Everyday Problems of International Students in the Russian Language Environment

education and communication, professional culture

The article aims to reveal the typical problems of international students in the Russian language environment. The authors analyzed essays in which students (N=89) voluntarily described examples of everyday language difficulties they encountered while studying and living in Russia. The article is devoted to the assessment of individual cases and examines the most common problems at three levels of the language environment scale: mega (city), meso (university) and micro (personal). The research showed that the most significant issues that require quick solutions arise in the mega-environment for students with a low level of language proficiency. Thus, moving around the city, shopping in stores, and even more so calling a taxi, going to a doctor, ordering services – these are the tasks of really high complexity for them. Language problems are usually resolved with the help of people around them, using English and/or technical means, and in extreme cases, some of them may be addressed to compatriots. As a rule, the University environment does not create problems that require urgent solutions, but insufficient knowledge of the language significantly complicates the learning process. In personal communication students most often use their native language, which helps to avoid stress, but hinders the rapid learning of a new language.