UK and Russian shortfalls in language skills

The Russian government has decided to embrace the interest of making a second foreign language compulsory to learn in Russia’s schools. By 2020, they will also include a foreign language as one of the three obligatory core subjects for an end of year exam.

The English language is at the top of their list. However, some Russians have stated that the embrace of wanting to learn a foreign language is not so healthy after all. In January, a Russian MP, Irina Yarovaya from Putin’s United Russia party, expressed a concern that schoolchildren in their country are spending too much time studying a foreign language instead of learning Russian to perfection. She argued it is “undermining Russian traditions”.

She strongly asserts that what Russia actually needs, is more patriotism and less polyglots. However, Britain argues against that by stating that patriotism and language skills go hand in hand while it’s been said that there is an ‘alarming’ shortfall in language skills in the UK in a BBC News article. A lot is out about the linguistic deficit present in Britain and how a lack of Russian speakers in the Foreign Office resulted left ‘Britain’s diplomats ill-equipped to anticipate the events in the Ukraine.

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