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Zelensky signs law on use of English in Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law on June 26 establishing English as an official language of international communication in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian parliament's website.

The law defines specific positions that require knowledge of English and establishes protocols for using English in various government and public sector offices.

Zelensky submitted a bill on the English language to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, back in 2023.

The parliament passed it on June 4 in the second reading, adding an amendment to provide budgetary support for movie theaters that show English-language films.

The draft law was first passed by parliament in November 2023 and excluded a controversial amendment that would have ended the common practice of dubbing English-language films into Ukrainian.

A study conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) in March 2023 found that 51% of respondents said they had some knowledge of English, but only 23% said they could read, write, and communicate at everyday levels.

The survey also found that an overwhelming majority (93%) of parents with children under the age of 18 wanted their children to improve their level of English.

Another 51% of parents said their children were learning English in school, and 27% said they were learning in school and had additional time spent outside of school.

Polish was the second most common foreign language reported, with 22% of respondents saying they had some level of knowledge, followed by German at 14%. The Russian language was not included in the survey.


The Kyiv Independent, 2024



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