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Mariya Mayofis 1
  • 1 Institute of Public Policy, RANEPA, 82, Vernadskogo pr., 119571, Moscow, Russian Federation

The Anxiety of Influence: Towards the Early History of Soviet Schools with the Advanced Study of Foreign Languages (late 1940s–early 1960s)

2016. No. 2. P. 286–310 [issue contents]

Mayofis Mariya - PhD in Philology, Senior Research Fellow at the School for Advanced Study in Humanities, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Associate Professor at the Institute of Public Policy, RANEPA. Address: 82, Vernadskogo pr., 119571, Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: mmaiofis@yandex.ru

Through the analysis of published and archived documents the author seeks to discern the reasons that impelled the Soviet government to establish schools with the advanced study of foreign languages. These reasons seem to be particularly interesting when taking into account that the said schools were founded in the period known by harsh fighting against “cosmopolitanism” and “kowtowing to the West.” Graduates of the new schools were expected to alleviate the acute shortage of experts with foreign language skills, so the focus was put on speaking skills first, while the common secondary school syllabus was restricted to reading and translating. The author believes the conception of schools with the advanced study of foreign languages was self-contradictory from the very beginning and analyzes the resource, social, methodological and  deological restrictions that had to be forced on the language school project. The era of “fighting against cosmopolitanism” left an imprint on the teaching philosophy: all learning materials had to pass numerous ideological filters, as Soviet leaders feared foreign languages would have underlying negative effects on students.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2016-2-286-310

Citation: Mayofis M. (2016)

Strakh vliyaniya: k ranney istorii sovetskikh yazykovykh spetsshkol (konets 1940-kh — nachalo 1960-kh godov)

[

The Anxiety of Influence: Towards the Early History of Soviet Schools with the Advanced Study of Foreign Languages (late 1940s–early 1960s)

]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no2, pp. 286-310.
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