Second Language Identity Formation through Russian Folklore Texts

Author: Inna Rubakova (Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Russia)
Speaker: Inna Rubakova
Topic: Cognitive Anthropology and Language
COMELA 2020 General Session


In this article we analyze the possibility to use the short Russian folklore examples of chastushka in the formation of second language identity of the philology students studying Russian as a foreign language. As observed, studying folklore text in a foreign language environment contributes to enhance the level of sociolinguistic competence, which is important for understanding a different (Russian) mentality. A good example of such texts may be the chastushka genre, being one of the few that is actively developing under the influence of various factors. Among its main characteristic, it includes a certain set of rules and norms of behavior, a collective assessment of what is happening and demonstrates the symbolic content of general cultural concepts. This article considers the model of linguistic identity presented by Yu.N. Karaulov, consisting of three levels. The most interesting of which for us is the psycholinguistic (linguo-cognitive) one, the units of which are perceptions, ideas and concepts. A model of secondary linguistic personality, firstly attributable to I. Khaleeva in the 1990s, is also given being important as a feature of teaching foreign languages. This paper also presents the components of the term “folk concept”, special attention of which is paid to figurative and evaluative components, since the conceptual component is relatively stable. A comparative analysis of the symbolic content of lexemes of linguistic and cultural interest is carried out. The semantic complexity of the folklore texts and their linguistic and methodological potential when working with foreign students are considered along with the possibility to apply the obtained results when working with literary texts for a deeper understanding of literary images and symbols as additional learning material. The results of this work might be used in practical courses of Russian as a foreign language, as well as in courses of sociolinguistics and folklore.

Keywords: secondary language personality, folk concept, Russian as a foreign language, chastushka