About the author

My name is Lera, and I’m a linguist.

I grew up in Maykop, Adyghea, where my family moved from Crimea when I was 3 years old. After graduating from high school in Maykop, I studied Philology at Moscow State University and then received a Master’s degree from The American University (Washington, DC) in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

While studying in the US, I became really interested in doing research, and decided to pursue a PhD in Applied Linguistics. I got accepted to Penn State University in 2017 and have already completed 4 years of the program. I am now working on my dissertation that explores Adyghe language maintenance in the Republic of Adyghea, Russia.

Why the Adyghe language? 

As I was taking linguistics courses at Penn State, I became interested in indigenous language maintenance and revitalization. This topic is relevant and studied all over the world. Think about the Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish languages in the UK; Navajo in the US; the Maori language in New Zealand, etc. There are dissertations and scholarly publications exploring how these languages function in today’s world. Scholars and language activists also look for innovative and effective ways of teaching these languages. The status of the Adyghe language is much less known and studied, although this topic is valuable and certainly worth exploring. Multiple Circassian diasporas around the world make it even more complex and fascinating

For example, I would like to know how language ideologies and teaching practices differ in Adyghea and in the U.S Circassian diaspora.

I hope I will be able to answer this question one day. For now, I am focussing on Adyghe language teaching in urban and rural schools in Adyghea.

Do I speak Adyghe?

Although I grew up in Adyghea, I had only one year of Adyghe in middle school. I learned to count till 10 and learned one poem (Елкэм дэжь). Once, this scarce knowledge helped me pass one of the hardest exams in linguistics at Moscow State University.

When I decided to write a dissertation on Adyghe, I started learning the language with a tutor once a week. I’ve been learning it for two years and can now read and understand easy texts and converse on (very) familiar topics.

Among all the languages I learned (English, Dutch, Spanish), Adyghe turned out to be the most challenging one for me. I have never come across a language where a single word can convey so much information with the help of suffixes and prefixes.

My favorite word is тыгъэгъаз since it literary means “the turn of the sun” and translates as “December” and “ sunflower”. I think it’s very logical and poetic. 

Тхьашъуегъэпэсэу!

I would like to thank Shamset Unarokova who patiently teaches me Adyghe, motivates me to keep learning it, and helps me with designing tasks for this website.

I am also deeply grateful to Adyghe language teachers who helped me with my research and inspired me to create online tasks for teaching Adyghe: Emma I. Kaitmesova, Svatlana Sh. Beslangurova (school-gymnasium 22, Maykop); Marina M. Temzokova (Adyghe gymnasium, Maykop); Svetlana T. Gisheva; Nagmet G. Ozheva (school-gymnasium 5, Maykop); Marziat S. Esheva;  Muslimet I. Dzagova; Fatima A. Kirzhinova (Koshekhabl’ school 1); Fatima N. Bzhetseva (Koshekhabl’ school 2); Susanna B. Takhakho (Gobukai school);  Savdet N. Nefliasheva, Susanna K. Khatkova (Khatazhukai school 6). I also thank Suret Kh. Anchek for sharing with me her books and inspiring me to create a series of tasks on Adyghe sounds.
.

I am grateful to Rainer Feer and Rustam Kaganokov who tested the tasks and corrected my mistakes.


Last but not least, I thank Islam Kudainet and Askhad Autlev for this beautiful website and talented Susanna Pratok for the headshot

About the author

My name is Lera, and I’m a linguist.

I grew up in Maykop, Adyghea, where my family moved from Crimea when I was 3 years old. After graduating from high school in Maykop, I studied Philology at Moscow State University and then received a Master’s degree from The American University (Washington, DC) in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

While studying in the US, I became really interested in doing research, and decided to pursue a PhD in Applied Linguistics. I got accepted to Penn State University in 2017 and have already completed 4 years of the program. I am now working on my dissertation that explores Adyghe language maintenance in the Republic of Adyghea, Russia.

Why the Adyghe language? 

As I was taking linguistics courses at Penn State, I became interested in indigenous language maintenance and revitalization. This topic is relevant and studied all over the world. Think about the Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish languages in the UK; Navajo in the US; the Maori language in New Zealand, etc. There are dissertations and scholarly publications exploring how these languages function in today’s world. Scholars and language activists also look for innovative and effective ways of teaching these languages. The status of the Adyghe language is much less known and studied, although this topic is valuable and certainly worth exploring. Multiple Circassian diasporas around the world make it even more complex and fascinating

For example, I would like to know how language ideologies and teaching practices differ in Adyghea and in the U.S Circassian diaspora.

I hope I will be able to answer this question one day. For now, I am focussing on Adyghe language teaching in urban and rural schools in Adyghea.

Do I speak Adyghe?

Although I grew up in Adyghea, I had only one year of Adyghe in middle school. I learned to count till 10 and learned one poem (Елкэм дэжь). Once, this scarce knowledge helped me pass one of the hardest exams in linguistics at Moscow State University.

When I decided to write a dissertation on Adyghe, I started learning the language with a tutor once a week. I’ve been learning it for two years and can now read and understand easy texts and converse on (very) familiar topics.

Among all the languages I learned (English, Dutch, Spanish), Adyghe turned out to be the most challenging one for me. I have never come across a language where a single word can convey so much information with the help of suffixes and prefixes.

My favorite word is тыгъэгъаз since it literary means “the turn of the sun” and translates as “December” and “ sunflower”. I think it’s very logical and poetic. 

Тхьашъуегъэпэсэу!

I would like to thank Shamset Unarokova who patiently teaches me Adyghe, motivates me to keep learning it, and helps me with designing tasks for this website.

I am also deeply grateful to Adyghe language teachers who helped me with my research and inspired me to create online tasks for teaching Adyghe: Emma I. Kaitmesova, Svatlana Sh. Beslangurova (school-gymnasium 22, Maykop); Marina M. Temzokova (Adyghe gymnasium, Maykop); Svetlana T. Gisheva; Nagmet G. Ozheva (school-gymnasium 5, Maykop); Marziat S. Esheva;  Muslimet I. Dzagova; Fatima A. Kirzhinova (Koshekhabl’ school 1); Fatima N. Bzhetseva (Koshekhabl’ school 2); Susanna B. Takhakho (Gobukai school);  Savdet N. Nefliasheva, Susanna K. Khatkova (Khatazhukai school 6). I also thank Suret Kh. Anchek for sharing with me her books and inspiring me to create a series of tasks on Adyghe sounds.
.

I am grateful to Rainer Feer and Rustam Kaganokov who tested the tasks and corrected my mistakes.


Last but not least, I thank Islam Kudainet and Askhad Autlev for this beautiful website and talented Susanna Pratok for the headshot