The book "Languages of America" visually reflects the system of language learning in the United States, demonstrates the main trends characteristic of the American educational system at present, as well as initiatives aimed at supporting learning foreign languages in the country. It features a strategy for the introduction of language policy, involving 20 federal ministries and departments, associations of language teachers, urban school communities, associations of immigrants and indigenous peoples of America, and state councils on the humanities.
The authors pay special attention to initiatives in the framework of public-private partnership, the implementation of bilingual models, including subject-integrated learning. The book gives a list of educational consortia that provide remote access to language courses for students of those educational institutions where face-to-face courses are not available.
The authors of the study point to challenges the academic community will have to face in the coming years. These include, above all, the prevailing monolingual nature of American society, as well as the shortage of foreign language teachers at all levels of education. The risks articulated in the book, associated with the lack of knowledge of foreign languages, also attract attention. Thus, a third of the American business leaders surveyed by the authors admitted that they had missed the benefits of foreign economic activity due to a lack of employees who know foreign languages.
This book is of particular interest to scholars and specialists who study and popularize the Russian language abroad. It presents an estimate of the proportion of the population speaking Russian at home, analyzes the dynamics of changes in the interest in Russian language courses for adults in the United States from 1965 to 2013, gives examples of initiatives related to encouraging learning Russian at a federal, state and university level , and international academic programs.
The translation of the book “Languages of America” into Russian was prepared by the International Association of Teachers of the Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL) in coordination with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The content and focus of the study, as well as the initiatives described in it, are largely consistent with the nature of the Association’s work, whose tasks include assessing the situation of the Russian language abroad, implementing various studies and conducting activities in the field of Russian studies.
It is deeply symbolic that the preparation of the Russian-language version of this book was carried out by one of the members of MAPRYAL, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, where in 2018, the Center for Sociolinguistic Studies was formed. Ideas, voiced on the pages of this book will be taken into account by the Center in its future scientific and practical activities.
The presentation of the Russian-language translation of the book “Languages of America” will be held on October 30, 2018, at 3.00 pm at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Mission Control Center, at 6, Mikluho-Maklaya, Moscow.
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On February 19, in 2017, Nikolai Sergeyevich Prostakov would have turned 100 years old.
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