Indian Journal of Science and Technology
Year: 2015, Volume: 8, Issue: 27, Pages: 1-13
Angela Dolzhikova, Victoria Kurilenko* , Natalya Pomortseva, Anna Ivanova and Ekaterina Kulikova
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation; [email protected]
The term “native speaker” is now widely used in the world testing practice. It is declared as a particular starting point in the evaluation of language proficiency level in the most widely spread testing systems (TRFL, OPI, SOLOM, STAMP, etc). At the same time, researchers mention ambiguity, vagueness and uncertainty of this concept. There is neither a generally accepted definition, nor reliable methodically grounded criteria for determining this level. It is not clear whether the status of a native speaker is a person’s “biographical” or “competence-based” characteristic. There are no studies devoted to the identification, research and systemization of criteria for determining a “native speaker’s” level of the Russian language proficiency. At the same time, the solution of these problems in the Russian testing practice is both scientifically and practically important. The state system of standards for Russian as a foreign language remains incomplete due to the lack of linguo-didactic description of mastering the Russian language at level 4, which is equivalent to a native speaker of Russian, the bearer of the Russian language culture. There is no reliable basis for assigning the status of a native speaker to people who are entitled to a fast track procedure for obtaining the Russian citizenship according to the Russian legislation. The study of the real discursive activity of native and non-native speakers of Russian and the comparative analysis of their communicative competence, demonstrated by the groups of test takers who were involved in the experiment, allowed the authors to identify the distinctive features of the highest level of the Russian language proficiency and to propose a system of criteria for determining it.
Keywords: A Native Russian Speaker, Criteria for Determining the Language Proficiency Level, Levels of Russian as a Foreign Language, Russian as a Foreign Language Test
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