Azerbaijani Ministry of Education has announced some information on the teaching of foreign languages ??at secondary schools for the 2013/2014 academic year.
According to the supplements made to the educational plan, the foreign languages planned to be taught at Azerbaijani secondary schools will be chosen among English, German, French, Russian, Arabic and Farsi.
The availability of relevant human resources and material and teaching basis at schools is considered to be a precondition of foreign language teaching.
Regardless of the language taught, teaching of foreign languages at all public schools ??begins from the first grade. The foreign language which is taught from the first grade is considered to be the main foreign language.
A second language is chosen upon the request of the student or parent (or another authorized representative), at schools which envisage instruction on several foreign languages.
Thus, two foreign language groups may be set up in the same class upon the request of parents, if necessary.
In this case, a number of conditions should be met, including division of the class into two groups in accordance with certain rules, the same or a slightly different number of students in the group, the availability of at least two teachers for each foreign language at school, etc.
According to the plan, a second foreign language has been included in the list of classes taught at secondary and upper secondary schools.
Teaching of a second foreign language starts at the fifth grade since the 2012/2013 academic year.
If a school has appropriate human resources and teaching framework, refusal to teach a second foreign language is not allowed.
In order to ensure teaching of a second foreign language at schools, teachers can be hired from other educational institutions by reimbursing wages according to the existing rules.
If a school does not have enough staff for teaching a foreign language, then the hours designated for the foreign language are allocated for teaching the mother tongue. And in the fifth and sixth grades, the hours designated for teaching foreign languages are granted for teaching the native language, literature and mathematics, one hour each.
The issue of allocating hours for other disciplines (no more than one hour for each), which were previously designated for teaching a foreign language at the 7-11th grades, is determined by the teaching council of the school. In this case, the number and skills of teachers on particular subjects are also taken into account. The hours allocated for teaching a second foreign language are granted for the main foreign language, and if foreign languages are not taught altogether, the hours are granted for the Technology subject.
Language is a notion that exists in society and has contributed to its development since the ancient times. Knowledge of two or more languages has become a requirement in our modern globalized world.
Previously, learning a foreign language was in the sphere of people's interest, but now it has already become an obligation.
The motivation behind this is people's aspiration to gain an advantage while applying for jobs in the highly competitive job market, to be distinguished among their peers, to be comfortable while travelling and so on.
Nowadays, English is almost seen as a common language of the world. Most of Azerbaijani private companies and banks use it as the second official language, thus making English the most required language in the country which dominates over other languages. Furthermore, English is gaining wide popularity among young people, providing social networking and other opportunities online.
Prior to the 2000s Russian also dominated among other required languages. The Russian language began to be taught not as the main subject, but only as a foreign language. An hour was designated for the teaching of the Russian language and the number of faculty members was reduced.
Some believed it was due to the dominance of English, while others deemed this a way to develop the state language and strengthen the national mindset. Nevertheless, according to the Education Ministry, there are 15 secondary schools across the country where teaching is only in Russian and almost all Azerbaijani high schools have the Russian "sector". The ministry also said that hiring of Russian language teachers will be carried out within the framework of the overall job competition at the schools where teaching is in the Russian language.
The Law of the Azerbaijan Republic on the State Language was approved by National Leader Heydar Aliyev on Sept.30, 2002. The document stated that the country considers the Azerbaijani language as a symbol of its statehood, envisions its application, protection and development, and provides a basis for national and cultural self-expression needs of world Azerbaijanis. According to the decree of Heydar Aliyev, Aug.1 is celebrated as the Day of Azerbaijani Language and Alphabet.
Learning a language at the level of a native speaker from a scratch is something like a miracle, since it takes much interest, patience and time to learn. Furthermore, lessons taught at the language courses, schools and universities are not enough. Instruction is effective if it is provided in a country where this language is spoken. However, thanks to some new language programs with video and sound opportunities it is possible to learn a foreign language in a matter of 10 days.
In general, learning a foreign language is useful from the viewpoint of intercultural relations, understanding of a different world view, widening the outlook, being a creative thinker, etc. Recent studies have revealed that knowledge of a foreign language in the present-day world influences positively the brain functions and increases comprehension capabilities and intellect of a person.
Thus, speaking two or more languages is one of the advantages of a person. Furthermore, knowledge of the enemy's language is important to defeat him with his own weapon, but with the exception that your native language is highly respected and prioritized.