A1 Journal article (refereed)
Indigenous language education in Russia : current issues and challenges (2021)

Semenova, E., Khanolainen, D., & Nesterova, Y. (2021). Indigenous language education in Russia : current issues and challenges. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2021.1921782

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Semenova, Elena; Khanolainen, Daria; Nesterova, Yulia

Journal or series: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

ISSN: 0143-4632

eISSN: 1747-7557

Publication year: 2021

Volume: Early online

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2021.1921782

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access: Channel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75484


Despite the high number of recognised Indigenous groups who are struggling to maintain their languages, cultures, and identities in Russia, there is little research done on the matters of cultural and linguistic revitalisation. This study sought to address this gap by exploring the views of two Indigenous groups, Karelian and Mari, on the development of their Indigenous languages and educational strategies to protect and revive their languages. The study relied on in-depth one-on-one interviews with 20 participants, ten from each Indigenous group. The findings show that despite older generations’ relative proficiency and interest in their respective Indigenous languages, motivation to master them is fading among younger Indigenous populations. There is also a lack of opportunities to learn the languages including informal settings despite protections within the federal legal system. The participants identified three reasons for the rapid decrease of language speakers that include assimilation of the Indigenous groups, differences in rural and urban development, and globalisation. The article concludes with recommendations on how to revitalise Indigenous languages in Russia.

Keywords: indigenous languages; indigenous peoples; linguistic minorities; minority languages; language revival; multilingualism; assimilation (sociology)

Free keywords: indigenous languages; indigenous language education; Russia; plurilingualism

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2021-09-06 at 13:55