U OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA)
Anna Vozna is a third year PhD student at the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia where she studies language revitalization, language maintenance, bilingual education, and orientations in the language policy and planning in Ukraine.
Reasons for Success and Failure of the Revitalization of Ukrainian
in Eastern Ukraine
Measures to revitalize Ukrainian language and culture have resulted in different outcomes and different degree of support by the potential new speakers of Ukrainian. This paper investigates which measures to promote Ukrainian were successful and which were not. It explores why Ukrainian learners decide to use either Ukrainian or Russian in their everyday lives. It critically assesses the factors that have influenced Ukrainian learners to prioritize one of the two languages. It investigates how their language ideologies evolved since they began to learn Ukrainian, and particularly focuses on how Ukrainian was perceived in their educational spaces, schools, and universities and how they describe their proficiency in Ukrainian and/or Russian. The paper argues that the use of postcolonial discourse in language, literature, and history education contributed to the choice of Ukrainian by the potential new speakers. It also suggests that the revitalization-oriented educational system treated the then current home and community linguistic and cultural resources of the potential new speakers a problem rather than as a resource which resulted in the impeded literacy development in both Ukrainian and Russian among the Russian speakers from the Russian-speaking communities in the East of Ukraine and, as a result, in their resistance to the participation in the revitalization of Ukrainian language and culture.