The importance of using an indigenous language as a medium of school instruction has been discussed in world education for a long time. This study focuses on the influence of the presence of a native language in the learning process of the students and the impact on their academic achievement, emotional conditions, and post-school lives. A qualitative method of research was used in the study, comprising 12 interviews among Ukrainian/Russian adopted and nonadopted students who attended Utah schools. Information obtained through interviews presented language levels of students (both native and English), academic achievement, and emotional conditions of students during the period of adaptation and after several years' living in the U.S. Interviews also provided information about the roles of schools, friends, and families in the learning process for Language Learning Students and their development of native and English languages. All data in this research is the students' perception of their languages skills, academic achievements, emotional conditions, and support (provided or not) from schools and families. In the chosen cases, the study intends to see if presence of the native language during the learning process in the school keeps influencing students' lives after graduating high school and whether it has an effect on continuing education and job opportunities. This work provides some recommendations on how schools can arrange a positive environment for Language Learning Students, support their native language development, and interact with students' families to achieve the common goal of high academic success and emotional stability of students.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


Document Type





language learning students, native language, academic success, medium of instruction, Ukrainian/Russian students