The end of the Soviet Union, in 1991, marks the independence of Lithuania. Internal and external language policy is at the center of national reconstruction. These profond policial transformations will modify the status of ethnic groups, of linguistic and religious communities, and their interrelations.
In order to better understand the challenges of the language policy that was adopted, this article first describes the linguistic situation in Lithuania from an historical perspective (XIX et XX centuries). Then, it presents a preliminary study on the repercussions of the language policy on the three main ethnolinguistic communities living in Lithuania: Lithuanians, Russians and et Polish. The main questions of this study are : (1) Has there been changes in the vehicular language and in the language of social communication between these three communities? (The hypothesis is that Lithuanian is replacing Russian). (2) What are the attitudes and representations vis-à-vis the languages in presence as elements revealing identities in a plurilingual situation where language is extremely important?
To answer these questions, a study based on a sociological survey was carried on children aged 11 to 13 years of Lithuanian, Russian and Polish origin in the national schools of the capital, Vilnius. The results allows us to describe the identities of the children, according to their nationality and their type of school. It also allows us to show the changes operated by the language policy attempting to implement Lithuanian as the language of communication and social mobility.