LINGUIST List 7.1409

Wed Oct 9 1996

Qs: Non-University Uses of Slavic Linguistics Survey

Editor for this issue: Susan Robinson <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. J. Rouhier-Willoughby, Non-University Uses of Slavic Linguistics Survey

Message 1: Non-University Uses of Slavic Linguistics Survey

Date: Tue, 08 Oct 1996 13:32:46 BST
From: J. Rouhier-Willoughby <>
Subject: Non-University Uses of Slavic Linguistics Survey
As most teachers in the field can attest, Slavic languages across the
country have been suffering from a severe drop in enrollment in this
decade. Two years ago, a group of Slavic linguists, all members of
AATSEEL, met to discuss the issues related to this decline for the
profession as a whole. At that time, the Slavic Linguistics Task Force
was created. It is our hope that the task force will be able to gather
data that will be used to boost interest in Slavic and Slavic
linguistics in North America. The Committee on High School Enrollment
and Public Relations is one of the committees that makes up the task
force and respectfully submits this questionnaire to you in the hope
that your insights and input will help us rebuild the profession. The
information will be presented at the AATSEEL conference in December
1996 and will be available on the Slavic Linguistics Task Force Web
Page. We invite you to join with us at the conference to discuss these
issues. The results of the questionnaire will also be forwarded to the
leadership of AATSEEL, in the hopes that they will act upon your
suggestions. All material on the web page and forwarded to AATSEEL
will be anonomous unless you give us permission to use your name.
 While those in academia have taken steps to increase our
enrollment from within the university, there are groups of people that
have been more or less ignored in the attempts to improve
enrollments. These include:
 high school teachers of Slavic languages, culture, etc.;
 Slavic heritage groups;
 non-academicians or those in non-teaching related academic
positions (librarian,
 administrator, etc.) who hold degrees in Slavic.
 . The following questionnaire is addressed to members of
these groups. If you are a high school teacher, have a job outside of
academia and/or have a non-teaching academic position and hold a
degree in Slavic, or are a member of a Slavic heritage group, we would
appreciate your cooperation and assistance in filling out this
questionnaire. If you are not a member of any of the above groups, but
know of someone who is, please pass the questionnaire on to that
person. PLEASE NOTE THAT this is the one of two questionnaires to be
released by the task force. The second survey was released last week,
and focuses specifically upon enrollment data at the high school and
college levels and on issues related to institutions of higher

Please return the questionnaire by October 30, 1996. If you would like
to return the survey via email, please send it to:
If you prefer U.S. mail, send the survey to: J. Rouhier-Willoughby,
Dept. of Russian and Eastern Studies, 1055 Patterson Office Tower,
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40506

A) Biographical Information:


Mailing Address:

email address:


Number of Years in this or similar positions:

Institution (school, heritage group, non-academic institution, etc.):

Educational Background (institution, degree):

Prefer to remain anonymous: Yes No


1) What Slavic language do you teach or have you taught?

2) Is that language still offered at your school?

3) If no, when was the class cancelled? What was the reason for its

4) How many years has it been or was it taught?

5) How many levels of that language are/were offered?

6) Are any other Slavic languages offered (or have they been offered) in
your school or in other schools in your district?

7) Could you provide enrollments in your Slavic language class(es) for the
last 5 years (or for as long as you have information)?

8) How have you attempted to solve the enrollment problems, if any, in your

9) If you have not had enrollment reductions, to what do you attribute this
fact (large number of heritage speakers, public relations, or other

10) Is your position full-time in Slavic or do you teach other
languages? If so what languages?

11) Could you provide enrollments in non-Slavic classes for the last
5 years? If you do not have specific figures, could you please give a
general idea if they have fallen or risen in that time?

12) Do you (or does another teacher) teach any non-language
Slavic-related classes, such as history, folklore, culture, etc.?

13) If yes, does this course help interest in the study of the

14) Have you attempted any particular community outreach, public
relations or marketing strategies (such as cooperative work with
heritage groups, promoting Slavic language study to guidance
counsellors, going to middle schools to recruit, etc.)?

15) Of these attempts, which have been the most successful in your
opinion? Why?

16) What suggestions do you have to increase the visibility and
success of Slavic language teaching in North American high schools
(such as lobbying of political officials, public relations in the
community, involvement by national organizations in these areas,

17) How can university language teachers can help high school language
teachers increase the visibility and success of Slavic language
teaching in North American high schools? How can University language
teachers help you motivate High School students continue their studies
in the university Slavic programs?

Additional comments:


1. Do you know if there is any cooperative work between your heritage
group and the University/College/High School teachers of Slavic
languages that is directed towards maintenance and promotion of your
heritage language in North America? If yes, give details.

2. Do you think that public lectures about your heritage language and
language culture (its history, development, etc.) read by University
teachers will help you in its promotion in North America?

3. Do you think that it will be a good idea if the local newspapers
and radio programs include some information about your heritage

4. What are your suggestions for improvement the contacts between your
heritage group and the university (college/school) teachers which are
directed towards the promotion of your heritage language in North

5. What are your suggestions for improvement the Slavic language
teaching in North America (such as courses, contacts between students
and heritage grioups, student (undergraduate/graduate)
representatives, etc.)?

6. How can members of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic
and East European languages help you in promoting your heritage
language and culture?

7. Have you had any formal courses on your heritage's language or
culture? What and where?

8. How did you find out about the courses in 2.?

9. Were the courses in 2. what you were expecting? If not, why not?

10. Did you complete the courses in 2.? If not, do you have any
suggestions that might have helped you continue with the course(s)?

Additional comments:

D) INDIVIDUAL SLAVISTS (currently working outside academia or in
non-teaching areas of academia, such as libraries, administration,

1) What areas of Slavic and/or Slavic linguistics did/do you
specialize(d) in?

2) How enthusiastic are you in promoting Slavic Linguistics as a
worthwhile subject of study? Please answer this question even if you
were not trained as a linguist.

3) What is your main Slavic language?

4) Do you feel comfortable in other Slavic languages, and if so, to
what extent?

5) Have you been able to apply your knowledge/skills outside the area
of academia/or in non-teaching related pursuits?

6) If the answer to 4) is yes, please comment - specifically from the
point of view of using your knowledge of one Slavic language plus your
skills in Slavic Linguistics to tackle work in another Slavic

7) If you haven't come across the ideas expressed in 5), please

Additional comments:


1) Does your institution need any sort of language work?

2) If the answer to 1) is yes, which languages?

3) Are you aware of linguistics (specifically in this case, Slavic)?

4) How much skill and education do you think is required for a

5) If the answer to 1) is yes, would be useful to have a linguist on
staff, or for part-time /contract work?

Additional comments:

Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby telephone: (606) 257-1756
Department of Russian and Eastern Studies fax: (606) 257-3743
1055 Patterson Office Tower email:
University of Kentucky URL:
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue