The course in conversation practice in Russian as a foreign language has been completed at St Petersburg University. The month-long programme, conducted by St Petersburg University experts, was attended by over 200 students.
This project involved students from China, France, Bulgaria, Egypt, Vietnam, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and other countries, who were studying in Russia and had Russian language skills from A2 to C1. The programme’s duration is 20 academic hours. The course developers sought to select topics for the classes which are rarely discussed at foreign language seminars in universities: urban legends, slang, stereotypes, life after the pandemic and much more. During the discussions, participants not only practiced speaking and improved their theoretical knowledge, but also learned new words and expressions that are used in everyday Russian.
Summertime Russian, the largest Russian online project of conversation practice for foreigners studying Russian, was implemented jointly with IPR Media.
Svetlana Bolottseva, an expert and a lecturer from the Language Testing Centre of St Petersburg University, shared her impressions about Summertime Russian. ‘I am very happy to be a part of this project. Though I was nervous every time I started a new lecture, I saw such inspiration in my students and received such feedback that I understood that it was the right thing to do,’ said Svetlana Bolottseva.
‘They really love the Russian language and are eager to learn and improve,’ – testologist from the Language Testing Centre at St Petersburg University Svetlana Bolottseva
In today’s world, when the pandemic has changed the usual course of the educational process, the lack of conversational practice by those who study Russian has become critical. The possibility for this being limited, the launch of the Summertime Russian course has generated genuine interest among students from all over the world.
‘It’s no secret that the communicative approach is one of the leading ones in foreign language teaching. Certainly, it will not be possible to achieve an impressive result without a thorough knowledge of the theory, but it is just as impossible to move forward without the possibility to apply what has already been learned in practice,’ said Dmitry Ptyushkin, Acting
Director of the Language Testing Centre at St Petersburg University. ‘We are glad that our joint efforts have brought the University conversation club to a new level. Conversation clubs of this kind are widespread in English, German and many other languages. Due to the joint efforts of St Petersburg University and IPR Media Company, we can now offer a new scale of project for those who study Russian.’
Summertime Russian received positive feedback not only from the participants, but also from the administrations of universities whose students participated in the course. Dmitry Ptyushkin believes that in the future conversation club sessions will be held on a regular basis.
Upon completion of the course, students were awarded certificates of completion. They were also granted free access to a collection of unique materials in Russian as a foreign language provided by IPR Media.