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Journal of Language Identity and Education

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Where do you start the course design for a minority language? One starting point is identifying and surveying a community of possible learners. This paper explores the needs of learners of Tuvan, a language spoken primarily in the Republic of Tuva, Southern Siberia, Russia. The study was conducted in two steps: an online questionnaire (March 2019) and semi-structured interviews (April 2019). The results showed a limited interest in Tuvan as a foreign language (13 responses) on the one hand, but a long-standing one on the other, more than two decades in some cases. The identified learner needs fell into three broad categories: needs related to “throat” (overtone) singing; needs related to travelling to Tuva and surviving in a new environment; and needs unique to each participant (e.g., academic research). The study contributes to the underresearched issue of indigenous languages as objects of foreign language study.


This is the Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article that was subsequently in The Journal of Language, Identity and Education, August 2020, published by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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