Language and Culture in Post-Maidan Ukraine: Transformations at Work AND Higher Education Reform in Post-Maidan Ukraine

Day I

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Laada Bilaniuk (

University of Washington, USA

PANEL A: Multilingual Ukraine: Language Practices, Identity and Shifts in Post-Maidan Ukraine

Svitlana Zhabotynska (

Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University in Cherkasy, Ukraine

“Individual Bilingualism in Ukraine: Dominance Shifts to the Ukrainian Language”

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Taras Tkachuk (

Vinnytsia Teachers’ Recertification Academy, Ukraine

“Choosing between Ukrainian and Russian in a Multilingual Ukraine (Vinnytsia region)”

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Volodymyr Kulyk (

Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

“Russian-Speakers in Search of Identity: Ukraine in a Comparative Perspective”


PANEL B: Narratives and Public Discourse about Ukraine: from Within and from Without

Ammon Cheskin (

University of Glasgow, Scotland

“The ‘Soft Balance of Power’: Measuring EU and Russian Soft Power in Ukraine”

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Lennard van Uffelen (

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“How Imperial Discourse re-Entered Dutch Public Debate on Ukraine”

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Elisabeth Le (

University of Alberta, Canada

“Discursive Representation of Ukraine by Le Monde”

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Martin Henzelmann (

Dresden Technical University, Germany

“Russia’s Linguistic View on Ukraine”


PANEL C: The Language of the Media and Political Discourse in Post-Maidan Ukraine

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Jon Roozenbeek (

The University of Cambridge, UK

“The Use and Misuse of Fear and Other Tropes by Russian and Ukrainian Media Outlets during the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict”

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Olena I. Morozova (

V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine

“Verbal Aggression in Ukrainian Political Discourse: the Spoken Mode”

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Laura Dean (

Millikin University, USA

“The Language of Gender Quotas in Ukraine: A Case Study of Municipal Party-Level Quotas in Post-Maidan Election Campaigns”

PANEL D: Literary Movements and Narratives of Maidan and Post-Maidan Ukraine

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Katarzyna Jakubowska-Krawczyk (

University of Warsaw, Poland

“The Diaries of Maidan: On the Specificity of the Topic and the Genre”

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Nataliya Bezborodova (

University of Alberta, Canada

“Nebesna Sotnia Narrative: From Protest Lore to New Institutionalized Commemorative Practice”

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Svitlana Krys (

MacEwan University, Canada

“Cultural Reforms and Literature of Post-Euromaidan Ukraine”


PANEL E: Linguistic and Language Transformations in a Time of Conflict

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Marieke Droogsma (

Leiden University, The Netherlands

“The Effect of Military Conflict on Languages and Their Use: Ukraine vs. Croatia”

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Valerii Polkovsky (

East European Opportunities, Canada; Ostroh Academy National University, Ukraine

“The Language of War: Ukrainian Language Transformations since the 2014 Maidan Revolution”

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Svitlana Winters (

University of Calgary, Canada

“Processing of Blends Employed in Ukrainian Political Discourse”


Day II

Friday, October 28, 2016


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Jerry Kachur (

University of Alberta, Canada

“Neo-Capitalism and the Geopolitics of Ukrainian Higher Education Reform”

PANEL F: Post-Maidan Emigration and the Ukrainian Diaspora: Media Representation, Language Attitudes and Practices

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Olena Hlazkova (

University of Alberta, Canada

“Let’s Talk Post-Maidan Emigration from Ukraine”

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Alla Nedashkivska (

University of Alberta, Canada

“Discursive Practices of the New Ukrainian Diaspora: Identity in Interaction”

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Corinne A. Seals (

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

“Post-Maidan Language Politics in Ukrainian Diaspora Communities”


PANEL G: Language in Education of Post-Maidan Ukraine

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Karen Chilstrom (

University of Texas, USA

“The Teaching of Russian in Post-Maidan Ukraine: Challenges and Perspectives”

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Stephen Bahry (

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

“Ukraine’s Secondary Exit Examination in Ukrainian Language as a Window on Challenges for Equitable Ukrainian-medium Higher Education”


PANEL H: Globalizing Higher Education in Ukraine

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Yuliya Zayachuk

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine

“Trends in Global Higher Education Reforms”

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Valerii Polkovsky (

East European Opportunities, Canada; Ostroh Academy National University, Ukraine

“Obstacles to Higher Education Reform in Ukraine”

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Olena Mykhailenko (, Roland van Oostveen (, and Todd Blayone (

University of Ontario Institute of Technology,Canada

“Exploring democratized online learning and dimensions of culture for educational transformation in Ukraine”


PANEL I: Democratizing Ukrainian Higher Education: a Diversity of Voices

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Kateryna Simak (

National University of Ostroh Academy, Ukraine

“New Reforms and Student Academic Mobility in Post-Maidan Ukraine”

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Natalia Oliferchuk (

University of Alberta, Canada

“Faculty Perspectives on Reform in Ukrainian Higher Education”



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Laada Bilaniuk (

University of Washington, USA

* * *

Roman Petryshyn (

University of Alberta, Canada

* * *

Jerry Kachur (

University of Alberta, Canada

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Olenka Bilash (

University of Alberta, Canada

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Biographies and Abstracts (in alphabetical order)

Bahry, Stephen (
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

Biography: Stephen Bahry became biliterate at a Maple Leafs-Moscow Red Army exhibition game when his father wrote out on the program the visiting players’ names in Ukrainian. His doctoral dissertation from OISE, University of Toronto, Perspectives on quality in minority education in China: The case of Sunan Yughur Autonomous County, Gansu, China examined perspectives of stakeholders quality education and inclusion of minority language and culture ineducation in a minority district facing language endangerment.He has publishedon issues of equity, diversity,language andquality in education in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran and northwest China.Recent publications include “Development of what, for what, and for whom? Deweyan perspectives on education for minority nationalities in western China”, “­Language Ecology: Understanding Central Asian Multilingualism”, and “Multilingual Education in China and Central Asia and its relevance to Iran”. He is currently working on globalization of language and education in Central Asia and the geography of literacy in Toronto.

Presentation Title: “Ukraine’s Secondary Exit Examination in Ukrainian Language as a Window on Challenges for Equitable Ukrainian-medium Higher Education”

Abstract: This paper examines 2012 results on the compulsory secondary school exit examinations on standard Ukrainian language as a proxy measure of knowledge of standard Ukrainian, one of several External Independent Tests (EIT) used for secondary school graduation and post-secondary application (Klein, 2014; Kovalchuk, & Koroliuk, 2012).

EIT test data for all schools in the country have been posted online, providing a window on secondary education in contemporary Ukraine. Mean Ukrainian test scores for the country and its provinces were calculated and displayed graphically according to difference from the national mean, revealing considerable variation in results from oblast to oblast, and a high degree of complexity, which differ in interesting ways from the simplistic maps presented in the media of “two Ukraines”, a Ukrainian-dominant and a Russian-dominant zone.

Rather there was found a high degree of variation from oblast to oblast; within oblasts from urban to rural areas; from raion to raion, as well as variation according to school type. Much of this variation can be related to Ukraine’s complex language ecology (Goodman, 2009). In particular, low results on EIT are often found in an oblast or raion with a large number of speakers of other language: for example, Russian in Luhansk Oblast, Hungarian in Transcarpathia; Moldovan & Romanian in Chernivtsi Oblast. At the same time, there are some minority-language dominant areas with above mean performance on the EIT, and some Ukrainian-dominant areas with below mean performance on the EIT.

These results are not surprising in the light of research on language, bilingualism and education has found that neither teaching a second language simply as a school subject nor teaching students all subjects in a second language under submersive conditions typically develop sufficient academic proficiency in the second language to permit adequate learning of curriculum content. In contrast, development of initial literacy in the first language supports development of cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), and which can later be transferred to a second language through a strong form of bilingual education, where two languages are used meaningfully to teach curriculum content (Cummins, 2008; May, 2008). Thus, there are grounds to interpret poor results as at least in part due to the language-in-education policy current in schools in minority-language dominant areas. However, it is important to document local practices, as for example Ukrainian-medium schools in Russian-dominant cities have been shown to teach in Russian or a combination of Russian and Ukrainian (Friedman, 2010; Polese, 2010).

There are several implications for equitable higher education in Ukraine. The fact that lower-scoring oblasts are often areas where a large proportion of the population has a mother tongue other than Ukrainian suggests that they may be disadvantaged in passing this compulsory secondary school exit exam, being admitted to post-secondary education, and in achieving success in Ukrainian-medium programs.

Bilingual education has the potential to reduce these inequities by shifting from the Soviet and post-Soviet monolingual focus of language-in-education policy and practice (Bahry et al., 2016; Bilaniuk & Melnyk, 2008; Lewis, 1972) and developing additive bilingualism with CALP in minority languages such as Hungarian, Moldovan, Romanian and Russian, as well as in Ukrainian (Bahry, 2015).


Bezborodova, Nataliya (
University of Alberta, Canada
Biography: Nataliya Bezborodova has anMA, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton. She worked in the Kule Folklore Center and Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives. Currently she is a PhD student of the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research interests include
ethnic, national and religious identity, community, belonging, imagining, and collective memory construction.

Presentation Title: “Nebesna Sotnia Narrative: From Protest Lore to New Institutionalized Commemorative Practice”

Abstract: The paper focuses on evidence of the functions of personal stories as they build relationships, create a sense of community, and validate the participants’ experiences and the significance of the events from the protestors’ perspectives; interpretation within this protest lore, and its impact to institutional changes of commemorative practices in the field of collective memory.

I use the example of the Nebesna Sotnia (Heavenly Hundred) narrative formation and its correlation to the repertoire of motifs and terms of the selected historical periods, the Cossack, the Ukrainian National Republic and World War II. The most popular of all analyzed historical periods is World War II (82 references). The word “sotnia,” literally “hundred” in Ukrainian, refers to a military unit in the Cossack Sich and the Ukrainian People’s Army 1917-1920, as well as to the Maidan self-defence structure.

Hundred people shot dead on the Maidan were given the collective name Nebesna Sotnia. It became the central memory of the uprising; a hymn, poetry, monuments, memorial plaques and books were produced. The places of confrontation and the places of origin of the deceased in the Nebesna Sotnia now have memorial plaques and monuments dedicated to these individuals. After public discussion, the location of the shootings in Kyiv, a part of Institute Street, was renamed to the Heroes of Nebesna Sotnia Street. There is a new state award called the Heroes of Nebesna Sotnia Order. In 2015, February 20 was fixed as a national memorial day for the deceased on the Maidan. For late November 2015, Ukraine had 42 streets and squares renamed in memory of the Nebesna Sotnia or Maidan Heroes in different regions.

Following the Maidan protests, during the Crimea invasion, and with escalation of the tension in the east of Ukraine, the revival and re-assessment of WWII memories have been employed in Ukraine all the way up to official levels; this continues to this day. In 2015, May 8 was officially designated Memory and Reconciliation Day according to the Western tradition, shifting the focus away from Victory Day celebrated on May 9 according to the Soviet tradition. The new laws about de-communization, which evoke public discourse, change of visual symbols, the name and the date of official memorial ceremonies of the end of WWII, are all instances of the memory-reassessment process taking place.

Exploring the types of narratives and their contribution to identify the opposing sides, I focused on digital stories (eyewitness narratives, (re)telling of stories, jokes, poetry, songs,etc.) that illuminate elements not covered by the professional media coverage and official reports. My conclusions are based on the thesis project that includes 8905 Facebook posts from 1647 authors in the period January 19 – February 28, 2014 – embracing the most dramatic confrontation of the protests. The data is organized in 5 categories and 16 topics active within the period.


Bilaniuk, Laada (
University of Washington, USA

Biography: Laada Bilaniuk is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, where she teaches anthropology, with a special focus on sociocultural anthropology in particular. Her research interests are linguistic anthropology, language ideology, language politics, nationalism, popular culture, and gender in the context of Ukraine and post-Soviet states. Dr. Bilaniuk is well known in the field of Ukrainian studies by her highly acclaimed book “Contested Tongues: Language Politics and Cultural Correction in Ukraine”, published by Cornell University Press, and winner of the AATSEEL Award for Best Contribution to Slavic Linguistics.

Keynote Presentation Title: “Democracy and language in Ukraine: Standards, non-standards, and authenticity”

Abstract: In this talk Laada Bilaniuk explores the role of nonstandard language practices in Ukrainian society, with a focus on the playful and irreverent “boiovyi surzhyk” (“martial” mixed language) trend, and on the popularity of English borrowings.These nonstandard forms raise the question of how a language regime can be “democratic” or “undemocratic.”A functional democracy requires some uniformity in communication systems, and this is enabled through standardized languages propagated through schooling and regulations. The diversity of people’s actual language practices disrupts this uniformity, and in Ukraine this includes standard Ukrainian and Russian languages, mixtures of the two, local dialect variants, and an increasing number of foreign borrowings.This heterogeneity of “the language of the people” poses a challenge—and an opportunity—for democratic unity.


Olenka Bilash (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Olenka Bilash is the Principal Investigator of the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine (RIDRU) and a Professor of Secondary Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. Dr. Bilash also serves as Senior Advisor to the Ukrainian Language Education Centre (ULEC), Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), and was Co-Director of the Contemporary Ukraine Research Forum (CURF, 2014). She has developed a strong working relationship with partner universities, evidenced by her membership on the Advisory Council to the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at MacEwan University.Dr. Bilash also has a strong track record of co-publishing papers with colleagues and graduate students; examples include a paper about CURF’s rapid response research with co-director Dr. Roman Petryshyn (2014) and another with ULEC partner Dr. Alla Nedashkivska on community university engaged scholarship (2014).Dr. Bilash is the North American representative to Linguapax, a UNESCO-affiliated organization that examines and advocates for plurilingualism, multilingual policies and language-use around the globe.As a former Associate Dean for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, she helped to launch the University of Alberta’s practices with international graduate students. Dr. Bilash has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship and the Stephen A. Freeman Award for Best Published Article in second language education, and she has been acknowledged by indigenous and local communities and for her long-term work with Hokkaido, Japan.


Cheskin, Ammon (
University of Glasgow, Scotland

Biography: Dr. Ammon Cheskin is Lecturer in Central and East European Studies, University ofGlasgow. His main research interests are kin-state relations between Russia and Russian speakers, Russian compatriot policy, and the identities of ‘Russian speakers’ in the former Soviet space. His research focuses on the Baltic states, Russia and Ukraine.

Presentation Title: “The ‘Soft Balance of Power’: Measuring EU and Russian Soft Power in Ukraine”

Abstract: This paper draws on extensive qualitative data from focus-group research in post-Maidan Kyiv (2014). It builds upon recent theoretical developments concerning the importance of emotion and affect for soft power, and combines this with a Foucauldian, structural account of (soft) power. The analysis is thereby able to trace how individuals (do not) align understandings of their active self with the international, national and issue narratives associated with an external agent (for the given case – the EU and Russia). The evidence suggests that Russian soft power is in relative decline among this particular target audience. Through an examination of the affective ties Ukrainians have with national, international and issue narratives, the paper provides a three-fold explanation for this (despite the presence of favourable soft power resources, including well-formed identity narratives, especially among older respondents).

It is argued that Russia is hampered by the emerging development of stronger Ukrainian national identities that seek to detach themselves from identification with Russia. Additionally, the data suggest that European identities have been used to demarcate further Ukrainian and Russian identities. Emerging normative associations with Europe therefore reduce Russian soft power, as they provide potentially attractive alternative national, international and issue narratives. The final factor that reduces Russian soft power in Ukraine is perceptions of Russia’s political aggression. Recent developments in Crimea and eastern Ukraine have had a clear impact on perceptions of Russia, and consequently of their active self.

This paper expounds upon these developments, paying specific attention to the emotional aspects of (de)identification. It is argued that affective understanding of the self is a central feature of geopolitical alignment.


Chilstrom, Karen (
University of Texas, USA

Biography: Karen Chilstrom earned a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016.Her dissertation documents the evolution of language policy in post-Soviet Ukraine, focusing on the ways in which changes in language and education policy have affected the teaching of Russian in that country.

Presentation Title: “The Teaching of Russian in Post-Maidan Ukraine: Challenges and Perspectives”

Abstract: The evolution of language-in-education policies has profoundly affected the study of Russian in schools in Ukraine. Policy changes have led to decreased hours of Russian language studies in state-mandated curricula, a decline in the publication and availability of textbooks and methodology-related materials for use in Russian language classrooms, and the closure of Russian schools and Russian classes in many Ukrainian cities. These and other changes have, in turn, affected teachers of Russian and their students in significant ways.

This presentation discusses findings of recent ethnographic research related to Russian language education in Ukraine. By drawing on data from questionnaires and interviews with seventeen teachers of Russian from across the country, this presentation offers an insider’s perspective on Russian language education in post-Maidan Ukraine. It includes a discussion of teachers’ opinions related to the impact of policy changes on their profession and their students and of how teachers themselves describe changes in the role and status of the Russian language in Ukraine’s schools. It also includes the teachers’ and researcher’s predictions about the future of the Russian language in schools in post-Maidan Ukraine.

This discussion of research findings offers a unique opportunity to assess the state of Russian language education in a time of significant political upheaval, examine changes in attitudes toward the Russian language in the wake of Euromaidan, and consider how the current political situation in Ukraine might continue to shape Russian language education in the future.


Dean, Laura (
Millikin University, USA

Biography: Laura A. Dean is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Millikin University. She researches gender and politics issues focusing on public policy, migration, and gender violence in the former Soviet Union. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Program, Kennan Institute, and appeared in Human Rights Review and Femina Politica, the Feminist Journal of Political Science.

Presentation Title: “The Language of Gender Quotas in Ukraine: A Case Study of Municipal Party-Level Quotas in Post-Maidan Election Campaigns”

Abstract: On July 17, 2015 a bill adopted by Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, introduced a party-level gender quota of 30% in local municipal elections. The addition of gender quotas sought to demonstrate that the new regime was more democratic and egalitarian than the previous one. Even though some women, such as former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, have experienced electoral success in Ukraine, gender representation in parliament is among the lowest in Eastern Europe. This paper examines the impact and effectiveness of gender quotas in local municipal elections in post-Maidan Ukraine. Preliminary findings have determined that although the law required political parties to register 30% female candidates on party lists there was no compulsory mechanism ensuring compliance. In fact, the Central Election Commission Resolution No. 362 stated that non-compliance was not grounds enough for refusing political party’s candidate lists registration for the election. As a result, according to the organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” the quota was fulfilled on 310 of 430 lists around the country but many political parties did not comply with the law. I analyzed municipal election data before and after the implementation of the gender quota to explore in more detail the factors that influenced compliance and non-compliance with the quota, as well as the impact the quota had on the election of women. This paper situates Ukrainian gender quotas in the global and regional context of effective quotas worldwide and also discusses its influence on women and politics in Ukraine. It speaks to the language of post-Maidan election campaigns in Ukraine as the country tries to demonstrate its egalitarian western values through the use of these gender quotas.


Droogsma, Marieke (

Leiden University, The Netherlands

Biography: Marieke Droogsma is a Masters student in Linguistics at Leiden University (planned graduation in December 2016). Her thesis focuses on the influence of the current conflict on the language situation in Ukraine. She completed two BA degrees with distinction: Comparative Indo-European Linguistics and Russian Studies, both at Leiden University.

Presentation Title: “The Effect of Military Conflict on Languages and Their Use: Ukraine vs. Croatia”

Abstract: This talk will shed light on how a language and language use can be influenced by a military conflict, taking post-Maidan Ukraine as a case study. As there is no general linguistic theory on the influence of conflict on languages to which developments in Ukraine can be compared, the developments in Croatia during and after the Balkan war (as analysed by a.o. Langston and Peti-Stantić (2003), and Bugarski 2004 and 2012) were used for comparison.

The assessment of the linguistic developments in Ukraine in relation to the Ruso-Ukrainian conflict is based on scholarly work from several years before the conflict up to now, including Besters-Dilger (2009), Moser (2013) as well as the results of sociological polls. Furthermore, an analysis was made of Ukrainian online media and social media activity with regards to language use or policy. Lastly, a comparison was made by looking for developments in Ukraine that mirrored or contradicted developments in Croatia.

The results point to both similarities and differences. First of all the developments that took place in Croatia were more top-down political measures to change the language (use), while in Ukraine politicians tend to avoid taking official measures as language is a politically very sensitive topic, and thus the developments in the language (use) are often coming from the public (bottom-up). Nevertheless the type of development is very similar: both countries began to strive more for language purity and the use of ‘correct’ language, in Ukraine also of the correct language, i.e. Ukrainian, not Russian. This development is visible in the increase of courses, booklets and social media pages teaching ‘correct’ language use.

In terms of concluding remarks, I will take a few tentative steps towards a general theory of changes in languages and their usage during and after a (military) conflict, in connection with existing theories on language, identity and conflict.


Henzelmann, Martin (
Dresden Technical University, Germany

Biography: Martin Henzelmann is a research assistant at the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Dresden University of Technology where he has been a faculty member since 2010, and where he completed his Ph.D. His research interests lie in the area of Slavic microlanguages, language policy, languages in contact, and legal language.

Presentation Title: “Russia’s Linguistic View on Ukraine”

Abstract: A recent study by Gerd Hentschel examines the use of the Ukrainian and Russian Languages in Ukraine. Based on empirical data, the author comes to the conclusion that both languages are not in conflictual settings (Hentschel 2015), but his research contains only a little information on how linguistic perspectives are created. In order to examine the interplay of politics, rhetoric and linguistics more closely, Lesley Jeffrie (2013) suggests working with key word analysis, focussing on the ‘emergent meaning’ which appears in political linguistics. Therefore, Jeffrie works with semantic constructions and compares their representation, function and frequency in political discourse. He argues that expressions can merge into axiomatical aspects in political terms.

In this paper, I will use with this methodological approach when examining significant words in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, such as “Crimea”, “Maidan”, “Kiev” etc., as well as new semantic references in this context, such as “partners”, “Minsk”, or “referendum”. The patterns of usage of this lexicon will be determined by its spread in media from the year 2013 up to the present. Examples will be taken from three important Russian news agencies, which distribute their information via the Internet and television, namely Ria Novosti, Vesti and Telekanal Dozhd. The perspective represented in these media is sometimes controversial, and it is important to outline some key differences in their interpretation and understanding of how Russia looks at Ukraine.


Hlazkova, Olena (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Olena Hlazkova is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta, faculty of Modern Languages and Culture Studies. Her academic interests include but are not limited to Ukrainian female emigration, gender reforms in Ukraine, language use and national identity, hybrid identity of migrants, migration literature, postcolonial studies and feminist studies.

Presentation Title: “Let’s Talk Post-Maidan Emigration from Ukraine”

Abstract: The present research focuses on the way Ukrainian emigration starting from 2014 onwards is presented and discussed in Ukrainian digital space predominantly highlighte-d in but not limited to online mass media publications. The data selected for the study is being yielded by using the Google search phrase “emigration from Ukraine in 2014” (in Ukrainian) and includes the first five pages of the Google search results. These include not only news reports, but also academic publications on the topic, thematic videos, personal blogs etc. The choice of and limitation of the data corpus to the results appearing on the first five pages is justified by the fact that this is an initial stage of a larger research project, and its primary purpose is that of testing and probing into the existing pool of discourse texts on the topic.

Implementing a combination of critical discourse analysis, content analysis, feminist reading and linguistic analysis (Appraisal theory), the study aims to explore the current dominant themes when addressing the issue of emigration in post-Maidan Ukraine. All the results will be preliminary analyzed to determine their relevance to the objectives of the research and further categorized based on the themes, topics and perspective from which emigration is discussed. When it comes to online news publications, I am also interested in the public responses to the identified articles often published in the comments section of the website. Similarly, comments as well as language of those (Ukrainian or Russian) to online videos (if and when applicable) will be considered in the analysis.

While limiting the selection criteria to the texts identified by a Google search phrase may appear simplistic, naive and overgeneralizing, I still argue that the variety of the yielded texts may be helpful in identifying potential future paths for a more in-depth analysis of media representation of Ukrainian post-Maidan emigration.


Jakubowska-Krawczyk, Katarzyna (
University of Warsaw, Poland

Biography: Katarzyna Jakubowska-Krawczyk is an Assistant Professor at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Warsaw and head of the Ukrainian Identity Lab. She serves as secretary and member of the Scientific Board of Studia Ucrainica Varsoviensa, editor of the “W kręgu mowy, literatury i języka” series published in Warsaw and Ivano-Frankivsk. She is the author of “Kształtowanie się ukraińskiej tożsamości narodowej a obraz Polaka i Ukraińca w literaturze XIX wieku” monograph (2015) and several articles and book chapters.

Presentation Title: “The Diaries of Maidan: On the Specificity of the Topic and the Genre”

Abstract: In my presentation I will analyse diaries from the period of Maidan, including “Pryvatnyj shchodennyk” (in Ukrainian) by Mariia Matios, “Dnievnik Maidana” (in Russian) by Andrey Kurkov,thecollective diary of the revolution “Ogien Majdanu” (in Polish) etc. I will concentrate on the specifics of the genre of diary of theDignityRevolution.Whilethe literature I analyse is targeted at the reader, on the other hand it is also a tool that helps develop individual identity. By creating a narrative, one does not only implement some order, but also interprets and evaluates events taking place in the surrounding world. As noted by Philippe Lejeune, “By placing myself in the written world, I continue […] that creation of “narrative identity”, which, as Paul Ricoeur said, our life is all about.” This construction of self is a continuing process that relates to the surrounding world and other people. The diaries of Maidan represent a creative attempttounderstanding the situation at hand, the events as they develop and the possible consequences.
The narratives under scrutiny are very different in terms of the narrators, their social status, occupation,andthe way in which they engage in the evolving history. In my presentation I will investigate how these factors affect the structure of the text and its genre specificity. What makes such analyses especially interesting, is that the authors themselves often disclose the reasons for which they have written and disseminated any particular text. I will takeintoaccount the fact that the diaries are not merely texts, but rather a “certain writing practice, in which taking notes is an action that serves many functions at once”. The author thus tries to influence the readers, to make them play an active part, and to find his or her own answers to the questions about the reasons and consequences of the unfolding events. Finally, writing is often just a way to organise one’s personal experience.


Kachur, Jerry (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Dr. Jerrold L. Kachur is a Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta and specializes in comparative political theology and social theory of education and its intersection with the global political economy. His key interests include 1) globalization, Empire, and the politics of knowledge; 2) Liberalism and socioeconomic inequality; 3) intellectual property rights, and the commercialization of higher education; 4) religion, violence and public pedagogy; and 5) the history and philosophy of critical social science. He has co-edited with Trevor HarrisonContested Classrooms: Education, Globalization and Democracy in Alberta(1999) and with Carlos Torres et al.Educational Reform and the Role of Teachers’ Unions: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Argentina(2000) and been recognized for “The Liberal Virus in Critical Pedagogy: Beyond ’Anti-This-and-That’ Postmodernism and Three Problems in the Idea of Communism” inJournal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 2012.
Keynote Presentation Title: “Neo-Capitalism and the Geopolitics of Ukrainian Higher Education Reform”

Abstract: Americanized neocapitalist modernization of postsecondary systems in Ukraine is affected by the pre-existing structures (e.g. the post-Soviet education system), as well as other influences emerging from the EU (e.g. the Bologna initiative) and from the USA (e.g. commercialized universities). However, the indigenous dynamics of specific Ukrainian characteristics in its state, society and politics are also very important (e.g. oligarchic “capitalists without capitalism,” authoritarian relations in a weak state, cultural “conflict” with Russia chauvinism). The paper reconsiders the Ukrainian postcolonial challenge related to a dominant but declining Western supremacy and ethnogenesis in Ukrainian national identity. The analysis uses a path-dependency model to examine the co-emergence and co-implication of higher education reforms within the great power politics of the EU, Russia and the USA.


Krys, Svitlana (
MacEwan University, Canada

Biography: Svitlana (Lana) Krys (PhD Alberta, 2011) is Assistant Professor of English and Kule Chair in Ukrainian Studies at MacEwan University. Her main research focuses on the development of the Gothic genre in Ukrainian literature (a subject of her book manuscript), and her other research interests include cultural and postcolonial studies.

Presentation Title: “Cultural Reforms and Literature of Post-Euromaidan Ukraine”

Abstract: While examining the nature of cultural reforms in Ukraine that have been taking place since Euromaidan, one can’t help but observe discrepancies between the governmentally- and NGO-supported proposals and their difficult, often tense, debates and cooperation. This presentation will focus ontheLong-termNational Cultural Strategy for Ukraine2025, proposed bythegrassroots organization,“Alliance of Culture” [Альянс Культури], as a response and a viable alternative tothe previous Ukrainian Ministry of Culture’s initiatives, and a food for thought for the new Minister Nyshchuk. I will examine this document through the lens of culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development approach, theorized by Australian scholar and commentator on cultural policy, Jon Hawkes, which offers a new model for culture’s role in society that civic activists in Ukraine aim to achieve. I’ll conclude by tying the preliminary reform initiatives, proposed by the government and criticized by the civic activists in their long-term strategy to a commentary expressed in Andriy Liubka’s recent novelKarbid.In my larger research, I’m studying how the process of reforms becomes reflected in the contemporary fiction of post-Euromaidan Ukraine, and Liubka’s social commentary serves as a brilliant illustration of the concerns expressed by the NGO sector regarding the initiatives of the Ministry of Culture and their operational mechanisms.


Kulyk, Volodymyr (
Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Biography: Volodymyr Kulyk is a head research fellow at the Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He has taught at Columbia and Stanford Universities, Kyiv Mohyla Academy and Ukrainian Catholic University as well as having research fellowships at Harvard, Stanford, University College London, University of Alberta, Woodrow Wilson Center and other Western scholarly institutions. At the time of conference, he will be a visiting professor at Yale University. His research fields include the politics of language, memory and identity in contemporary Ukraine, language ideologies, nationalism and media discourse, on which he has widely published in Ukrainian and Western journals and collected volumes. Dr. Kulyk is the author of three books, the latest being Dyskurs ukraїnskykh medii: identychnosti, ideolohiї, vladni stosunky (The Ukrainian Media Discourse: Identities, Ideologies, Power Relations; Kyiv, 2010). He also guest edited a special issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language on the topic ‘Languages and Language Ideologies in Ukraine’ (2010).

Presentation Title: “Russian-Speakers in Search of Identity: Ukraine in a Comparative Perspective”

Abstract: In the early years of Ukrainian independence, many Western scholars believed that the formation of a separate Russian-speaking identity was more likely than Russian-speakers’ integration into the titular nation. Two decades later, it is obvious that rather than dissociating themselves from speakers of the titular language, Ukraine’s Russian-speakers gradually developed a strong attachment to their country, while retaining their accustomed language. This trend clearly manifested itself at the time of Russian aggression in 2014 when Russian-speakers predominantly allied with their fellow citizens rather than linguistic “brethren” across the border. Seeking to explain this outcome, I examine linguo-demographic and sociopolitical factors that affect the relative salience of national, ethnic and linguistic identities of those Ukrainian citizens who use primarily Russian in everyday life. I show why Russian-speakers preferred to compete for political power within ethnically inclusive structures, which allowed them to influence language policies on both national and local level and thus counter many harmful changes to their linguistic environment. At the same time, different parts of Ukraine with vastly different numerical shares and political weights of Russian-speakers experienced dissimilar dynamics of linguistic preferences and identity changes. These developments are examine in comparison to the processes of identity change in other post-Soviet countries with sizeable groups of Russian-speakers such as Estonia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.


Le, Elisabeth (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Elisabeth Le (PhD, 1996, U de Montréal) is a Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies of the University of Alberta. As a discourse analyst, she has published in the fields of applied linguistics and communication studies, including two monographs,The Spiral of ‘Anti-Other Rhetoric’ – Discourses of identity and the international media echo(2006) andEditorials and the Power of Media(2010). Her two present research projects are: the fuzziness of the notions of “us” and “them”, and the emergence of an immigrant theatre as an organization.

Presentation Title: “Discursive Representation of Ukraine by Le Monde”

Abstract: The French elite daily, Le Monde, is known for its strong pro-European Union positions. A study of its 2014 headlines in its print and online editions has shown how its uses of the words “Europe” / “European” could lead to the interpretation of “Europe” as “European Union”. It also showed the clear quantitative prominence of two groups of European States in its headlines: on the one hand those that were members of the EU before 2004, i.e. “Us”, and on the other those, not members of the EU and mostly represented negatively, i.e. “Them”. As for European States not part of either group, they were mostly invisible unless special circumstances put them on the foreground. In 2014, this was the case with Ukraine because of the Maidan events. Quantitatively, Ukraine appeared in third position, after Russia (of the “Them” group) and before Germany (one of “Us”).

In this presentation, I show how Le Monde constructs Ukraine as a member of the “non-Them”, a group different from “Them” but still not belonging to “Us”, according to Greimas’ semiotic square. To this end, I use Toulmin’s model of argumentation for the qualitative analysis of 5 articles written by very experienced Le Monde’s journalists from April 2014 to April 2016.


Morozova, Olena I.
V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine

Biography: Olena I. Morozova (DSc / Philology, professor, V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University) is a specialist in cognitive linguistics and discourse studies. She is the author of the book Lying as a Discourse Formation (in Russian), a dozen chapters in collected volumes and over fifty published papers, and is a Fulbright Scholar.

Presentation Title: “Verbal Aggression in Ukrainian Political Discourse: the Spoken Mode”

Abstract: I explore the present-day Ukrainian political discourse in its spoken mode (electronically mediated variety) by considering 12 episodes of verbal aggressiveness (27 min) displayed by Ukrainian politicians in their wrangle for power in 2016. I argue that Ukrainian politicians’ aggressive communication is characterized in its quantitative aspect by the prevalence of face-threatening tactics, and in its qualitative aspect – by heightened theatricality which pursues manipulative goals.

In considering episodes of verbal aggressiveness, I adopt the microanalytic approach of interactional sociolinguistics where analysis focuses on verbal features that recur in conversation. This approach is given a multimodal dimension which presupposes taking into account verbal features of communication alongside with its non-verbal parameters (facial expression, eye gaze, vocal characteristics, kinesics, proxemics, etc.). The microanalytic approach is further supplemented with a discourse perspective which gives a bigger picture by framing the results of the microlevel search in terms of social theories.

In the sphere of politics, the primary target of verbal aggressiveness is not the self-concept of the adversary, as psychologists claim, but his / her public image. Verbal aggressiveness in politics also pursues the aim of enhancing the speaker’s own public image. These two interconnected aims of verbal aggressiveness correspond to the main aggressive strategies employed by Ukrainian politicians. These strategies are implemented in a broad scope of tactics, some of which are nationally and / or individually specific.

The close-up capacity of TV and the Internet contributes to the theatrical effect achieved by aggressive speakers. It is done so in order to involve spectators into the political show, thus bringing ideologically charged cognitive structures into existence and setting them to action.

The tendency for ‘aggressivization’ of Ukrainian political discourse can be accounted for by the desire of its main participants to manipulate people by diverting their attention from the essence of the issues under discussion to their contextual frames.


Mykhailenko, Olena (, Roland van Oostveen (, Todd Blayone (
University of Ontario Institute of Technology,Canada

Biographies: Dr. Olena Mykhailenko is a Visiting Scholar, UOIT and Associate Professor of Business Economics at Kyiv National Economic University. Her teaching and research focuses on dimensions of culture and business, and innovations in cross-cultural and multicultural online learning. She is an Associate EILAB Researcher and a founding member of a UOIT, Canada and KNEU, Ukraine research partnership. As an international educational consultant she has developed partnerships with several Canadian, European and Ukrainian, colleges and universities in an effort to develop and study the cross-cultural application of innovative, technology-enriched teaching and learning models for social and personal transformation.

Dr. Roland van Oostveen is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, UOIT and Director of the EILAB, a digital hub for the study of online learning, educational technology and digital abilities. He has been leading development of the Fully Online Learning Community (FOLC) model for several years through research and the facilitation of online courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. As a strong alternative to traditional forms of higher education, Professor van Oostveen leverages the capabilities of today’s digital technologies to build and empower communities of collaborative problem solvers. A guiding challenge involves modeling the dynamism and ambiguity of today’s “real world” to prepare lifelong learners and socially conscious, critical thinkers. A key area of ongoing investigation relates to the social dynamics of deep and meaningful learning. With a view towards further international adoption of FOLC, Professor van Oostveen actively collaborates with research associates from several international universities.

Todd Blayone is an EILAB researcher and graduate student at the Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Canada, and a cross-cultural education consultant (Vistas Canada EDU). He holds a B.A. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (1986) and M.A. in Religion (1990) from the University of Toronto. He was a Faculty Lecturer and doctoral candidate in Religion and Digital Culture at McGill University (1990-96) before taking a leave of absence to enter the business world, functioning as a Director, Digital Business Development (Metroland Media) and a Digital Marketing Strategist (Nelson Educational Publishing). He returned to academia in 2013, and lived most of 2014 and 2015 in Kyiv, Ukraine with his wife/collaborator, Dr. Olena Mykhailenko. His research focuses on democratized online learning and related digital competencies for social and personal transformation. Culturally, Todd is half Ukrainian-Canadian and half Metis.

Presentation Title: “Exploring democratized online learning and dimensionsof culture for educational transformation in Ukraine”

Abstract: Higher education is widely considered vital to the deepening of democracy and human rights. Yet, education, as traditionally practiced, most often functions with rigid hierarchy and authoritarian control, which influences relationships and communication patterns at the micro-level of course activity. Although learning environments can be hardened or softened by organizational culture, a teacher’s personality and the dominant ideology operating in the host socio-political context, authoritarian education is, nevertheless, a pervasive tendency even in countries like Canada, which are otherwise regarded as richly democratic. Of course, in Ukraine, the situation can be more severe owing to a Soviet legacy and relatively low acceptance of democracy as an “all important” value (World Values Survey, W6., v140).

Digital learning, as an emerging, and increasingly global, body of theory and practice constructed at the intersection of digital innovation and pedagogical research, offers several responses to the educational paradox. However, while most forms of digital learning demonstrate some democratizing potential (related, for example, to open access, individual freedoms and/or forms of community-supported learning), not all are equally emancipatory or disruptive of authoritarian practices. Moreover, digital learners are always situated in a context that shapes power dynamics regardless of the guiding techno-pedagogical model.

This presentation explores digital learning through the lenses of control, communication dynamics and dimensions of culture, at the level of a transnational (Canada-Ukraine) online course in two parts. Part 1 presents a general typology of digital learning, describing the democratizing and transformative potential of each type using samples of several interpretive frameworks (e.g., Community of Inquiry, Teaching and Learning Paradigm, Cooperative Freedom). It relates this typology to a socio-cultural approach to digital learning, which highlights ways in which a specific environment (consisting of an organization, rules, actors, and technologies) may “lift” or “resist” a guiding digital-learning model. It then summarizes results of a purposive literature review of digital learning in Ukraine exploring the extent to which universities have adopted democratized forms of digital learning.

Having sketched a theoretical foundation, Part 2 reports on a mixed-methods case-study in which UOIT’s Fully Online Learning Community (FOLC) model, a democratized “fork” of the Community of Inquiry, was used as the basis for a online pilot course in a partnership with the Ukrainian university. It reviews key findings related to cultural dimensions and learning processes, and discusses the potential for extending this project in the service of educational transformation in Ukraine.


Nedashkivska, Alla (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Alla Nedashkivska is Associate Professor of Slavic Applied Linguistics in the department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and Acting Director of the Ukrainian Language Education Centre at CIUS at the University of Alberta. Currently she is Team lead of the Nationalities, Culture and Language Policies research cluster of the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine international research project. Dr. Nedashkivska publishes in the areas of Slavic linguistics, discourse analysis, gender linguistics, political and media language, as well as language pedagogy and second language acquisition in Ukrainian.

Presentation Title: “Discursive Practices of the New Ukrainian Diaspora: Identity in Interaction”

Abstract: The study analyzes the multilingual Ukrainian community in the Diaspora, the newest wave to Canada in particular, triggered by the political and inter-nation unrest in Ukraine.

The proposed project combines the study of social media, language(s), language practices and its speakers, specifically analyzing public discourse by Ukrainians from a multilingual society, which the Ukrainian Diaspora constitutes. The focus is on identity construction through language practices in social media and also in everyday life, which present the ‘stage’ for a diaspora community to construct its identity online and in physical space (Diamandaki 2003).

Social media texts produced by Ukrainian speakers in the Diaspora, as well as interviews data are studied and viewed as cultural constructs, portraying social and language practices, as well as beliefs of this community. All the texts studied, with a certain set of social meanings, ideologies, values, and power relationships, allow for learning about societal issues, contemporary processes of social and cultural change.
The data is collected from social networks, as well as from interviews with recent immigrants, in which discussions about language(s) and identity are prominent. All of these texts constitute examples of public discourse on issues that are of interest or concern to the community. The project explores language practices in this Diaspora community, analyzing language choices and verbal elements of texts, linking the results to concepts of ‘Ukrainianess’.

The sociocultural approach to studying questions of identity proposed by Bucholtz and Hall (2005) is taken as the premise for the theoretical foundation of the study. This framework highlights the importance of studying identity at an interactional level because it is in interaction that language resources gain social meaning (586).
Overall, the study analyzes interaction in social media communication, also investigating how participants report about their language practices in everyday life, what are their views about the language question and how these practices and perceptions relate to larger issues of identity or ‘Ukrainianess’.


Oliferchuk, Natalia (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Nataliya Oliferchuk currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Research Project: Democratic Reform of the Government of Ukraine, Reform of Education and as an international advisor at MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB. She is an Educational Policy Studies graduate student at University of Alberta. Nataliya has a B.A. in English and French instruction from Ivan Franko Lviv National University. Her research interests include higher and international education, partnerships and collaboration in higher education.

Presentation Title: “Faculty Perspectives on Reform in Ukrainian Higher Education”

Abstract: This paper explores the needs of the Ukrainian higher education system for the new post-secondary reform and discusses obstacles and challenges delaying the education reforms in Ukraine despite the continuous efforts to reform the higher education system for the last 25 years. It provides an overview of the reforms Ukrainian education has undergone since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The paper considers the major provisions of the New Law on Higher Education and their alignment with the requirements of the Bologna Process.

The progress of internationalization in higher education in Ukraine continues to be challenged by tensions and instability created by escalating hostilities with Russia. However, a new Law on Higher Education, adopted on July 1, 2014, proposes coherent strategies to optimize university autonomy, provides frameworks for effective oversight, promises to intensify local university research and brings transformative innovations to current university approaches to internationalization. It is very important to point out that Ukrainian universities entered all these reforms including the Bologna Process and a New Law on Higher Education in 2014, with the different degree of autonomy from the state and different level of financial support, and these factors slow down the implementation of the reforms. (Reichert & Tauch, 2005) These reforms are also taking place alongside major anti-corruption initiatives in all sectors of society. While there has been discussion about educational reforms in Ukraine for the last 25 years and the adoption of the New Law on Higher Education in 2014 little has been explored in terms of the needs of Ukrainian higher education system for the new post-secondary reform. Very little information has been gathered on which initiatives have been taken to change post-secondary education in Ukraine since the New Law on Higher Education was adopted in July 2014. The scope of the study was to gather some information on which initiatives had been taken to change post-secondary education in Ukraine since the New Law on Higher Education was adopted in July 2014. The research question that guided this study is: What are the attitudes of the academic community in Lviv, Ukraine towards the New Law on Higher Education?

The research participants were instructors and professors from the Ukrainian universities in Lviv. Semi-structured interviews were chosen to get the insight on the awareness of the Bologna Process and the New Law on Higher Education of the instructors and professors as one of the main participants in these processes. A qualitative research case study design was used to answer the research question since the process of reform is still in progress. The case study met ethical guidelines set up and approved by University of Alberta. The data from the interviews has shed light on the process of the implementation of the New Law on Higher Education and its reform in different institutions. In particular, university professor and lecturer participants have identified their perceptions of sources of agency and resistance, drivers and obstacles to the reforms.

The results obtained by interviewing the university professors and lecturers allow to state the positive or negative general attitude towards the New Reforms in Ukraine, the level of Ukrainian higher education readiness to the reforms in question and about the correspondence of the new reforms to the contemporary economic and social conditions of Ukraine. There is much to be done until the reforms implemented could have the maximal positive effect and not provoke rejection from the people involved. The general awareness and attitude to the new reforms were positive. However, the respondents shared the same view that Ukraine has to overcome certain difficulties in order to achieve the goals. In future more universities from different regions of Ukraine could be involved into this research. It could be interesting to compare the attitudes and views on the New Law on Higher Education and its provisions from different participants of different universities. This study can benefit institutions which are experiencing a similar transition, keeping in mind their individual history, culture, location, financial resources, students and staff.


Roman Petryshyn (
University of Alberta, Canada

Biography: Dr. Roman Petryshyn holds a MA in clinical psychology and a PhD in sociology of race and ethnic relations. He has been employed in the Ontario Citizenship Branch, as a Research Associate at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta and was the founding director of the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at Grant MacEwan University where he held the Drs. Peter and Doris Kule Chair in Ukrainian Community and International Development until 2015. During 1991 to 2015 he was actively engaged in structuring and delivering technical assistance projects in Ukraine and Russia through URDC in agriculture (1991-95), health care (1996-9), business management (1997-2000) and health education (2000-04). During 2008 to 2013 he co-managed the project “Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Ukraine”. Currently he is active as an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta.


Polkovsky, Valerii (
East European Opportunities, Canada; Ostroh Academy National University, Ukraine

Biography: Valerii Polkovsky is a certified member of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC) and currently has his own company “East European Opportunities” (St. Albert, Alberta, Canada) [translation/interpreting and consultancy]. He obtained his Ph.D. at the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta, in 2003, with a thesis devoted to the post-totalitarian transformation of Ukrainian business lexicon and business discourse in general.

Presentation Title 1: “The Language of War: Ukrainian Language Transformations since the 2014 Maidan Revolution”

Abstract: My presentation centres on transformations that have been taking place in the Ukrainian language lexicon since the 2014 Maidan Revolution. The language of war and division requires deeper research and analyzis. Source data is taken from Ukrainian periodical press (Hazeta po-ukrains’ky, Den’, Dzerkalo tyzhnia, Vysokyi zamok, Rivne vechirnie), internet-resources (Ukrains’ka pravda,, glavred, glavcom, and contrasted when necessary against Russian examples (taken from Komsomol’skaia pravda) [timeframe – December 2013 – current].

Research methods: descriptive, functional (research of the language in action/motion), component analysis. Field trip to Ukraine for interviews with participants of Ukrainian-Russo conflict/war has been planned (September 07-October 12, 2016).

I describe new trends and phenomena in the Ukrainian language: neologisms born by the war (like peredok, zelenka, p’iatysotyi), the reorientation of meanings as motivated by social and ideological transformation (particular emphasis is on derivatives based on Maidan), and the social factors involved in language change. Particular attention is paid to city name changes, reactivation of lexicon of Orange Revolution, non-standard lexis, and occasionalisms. The role of slang/jargon is considered as well as irony/sarcasm in post-Maidan discourse. Special attention has been paid to the role of epidigmatics (epidyhmatyka) [like Poroshenko, rosporoshennia, rozporoshyty] in the political discourse. How Ukrainian and Russian neologisms reflect the Russo-Ukrainian war/conflict? What is the ‘demagogic value’ of this lexicon?

Metaphors and exaggeration are typical features of this period. The 2014 Maidan Revolution continued the process of liberalization and democratization of the Ukrainian language which began with perestroika and got an impulse with Orange Revolution and after revolution period. This period was marked by search for real meanings of words in Ukrainian discourse. There was a strong demand to update the language.

Post-Maidan period has been characterized by search for authentic Ukrainian lexicon, its consideration in a broader world context.

Presentation Title 2: “Obstacles to Higher Education Reform in Ukraine”

Abstract: My presentation centres on obstacles to higher education reform in Ukraine.
Data sources. Some of my conclusions are drawn from experience in Ukrainian University settings (Khmelnytskyi Technological Institute – years 1980 – 1984, 1984-1990, Ternopil Academy of National Economy – 1990-1993, Ostroh Academy National University – 2008 – 2012), having worked as instructor, associate professor, professor and chair. Field trip to Ukraine is planned (September 07 – October 13, 2016) to conduct interviews with students, instructors, professors and rectors at the Universities of Ostroh, Rivne, Ternopil, Lviv, Kyiv and Dnipro. Recent Ukrainian publications (portal,,, Ukrains’ka pravda, Hazeta po-ukrains’ky, Ternopil newspapers for the period of 2014-2016) on the topic of corruption and other university issues/problems have been analyzed.
Theoretical framework and research methodology. My methodology is based on action research (‘globalization from below’). Comparison with Canadian universities (where possible) will be provided. Comparative method can be very productive and beneficial.

One of the major obstacles to higher education reform in Ukraine is reluctance of top University managers (presidents/rectors, their deputies – prorectors, some deans and chairs) to reform the system. They have extreme comfort in unreformed or underreformed University sytem. Corruption and personal interests are big factors. 800 or even 300 Universities for Ukraine is still a very big number which has to be drastically and radically reduced (up to 15-20 utmost, one for a typical 250000 regional centre). It will allow to concentrate financial, human and other resources in the right and proper direction. Mandatory retirement of Ukrainian professors and lecturers should be a must. Maximum age – 65 (in rare cases 70). It will allow to retire the most conservative, corrupt and in many cases absolutely unproductive segment of profesura (which currently constitutes about 7% of all instructors). It will create opportunities for younger researchers to progress faster and efficiently at University setting.

One of the big obstacles is defense of dissertations where the same profs are represented at several Universities’ Defense Councils which leads again to massive corruption and inefficiency.

Next step should be illumination of 2 Ph.D.s – one post-Soviet doktors’ka and only then real Ph.D. Who needs this first one now? It absolutely undervalues real Ph.D. and in reality puts it on the level of kandydats’ka dysertatsiia (Candidate dissertation).

The system (Bachelor – Master – Ph.D.) should be finally accepted in Ukraine (without any reservations). The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (as well as all other “Academies”) has to be abolished, its best representatives should work in leading Ukrainian universities, combining teaching and research.

Too many “undefended” instructors work in Ukrainian universities and some departments have up to 60-70 instructors with only a few holding Ph.D.s. More international cooperation is highly encouraged. Salaries of Ukrainian professors have to be increased (again with elimination of certain “pseudouniversities”, releasing financial and other resources). University reform is crucial for the survival of the Ukrainian state.


Roozenbeek, Jon (
The University of Cambridge, UK

Biography: Jon Roozenbeek obtained a BA degree in Russian Studies from the University of Leiden in 2012, and wrote my Bachelor thesis on eye witness accounts of the Holodomor. After this, he completed an MSc degree in Sustainable Development and an MA degree in Politics & Society. In October 2016 he will start a PhD degree at the Department of Slavonic Studies in Cambridge. His research will focus on the role of the media in creating and moving narrative borders within Ukraine.

Presentation Title: “The Use and Misuse of Fear and Other Tropes by Russian and Ukrainian Media Outlets during the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict”

Abstract: In this presentation, I will seek to assess how and in what ways Russian and Ukrainian media
outlets used fear, direct propaganda, and other tropes in their coverage during parts of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. To do so, I analyse the news coverage of three Ukrainian and three Russian media outlets: Russia Today, Perviy Kanal, and Novaya Gazeta in Russia; and Ukrainska Pravda, Fakty i Kommentarii, and Kyiv Post in Ukraine. These outlets were chosen to ensure covering a variety of perspectives: Perviy Kanal and Fakty i Kommentarii are often assumed to pursue a generally pro-government editorial policy, Ukrainska Pravda and Novaya Gazeta are to some extent editorially independent, and Russia Today and the Kyiv Post both cater to an international, English-speaking audience.

In terms of methodology I conducted a rhetorical analysis of one week of media coverage from Ukrainian media, and of another week of coverage from Russian media, paying particular attention to the use of various mass persuasion tropes as defined by Walton (2007): appeals to fear, direct propaganda, pity, and reason. The rhetorical analysis also includes an analysis of the use of so-called ‘buzzwords’ such as ‘fascism’, ‘Nazism’, or ‘radicalism’, in order to assess the extent to which such words are used to strengthen an article’s appeal. In order for articles to fall under one of the above mentioned categories, their content must be compatible with a trope’s articulated definition. For example, for an article to appeal to fear, it must instil ‘a sense of urgent threat and danger to the audience’ (Altheide, 2006, p. 9). For an article to count as direct propaganda, it must ‘directly and overtly defend national interests, or forward a political message’ (Ellul, 1973, p.15; Silverstein, 1987, p.50).

I conclude that four out of six media outlets (both Ukrainian and Russian) used fear and direct propaganda to a large extent in the coverage analysed. Novaya Gazeta and Kyiv Post, both with relatively small target audiences in their respective countries, did not consistently use fear in their coverage and instead tend to take a more neutral or pacifying editorial stance. Russian state-owned media (Russia Today and Perviy Kanal) were found to be the main user of fear-inducing buzzwords. Fakty i Kommentarii and Ukrainska Pravda, while more editorially independent on the surface, also used fear as a tool to sway public opinion, although not through the use of buzzwords and more in direct reference to what at the time appeared to be an imminent Russian invasion. It is therefore the way the ‘fear’-trope is used that is noticeably different: while both the Russian and the Ukrainian side used fear and direct propaganda as a tool to demonise an illegitimate transfer of power (the Crimea invasion for Ukraine, and the Ukrainian post-Euromaidan government for Russia), the analysed Russian coverage promoted fear in the abstract, by emphasising the potential implications of a ‘radical’, ‘extreme’ or ‘fascist’ new Ukraine. Ukrainian media outlets, on the other hand, promoted a more tangible kind of fear, for example by warning of an imminent military invasion. This difference is both noticeable in the articles produced and in the way they are produced. For example, Ukrainska Pravda published a veritable torrent of updates and articles on the ongoing developments surrounding the Crimea invasion, leaving its audience with a sense of dread and urgency by virtue of a nearly saturated coverage volume. The equivalent to this way of instilling fear was not present in Russian coverage. This difference in the use of fear and other tropes by these four media outlets in the two weeks of coverage analysed bears further analysis by for example looking at a different time frame, different media outlets or different types of media (e.g. television), in order to investigate to which extent this dichotomy in the use of fear persists.


Seals, Corinne A. (
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Biography: Corinne Seals (Mykytka) is a Lecturer of Applied Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. She focuses on heritage languages, identity, and policy. Her current books ‘Choosing a Mother Tongue’: Identity Renegotiation in Ukrainian Narratives of Conflict (Multilingual Matters) and Heritage Language Policies around the World (Routledge) will appear in 2017.

Presentation Title: “Post-Maidan Language Politics in Ukrainian Diaspora Communities”

Abstract: The choice and use of language can be highly political, reflecting the ideologies, beliefs, practices, and opinions intertwined with it (Pelinka 2007, van Dijk 1998, Wodak 2007). Prior to Maidan, there was already political tension associated with language choice and use in many parts of Ukraine (Bilaniuk 2005). Following Maidan, this tension increased in many areas and resurfaced within Ukrainian diaspora communities. For these diaspora communities in particular, this further complicated sociolinguistic identity negotiation, as they were asked to consider – loyalty to whom/where, and how is language connected to this? The current study examines this complicated negotiation process for diaspora communities, asking how do members of Ukrainian diaspora communities negotiate integration into the host communities, and how do the ideologies of post-Maidan Ukraine further complicate this negotiation?

To answer these questions, this presentation will draw from a corpus of over 150,000 words compiled from interviews with 38 Ukrainians between 18 and 40 years old. The current presentation will focus on 26 of the interviews – those conducted with Ukrainians living in New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. Six of these participants come from Western Ukraine, six from Kyiv, six from the Black Sea region, and eight from Eastern Ukraine. A critical discourse analysis of the interviews shows the complex discursive processes participants go through when moving between home- and host-country integrated identities, while simultaneously reflecting the ideologies and political concerns of both. To illustrate this complex process, a model of negotiation, investment, and integration has been developed, through which participants’ discourse can be interpreted. Additionally, the current study uncovered the rise of the “change your mother tongue” movement post-Maidan, which many participants in the diaspora communities claim familiarity and experience with. These findings will be discussed, with reference to what it may mean for future transformations in Ukrainian language ideologies.


Simak, Kateryna (
National University of Ostroh Academy, Ukraine

Biography: Kateryna Simak is a postgraduate student and a junior researcher at the Canadian Studies Centre at the National University of Ostroh Academy. Her research interests lie in internationalisation of higher education in Ukraine, especially academic mobility of students. These days, she is particularly interested in trends of academic mobility of students in Canada.

Presentation Title: “New Reforms and Student Academic Mobility in Post-Maidan Ukraine”

Abstract: The new Law on Higher Education served to be a prerequisite to the development of a regulatory framework on the subject of academic mobility of students, which resulted in Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Regulation on the Implementation Procedure of Academic Mobility Right (Decree № 579 of 12.08 2015). Articles of the Regulation define the term “academic mobility”, its types, forms and procedures [1,3].

Previous studies conducted by researchers both in Ukraine and abroad have demonstrated that since Revolution of Dignity and new democratic government, including former Minister of Education, Serhiy Kvit, Ukraine has shown a positive tendency towards internationalisation of higher education [2,4]. Despite emerging difficulties of implementation of new reforms, Ukrainian universities are actively engaging into international collaboration through mobility programs, joint programs, double-degree programs, etc.

I will report my findings on the subject of progress and obstacles of student academic mobility operation within Ukrainian higher education institutions. In order to analyse this, the data provided by Ukrainian universities websites as well as critical analysis of scientific literature has been used. Conclusions come from the data analysis of reports and newsletters of Ministry of Education, university international departments’ websites and reports of non-governmental organisations (e.g. CEDOS). The study met the ethical guidelines for the conduct of educational research. The study reveals that some leading Ukrainian universities have already successfully developed and adopted regulations on academic mobility of students and have academic mobility offices operating (e.g. Academic Mobility Office at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, etc.). However, there is an urgent necessity for provincial universities to promote exercising the right to student academic mobility.

In my presentation, I will also address the list of obstacles, owing to which development of student academic mobility issues curtain challenges. Namely, lack of political will by university administrators to promote student academic mobility, inexperienced staff at university international offices, insufficient trainings for students concerning credit transfer, language transition, scholarship payments, grant applications, etc. Poor dissemination of information about mobility programmes for Ukrainian students within
existing inter-governmental agreements and signed inter-institutional Memorandums of Understanding (MofU) proved to be deterioration factors. These obstacles were identified with the help of interviewing Ukrainian students during “Education in Canada” fair on February 20, 2016 in Lviv, Ukraine.


Tkachuk, Taras (
Vinnytsia Teachers’ Recertification Academy, Ukraine

Biography: Taras Tkachuk is a Candidate of Philological Sciences (PhD equivalent) at the Institute of the Ukrainian language, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. He holds a M.A. in Ukrainian and English from the Department of Philology, Vinnytsia State Teacher Training Institute, Vinnytsia, Ukraine. His dissertation focuses on the category of concessiveness in the modern Ukrainian language, and his research interests include Ukrainian-Russian bilingualism and Functional-semantic categories.

Presentation Title: “Choosing between Ukrainian and Russian in a Multilingual Ukraine (Vinnytsia region)”

Abstract: Bilingualism in Ukraine is a widespread phenomenon that has been a determining factor in the development of the Ukrainian language. Our main research question concerns current bilingual practices of city residents in various urban settings. Main hypothesis is based on the ideas about the language ‘markedness’ (see Wilson [4], Bilaniuk (1), Zalizniak & Masenko (2) Hrytsak [3] and others).

Our surveys showed that the evolution of language is strongly influenced by a combination of factors: some of which are the result of external historical events that have occurred locally or internationally; while others still come about due to the ongoing search of the speaker to find a way of expressing his thoughts.
I have been examining the question of Ukrainian-Russian bilingualism for the last 5 years (2012 – 2016). During this time, I have conducted six important sociolinguistic surveys and identified several factors that determine the choice people make between the Ukrainian and Russian languages in Vinnytsia and Vinnytsia region.

The main goal of my research has been to move the topic of bilingualism from politics to socio-linguistics and to find out all the factors that influence the speaker who lives in a bilingual environment. In particular:
· the impact of external factors, such as school language, friends’ language, media, service, language of official institutions etc. (2012; 2013);
· the impact of the urban environment (2012);
· language used in a family (2013);
· language used at school (2015);
· correlation with the level of education of a respondent and his/her parents (grandparents) (2015);
· influence of socioeconomic factors (level of financial security of the family) (2016).

All these surveys confirmed the hypothesis of subconscious transition to Russian, lasting today. The exception was 2014, when the percentage of respondents recognizing Ukrainian as a native language, increased under the influence of Euromaidan. Nevertheless latest surveys among teenagers (2015, 2016) reveal a stronger desire to switch to Russian.

van Uffelen, Lennard (
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Biography: Lennard van Uffelen studied Polish and Russian language and culture as well as history, specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe. He followed courses at the universities of Groningen (RUG), Amsterdam (UvA), Lublin (KUL) and at the Dutch Institute in Saint Petersburg (NISPB).

Presentation Title: “How Imperial Discourse re-Entered Dutch Public Debate on Ukraine”

Abstract: In the second half of 2015, Ukraine surprisingly became the center of attention of Dutch political debate, when a coalition of right and left wing anti-EU activists under the name “Geenpeil” started a successful campaign against Ukraine’s pending association agreement with the European Union. Part of its success relied on the fact that in Dutch public discourse, the representation of Ukrainian identity was a “ground zero” of sorts. The Soviet Union had been represented as a homogenous entity, thus leaving space for the process of identity construction of its parts, including Ukraine.

Geenpeil’s narrative consisted of a fusion of 19th century Orientalist stereotypes of the“Eastern-European” Other (Said), and “imperial” discourse about Ukraine, qualifying its national sentiment as either non-valid, non-existing or “fascist”. (Geenpeil) Geenpeil called Ukraine “part of Putin’s backyard”, and “historically tied to Russia”. Its narrative thus relied on a worldview divided in cultural zones consisting of center and a periphery. This worldview negates the possibility of imagining Ukraine as a separate independent nation state and limits the debate to the question to which cultural sphere Ukraine belongs. Geenstijl motivated its no-campaign by stating that the EU is attempting to “annex” the Ukraine, which is engaged in a “civil war”, thereby “crawling towards the Russian border.” (Ibidem.) The yes-campaign thus employed similar arguments, emphasizing Ukraine’s historical ties to Europe. None of the participants in the debate considered Ukraine as an independent nation state with a history and destiny of its own.

Using existing methods of literary and cultural analysis on the construction of national stereotypes (such as Said & Leerssen), the present paper will analyze the way in which Ukrainian national identity was represented by yes and no campaigners in their campaign material and opinion articles in Dutch traditional and social media between August 6 2015 and April 6 2016. The primary focus will be on the explicit and implications assumptions regarding Ukraine’s cultural orientation “between East and West”.

The paper will show that the arguments of both sides come down to a deontological vision on geopolitics dividing the world into large cultural zones or “civilizations” bound to clash. This vision can partly be traced to 19th century “imperial knowledge” (Thompson) a literary and cultural discourse that represents the world as consisting of several radial cultural of zones of which the Ukraine nation could only be a peripheral entity. This idea has been re-vamped in the 1990’s by authors such as Huntington in the trans-Atlantic world and Dugin in Russia, who added the fatalistic element of the immanent “clash of civilizations” (Huntington). Mediated by “Geenpeil” and adapted by yes and no campaigners alike, these notions decisively shaped Dutch public debate about Ukraine.


Winters, Svitlana (
University of Calgary, Canada

Biography: Svitlana Winters is a doctoral candidate in the Linguistics program at the University of Calgary. Her research interests lie in word-formation, especially blending and all its aspects (phonology, semantics, syntax, etc.). These days, she is particularly interested in blending in her mother tongue, Ukrainian.

Presentation Title: “Processing of Blends Employed in Ukrainian Political Discourse”

Abstract: In recent years, political propaganda in Ukrainian abounds in blends, i.e. words formed by
merging two or more source words (SWs). The merging can involve an overlap of homophonous sequences of SWs (overlap blends, as in (1)) or a clipping of inner edges of SWs (substitution blends, as in (2)).

Kaputin > kaput Putin
‘Kaputin’ ‘defeated’ ‘Putin’
(defeated Putin)

Minrarium > min(istry) (te)rarium
‘minrarium’ ‘ministers’ ‘terrarium’
(treacherous ministers compared to snakes)

Blends exert a certain communicative effect on the audience (e.g. create positive/negative associations with a referent, persuade the audience, etc.) [5,6]. Previous studies demonstrate that, indeed, some of the techniques employed in blending facilitatepersuasion: the use of metaphors [3,7] (e.g. a ministry is a terrarium) and the inclusion of a puzzle [2,8] (e.g. what SWs compose a blend?). In my presentation, I will address the issue of maximizing the effect exerted by blends on the audience.

Presumably, a blend will only be effective as a tool of persuasion if the addressees recognise the
SWs and understand the meaning of the blend. I will report my findings in two psycholinguistic experiments with native speakers of Ukrainian, which focus on the factors that facilitate recognition of the SWs in blends and understanding of their meaning. The results reveal that these factors are the structure of a blend (overlap vs. substitution blends) and the modality of presentation (aural vs. visual). Namely, in aural presentation of blends in context, only overlap blends are processed immediately. However, in visual presentation of blends in context, blends are processed successfully irrespective of their structure.

The study reveals how blends should be formed and presented in order to serve as a powerful tool of persuasion. It also presents previously unknown facts about processing of blends in Ukrainian, a language in which blending is virtually unstudied [1,4].


Zayachuk, Yuliya (
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine

Biography: Dr. Yuliya Zayachuk is an Associate Professor of the Department of General and Social Pedagogics, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine. Her PhD in Education, and her research interests include comparative education, global higher education reform, university models, education policy, bilingual and cross-cultural education, and higher institutions of Ukrainian Studies in Canada. Dr. Zayachuk has over 50 scientific publications.

Presentation Title: “Trends in Global Higher Education Reforms”

Abstract: The paper is based on research started in the framework of Erasmus Mundus post-doctoral mobility program in Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, and the University of Turku, Finland. Data are based on literature review, analysis of documents, questionnaire surveys, and interviews with different actors involved in the University system at different levels – with professors, scientists, PhD, Master and Bachelor students and administrators dealing with student affairs.

This study presents the analysis of the issues of the latest most influential global trends in the development of higher education and in European higher education reforms, with a special emphasis on the analysis of adoption of European and world’s higher education reforms by Ukraine. After signing the Bologna Declaration in 2005, Ukraine became part of the renewal process. The paper highlights that the Revolution of Dignity during 2013-2014 and ongoing military conflict in Eastern Ukraine provide new avenues for the renewal process due to the changed public approach to societal challenges on the path of national advancement. The paper analyzes a new Law on Higher Education 2014, and appropriate opportunities for systemic modernization of higher education in Ukraine. It examines what has already been done in Ukraine in the frame of the Bologna process and reforms in educational management and governance, and what needs to be done. The paper emphasizes that Ukraine has a number of challenges for achieving the objectives, but has no alternative to being integrated into European higher education space.


Zhabotynska, Svitlana (
Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University in Cherkasy, Ukraine

Biography: Svitlana Zhabotynska holds the position of Prof. Dr. hab. General Linguistics, Germanic Languages) and is a researcher in the field of cognitive linguistics. Her publications focus on the conceptual basis of diverse linguistic phenomena, and application of theoretical findings in the language classroom. Of late, the spheres of her particular interest have been language as weapon of the information war, and neurocognitive grounds of language acquisition.

Presentation Title: “Individual Bilingualism in Ukraine: Dominance Shifts to the Ukrainian Language”

Abstract: This paper briefly outlines societal, political, and psychological aspects of Ukrainian-Russian bilingualism in Ukraine, and introduces into the discussion a new – neurocognitive – aspect, which is indispensable for developing a consistent national program facilitating the shift to Ukrainian for those bilingual Ukrainians whose individual dominant language is Russian.

Individual dominant language is the one which the speaker prefers in interaction (1: 23). Its neurocognitive basis is the brain’s neural network working ‘by default’, automatically and unconsciously for an individual (4). The respective neural network for the subdominant language is less steady, which hinders the switch to this language. Formation of such networks depends on the “nature” (the inborn faculty for language acquisition), and “nurture” (the linguistic environment that activates and develops this faculty). Analysis of the recent theoretical findings (3; 2; 1 among others) enables identification of such interrelated natural and societal factors affecting language dominance: (a) the age of language acquisition, (b) simultaneous / sequential acquisition of languages, (c)contexts in which the language is acquired and used, (e) norm of the acquired / used language, (f) frequency and duration of language use. Particular actualization of these factors determines an individual’s proficiency in the two languages one of which tends to become dominant, and another – subdominant. Language dominance is not static: it may change with time, and it is sensitive to the linguistic environment.

The data of recent public opinion polls (2; 3) demonstrate positive shifts to the dominance of Ukrainian in and outside the family. Meanwhile, with the exception of education, the Russian language persists in its use, and it is just slowly substituted by Ukrainian in the formal domains requiring good skills in oral and written speech.

The paper considers different age groups of individuals whose dominant language is Russian, and comes up with the proposals as to motivating their switch to Ukrainian through expanding Ukrainian linguistic environment.




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