On the eve of the new academic year the questions: “what will I put on tomorrow?” and “have we bought all the textbooks needed” traditionally appear. The answer for these questions is usually “I knew something was missing!”
In spite of these banal questions, the school itself prepares something else for us to ponder about…the choice of a foreign language!
In most of Russian schools the subject “foreign language” appears in the time-table beginning from the 5th class, and sometimes from the 2nd. Some schools even offer two or more foreign languages. In this case, children usually take English language in the 2nd class, and then in the 5th class they can start with German or French. Today the popularity of Asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese has rapidly increased. Particular schools, usually specializing in foreign language study, also offer unique languages. Examples include Polish, Turkish, Hebrew, Spanish and Italian.
What to choose?
In less successful schools you don’t need to care: your child will learn the language for which that school has a teacher!
The luckier ones amongst us can consult the statistics
Incidentally, this data shows that English is not the worst choice as a foreign language. In North America 70% of the population speaks English, along with 4% in Africa and 8% in Europe. The popularity of the English language doesn’t need to be exaggerated at all! With English you can probably survive in any country in the whole wide world. In support of our national identity, Russians can be pleased with the number of world-wide Russian speakers. In Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, when in doubt, you can express your thoughts in Russian and the chance of being understood is even higher than if you were to speak English!
But don’t relax. We don’t want to spend all our vacations home, do we? Luckily, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt draw us with their charm…
What to do? Right here right now, the sooner the better, with the language map in our hands let’s go “back to school”!