Language policy and youth development: international background and Russian multinational practice

Valentina V. Stepanova, Larisa Yu. Lutskovskaia


Language policy within the issues of human development and rights in general, and in that of younger generation, in particular, has been in the focus of scientific society for many years. It is especially topical in the view of the 20-21st century international legislation concerning the linguistic and ethnic diversity of the multinational state and challenges connected with youth support and development.

Since the end of the twentieth century, the urgency to develop ideology of an integral nature (multiculturalism) for current and future generations development has been determining the world philosophy. There is a solid international legislation in force that aims to support the peoples’ rights to use their native languages. However, national practices in different regions of the world confirm that state of affairs might vary in terms of balance between legislation and practice.

The paper background integrates socio-cultural and academic view on the statement that protecting linguistic and cultural diversity and articulating qualitatively new standards in education are among the core objectives in societies with cross-cultural perspective. However, such objectives face challenges of different nature.

The research aims at briefly outlining the key stages of designing the language policy through key federal and regional laws. It looks at positive experience as well as social conflicts and legal collisions in the country that communicates in 277 languages and dialects. The research materials include landmark provisions of international legislation and major legal sources of the Russian federation and its entities. The research methodology uses historical approach, comparative-contrastive analysis along with case study techniques. The research findings reveal the prospects and challenges within legislation on language issues regarding education in Russian legal entities. The article can be of certain interest to scholars and practitioners in the fields of education, social science, law and state policies.


state language, official language, national language, minority languages, language policy in education, titular language/nation

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