Trilingualism, bilingualism and educational achievements: The case of Chuvash and Tatar in Rural Russia
Tovar García, Edgar Demetrio
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This study examined the relations among trilingualism, bilingualism, and educational achievements of school students in a rural environment in Chuvashia, Russia. Using our survey results of 913 school students of Chuvash ethnicity (67%) and Tatar ethnicity (28%) and ordered logistic regressions we found weak evidence for any positive association between trilingualism or bilingualism and educational achievements. Socio-economic status, cultural capital (approached with number of books at home), health issues, type of settlement, class grade, number of siblings, and gender were controlled. The results also indicated that fluency in Chuvash and in Tatar, mother tongue proficiency, language used at home, and language of instruction in the elementary grades were not adversely related to educational achievements. On the one hand, these findings partially disagree with previous studies, where a positive association was found. It is probable, that the rural versus urban environment explain these differences. On the other hand, the results confirm previous research in the Volga area of Russia that growing concern among authorities on minority language students' educational achievements is baseless. It rather suggests that policy-makers should be more concerned with increasing the equality of opportunities provided by the education system to persons of different socio- economic levels. © 2018, National Research University Higher School of Economics.