“Student is not a container you have to fill but a torch you have to light up”.
Welcome to a special group for all those who make the first steps in the study of Russian language!
My name is Irina Fedorov and I am a teacher of a special group for beginners and those English speakers who is on a way to acquiring fluency in Russian.
I was born, grew up, studied and worked in Moscow. I graduated from school with a number of subjects taught in English. I graduated from Moscow University of Electronics and Mathematics, which is now the Department of Higher School of Economics. During my studies at the university I received a certificate in translation/interpreting and a second degree in the specialty of pedagogy.
I studied and trained at the School of Cultural Policy in Moscow. I took part in a school project on the themes of pedagogy, psychology, sociology and cultural studies. I worked with American students as a teacher at the camp “Artek”.
Having lived in the United States and Canada I moved to Adelaide in 1995 and gained experience in teaching Russian at ethnic schools over 15 years.
In February 2014 I took part in the preparation and running of the First International Scientific and Technical Conference “Russian school. The XXI Century” in Sydney (11-13 February 2014). In September 2014 I participated in the All-Russian (with international participation) scientific and practical Conference “Innovative teaching of the Russian language in a multilingual context”, organized by the Russian Peoples` Friendship University (faculty of professional development of teachers of the Russian language) in Moscow. In October 2014 I took part in the festival of pedagogical ideas in the framework of the Moscow International Salon of Education with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (7 – 9 October, “Expocentre”, Moscow).
Life experience and teaching children has helped me to see the lighter side of nature in every human being. I believe that all children, without exception, are talented, gifted and eager to succeed. An individual approach in the learning process is a crucial aspect when dealing with children. What we teach them today will influence what they teach us tomorrow. I`m glad to see our kids continue to move forward in the development of new peaks in the study of the Russian language as Russian culture remains (or becomes) an important part of their lives.
In 2017 I’ll continue teaching Russian as a Foreign Language in Group № 12 for English-speaking students as well as Russian language for English-speaking children in Group № 2.
All the children of this mixed-age group will be actively involved in various forms of collaboration, a more efficient use of training time. Individual tasks will be assigned to take into account the level and possibilities of each student.
A key element of learning, as before, remains an active use of various kinds of intellectual games. Games are one of the best tools for the development and knowledge of the world. Games not only give more knowledge, but also develop a range of different abilities and offer a unique opportunity for creative expression. Intellectual games are a source of knowledge and also the joy and pleasure of achievement through the ability to show learning and resourcefulness all help with study.
As supplements for lessons with English-speaking students we will use new materials such as “The Russian language with a smile”; “7 Steps to communicate in Russian“, textbook “16 lessons of Russian” by Dmitry Petrov – the famous linguist and author of unique methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language, as well as the textbooks “Complete Russian: manual of reading for foreigners” and dictionaries of Vannykova and Shchukin. In addition, “Russian language” by Babai and Dronov, “My Russian Dictionary“, “Russian language in the exercises – learning aids for English speakers” and other text books.
According to experts, introduction to a foreign language in the preschool years has beneficial effects on overall mental development of the child, the development of his speech culture, broadens their horizons. This is even truer of the language spoken by one of the parents of the child or his other close relatives with whom he communicates. A second language at an early stage of modern pedagogy is seen as a means of formation of the child`s intelligence and the development of his abilities. This early learning lays the interest in foreign language communication and language base, acquired in the preschool years, a solid foundation for further study of the language in the school years.
In our case, early learning Russian language creates a great opportunity to generate interest towards Russian as the language of one of the parents or other relatives to the linguistic and cultural diversity of the world in general.
Preschool children easily and securely store a small amount of language material and reproduce it well. All that the child learns at this age, is remembered for a long time. This occurs during educational games. Games create the perfect conditions for mastering a foreign language, and in the preschool years are particularly productive. Games allow the child to become an active participant in the educational process. Therefore, during the lessons in Russian school we will play, play and play. And if the games continue, and when the child is at home, if the interaction with the Russian language will not be limited to our meetings on Saturdays, success, I think, will be guaranteed. For my part, I will try to do everything possible so that this was the case.
The main purpose of training with kids in group No.2 will be the development of attention, speech, thinking, and motor skills, of course, the cultural outlook!
For example, kids will learn to fix in memory at the same time six – seven subjects and their colours, recognize and recall the action of animals and people`s emotions, seen in the picture, to build memory and logical connection between objects in pairs, to remember and to call the number of subjects in four – five groups, analyse the images and story to tell about the memorable characters, learn new words, word pairs, the quatrains.
Through our lessons the kids will be able to learn in easy and fun ways to build the necessary skills for future success in school.
All the work, as I wrote above, will be built on the basis of games. Through the medium of games, new words and concepts will be introduced and carried out as well as consolidation of the material studied.