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Public sector primary schools

Is EYL taught as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary schools? No, but schools may introduce English if they meet certain conditions
When was it introduced? English has been officially allowed in all schools since 1992, but specialised English language schools have existed since 1957
At what age do students begin EYL? 6/7 (Grade 1) or 7/8 (Grade 2) in both specialised schools and ordinary schools that are approved to teach English
Have any significant changes in teaching EYL taken place since 1980? In specialised schools English was originally introduced at Grade 3; this was then lowered to Grade 2
Is there any widespread teaching of English before the official starting age for compulsory EYL? No official data are available
How many hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL? There are 30 teaching weeks per year in Grade 1 and 32 weeks per year in Grades 2-4.
Grade 1: 60 lessons per year;
Grades 2-4: 96 lessons per year
In specialised schools Grade 4 teaches English for 128 lessons per year.
Grade 1 lessons last 35 minutes; Grade 2-4 lessons 40 minutes.

How many EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system? There are no official statistics for EYL teachers. The total number of EL teachers is 67,290. Secondary teachers work at the same time in primary schools. In 1997 EYL students totaled 1,290,705 in Grades 1-4.
Who does the EYL teaching? Not stated
Who is eligible to teach EYL in the public education system?  • A teacher with pre-service training at a college or university and who is qualified to teach English at secondary school. (Some pedagogical colleges have opened faculties for training young learners teachers specifically.)
• A secondary teacher with in-service training who is willing to work in a primary school (in-service training is required)
• A university graduate of English who has not taken courses in teaching methodology and education can teach English at both primary and secondary level (in-service training is required)
• A native speaker (e.g., Peace Corps volunteer)
Nationwide are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers? No. Schools sometimes have to hire people who are qualified to work in other professions. Special in-service courses are organised for this category of teacher.
What official guidelines exist for EYL teaching? There is a detailed outline of content, goals, topic areas, word lists, structure lists, examples of phrases and sentences to concentrate on. A number of textbooks with guidelines for teachers have been recently published.
Do EYL teaching materials have to be approved? Teachers can use any materials they choose, but the authorities will pay only for local materials that have official approval by the Ministry of Education.
What materials are typically used? International courses for primary level are available if the parents pay for the textbooks. Teachers may also devise their own materials.
What other foreign languages are taught at primary level? German (255,251 students), French (89,876), Spanish and other languages (12,989). The starting age is 6/7 years.
Are any changes in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated? There is a discussion about introducing EYL as a compulsory subject in a 12-year school. (At the moment primary and secondary cycles run to 11 years. The new 12-year school will be introduced in 2000.)

Private sector primary schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
What percentage of primary age children attends them?  1%
What differences in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools? They have their own curricula, which may exceed those of publicly maintained schools, and they may increase the number of hours per school year allocated for EYL
What materials do they use for EYL? Not stated


Private language schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? They exist but no official statistics are available


Private tuition for Young Learners

Is there private tuition for primary age children? Yes
How many Young Learners are involved? Not stated
What is the typical starting age for private tuition? May be before mainstream education
Why do parents use private tutors?  There is a growing need to learn English in Russia. Parents want their children to begin learning it at an earlier age than the public school system permits.

Date information collected: 1999


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