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Integration Examination in the Russian Federation. Three years of experience and research: Success or failure?

The 3-module Integration Examination, incorporating Russian Language, History and the Basics of Law tests, is a mandatory integration requirement for immigrants in Russia. Integration tests and educational courses are only a few examples of the new ‘civic integration policies’ used all over the world to promote common values for newcomers. Through the present study, the authors address the question of whether these requirements facilitate the migrants’ integration process. In doing so, they examine the impact of the Integration Exam in Russia as one of its integration policy strategies. The paper draws on surveys to explore the attitude towards the Integration Exam among different categories of migrants. The research is supported by the all-Russia 2015-2017 Integration Exam statistics. The authors reveal causal relationships between language proficiency and integration. The results presented in the paper indicate that most migrants support the idea of the Integration Exam and demonstrate understanding of the importance of civic integration. The level of integration correlates with the purpose of migration, which is reflected in the Integration Exam’s level structure. The findings presented in the article help explore the Exam’s perspectives, facilitate better- addressed education programmes, and discuss legislative initiatives affecting Russia’s State Migration Policy.

KEYWORDS: Integration Exam, migration policy, civic integration, language assessment, language proficiency

Anzhela Dolzhikova. Vice-Rector for Continuing Education at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). Executive Secretary of the Russian Testing Consortium, Head of the Methodological Commission of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Coordinates the testing system for Russian as a Foreign Language. Supervises RUDN University projects promoting the Russian language abroad and uniting Russian language teachers all over the world.

Marina Kunovski. Head of Russian Language Dpt, Faculty of Russian Language and General Educational Disciplines at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). Has worked in language education for nearly 20 years as a teacher of English and Russian as a Foreign Language, as well as a language examiner. Member of the Language Tests Development team at RUDN University.


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