The Communication Choices of Russian-Speaking Students as Factors that Influence their Acculturation: The Case of University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy

By Aurika Komsaare.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In order to study the characteristics of the acculturation process of students who have graduated from a Russian-language upper secondary school, interviews were conducted among the II year students of the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy (n=8). All the surveyed students study in a group, where most of the students have graduated from a Russian-language upper secondary school. From the perspective of advancing the communication competence of Estonian culture it is important that the surveyed students do communicate with Estonians, that for instrumental as well as integrative purposes; however, the relations are brief – there are no close relationships formed. The need for self-actualisation is satisfied in the inside group. Therefore, of the acculturation strategies, the surveyed students simultaneously use separation and integration.

Keywords: Higher Education, Multicultural Education, Acculturation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp.391-400. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.429MB).

Aurika Komsaare

Faculty Member, Department of Culture Education, Viljandi Culture Academy, University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy, Viljandi, Estonia

I have graduated the University of Tartu in Russian language and literature with research on young prisoners learning motivation. My first job was also at youth prison, where I worked as a social worker. The Year after graduation I moved to Narva. It is a border town, where Russian-speaking population constitute 96% of population. In Narva I worked at one of local Russian-speaking gymnasiums as the Estonian language teacher. At the same time I followed up my knowledge and skills of teaching Estonian at Tallinn University and got the certificate of Estonian language teacher. After six years of living and teaching in Narva I got the proposition to continue the same work in higher education – at Viljandi Culture Academy. So I moved to Viljandi and now I teach Russian-speaking students Estonian language. Students who speak Estonian as a first language I teach Russian. And I also lead the learning process in subject called Cultural self-determination. Simultaneously with working in University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy I studied in Tallinn University where I got my MA in Educational Sciences researching Russian-speaking students’ acculturation in University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy.

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