half of city residents and that of Leningrad region (57.7% and 51.4%, respectively) favor the development of a unified textbook on Russian language resulting from a collaborative effort of the best teachers. The other way to improve the knowledge of Russian language is to increase the number of hours dedicated to teaching Russian in schools. More than half of city residents (56.1%) and about half (48.0%) of respondents in Leningrad region consider the increase in hours an important way to improve the knowledge of Russian.
The majority of residents have no idea that in response to the initiative of the Duma deputies the Russian Ministry of Education and Science deliberate on developing a unified textbook on Russian language. Only 22.7% of city residents and 22.8% of their counterparts in the region have heard about this initiative.
Respondents believe that introduction of unified standards of teaching Russian across the entire territory of Russia underlies the development of the textbook. The majority of respondents in St.Petersburg (60.4%) and 49.5% of Leningrad region residents share such an opinion. Other reasons for the development of the textbook include the following: improvement of students’ knowledge of Russian (48,6% of city residents and 42,0% of their counterparts in the region), protection of the Russian language from contamination with foreign words (38.3% and 39.8%, respectively), followed by making up-to-date textbook available to teachers for the ease of teaching (35.4% an 32.9%, respectively).
Residents of St.Petersburg and Leningrad region consider the main task of the unified textbook on Russian language to be the development of the culture of the language both in speech and in writing and that of skills of cultural communication. More than one quarter (28,3%) of respondents from St.Petersburg and one-fifth (26,4%) of respondents from Leningrad region share this opinion.
The textbook should be one for all regions of the country and approved at the federal level. Half of city residents (50.2%) and 55.2% of the region residents believe so.
The majority of the surveyed think that up-to-date textbook should be issued as one book in traditional paper format. More than half (53.3%) of city residents and 58.0% of surveyed in the region reported such an opinion. Fewer than one in ten (9.4% и 8.3%, respectively) expressed interest in an e-textbook.
The majority of residents of St.Petersburg (70.7%) and Leningrad region (64.0%) think that addressing texts and examples from the classical literature is one main way that may improve the textbook’s quality. When asked whether a good textbook or a well-qualified teacher is more important to make students learn the language better, the respondents assign equal importance to each. More than half (52.8%) of city residents and about half (49.7%) of the region residents think that both things are equally important. Slightly fewer respondents in the city and region (42.8% и 44.7%, respectively) believe that a qualified teacher is more important than a good textbook.
The CATI telephone survey of 2400 adults aged 18 and above residing in the city of St.Petersburg (n=1200) and Leningrad region (n=1200) took place on 01-20 August 2014. The Resource Center for Sociological and Internet Research of the St.Petersburg State University conducted the survey using a representative quota sample (controlling for gender, age, education and region).
Question: “What should the state do in order to improve Russian schoolchildren’s knowledge of Russian?”
|Improve the quality of teacher training in pedagogical higher education establishments across the country||75,8||67,4|
|Develop a unified textbook on Russian language resulting from a collaborative effort of the best teachers||57,7||51,4|
|Increase the number of hours dedicated to teaching Russian in schools||56,1||48,0|
|Introduce up-to-date technologies, author’s methods of teaching||31,6||30,9|
|No need to do anything||0,2||0,9|
|Refused to answer||1,9||0,9|
Question: “Do you know that in response to the initiative of the Duma deputies the Russian Ministry of Education and Science deliberate on developing a unified textbook on Russian language?”
|Yes, I do||22,7||22,8|
|No, I don’t||77,0||76,6|
|Refused to answer||0,4||0,6|
Question: “What do you think about the reasons behind the initiative to develop a unified textbook on Russian language? What tasks are supposed to get accomplished by the development of a unified textbook on Russian language?” (Answers were read, the number of answers should not exceed three answers)
|Ensure unified standards of teaching Russian across the entire territory of Russia||60,4||49,5|
|Improve students’ knowledge of Russian||48,6||42,0|
|Protect the Russian language from contamination with foreign words||38,3||39,8|
|Help teachers of Russian to teach, make up-to-date textbook available to teachers||35,4||32,9|
|Help students prepare for the United State Examination (USE) in the Russian language||22,0||27,8|
|Make studying Russian easier for migrants coming to Russia||13,5||12,1|
|Refused to answer||4,7||2,9|
Question: “In your opinion, what is the main task that a unified textbook on Russian language is supposed to accomplish?”
|Develop the culture of the language both in speech and in writing and skills of cultural communication||28,3||26,4|
|Build skills of good writing, error-free spelling and correct punctuation||20,4||19,7|
|Enrich vocabulary of students, develop their ability to express their thoughts clearly||19,2||15,6|
|Inspire with love to the Russian language, its history and to Russian-speaking people||16,5||23,8|
|All of the above||8,5||8,1|
|Refused to answer||2,8||2,1|
Question: “Taking into account that Russia is a multi-national state, what do you think a unified textbook on Russian language should look like?”
|It should be one textbook for all regions of the country approved at the federal level.||50,2||55,2|
|It may consist of several textbooks approved at the federal level and taking into account regional differences.||35,8||28,8|
|It should be one textbook for a region (or several regions) approved by the education authority of the region (or of several regions).||9,3||12,5|
|Refused to answer||3,1||2,5|
Question: “What format do you think an up-to-date textbook on Russian language should have?”
|Traditional paper format (as one book)||53,3||58,0|
|Set of task books, example books, “work books”||14,3||13,0|
|Video- (audio-) course||2,6||3,5|
|All of the above||9,3||4,7|
|Refused to answer||4,7||4,3|
Question: “In what ways can the textbook on Russian language be improved?” (Answer categories were rotated as read. Respondent could choose any number of answers)
|Address texts and examples from the classical literature||70,7||64,0|
|Increase the number of more creative tasks, work with textbook on students’ own||56,0||45,5|
|Use texts and examples from modern life||43,9||40,5|
|Introduce up-to-date technologies of speech development to the textbook||41,3||38,9|
|Use bright illustrations, modern design||37,2||38,9|
|Focus on modern speech milieu||29,8||32,6|
|Refused to answer||3,7||4,4|
Question: “In your opinion, in order to make students learn the language better, what is more important: a good textbook or a well-qualified teacher?”
|A textbook is more important than a teacher||2,9||3,5|
|A teacher is more important than a textbook||42,8||44,7|
|A textbook and a teacher are equally important||52,8||49,7|
|Refused to answer||0,8||1,3|