Roundup of the Activities and Achievements of Our Russian Language Students
HSE – Nizhny Novgorod has offered a one-year programme in Russian as a foreign language since October 2017. Students not only study the theory and practice of Russian language but take part in extra-curricular activities. Programme instructors Ksenia Grushko and Irina Makarova inspire course participants to master the language and participate in various academic events that can help young people in their studies and broaden their understanding of Russian culture and literature.
A creative approach plays an important role in teaching. Traditional methods and 'drilling' without exploring the cultural context or communicating with native speakers will not motivate students and produce good results. Cultural and language immersion includes not only classroom activities but also excursions, professional contests, and festivals.
In November 2018, on the eve of the National Unity Day, the programme's conversational Russian classe learned about Nizhny Novgorod, its history, sights, and especially the holiday. The students had been studying the language for only two weeks, the format and content of the lessons were simplified. After the classes, the group went on an excursion around the city's historic centre. During the two-hour tour the students visited monuments to Valery Chkalov, Maxim Gorky, Kozma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. Students got to learn about the history of the city as well as get to know each other.In autumn 2018, seven students of the group took part in the VIII Festival 'Folklore: Confession of a Nation'. At the first stage, students wrote an essay about Russian and their native folklore. Having passed the first round, all participants had to shoot a video on folk art. Though there was not much time for preparation, the students managed to complete their projects by working in between classes and providing each other with support. The result of their efforts were several successful video projects:
Guanfu Li – Russian fairy tale 'Kolobok'
Wang Yiping – Chinese fairy tale 'The Good Student'
Ladjal Brahim– Russian couplet songs about love
Ouyang Jiayi– Russian folk song 'Milenkii ty moi' ('My Darling')
Salih Ali – a fragment of the fairy tale 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'
Williams Richard– fragment of 'The Legend of Robin Hood'
Chen Dan – Russian lullaby
On January 18, 2019 the final stage of online-festival was held at Moscow State University, where the best student projects were presented. Three contestants from HSE – Nizhny Novgorod received invitation to MSU and travelled to Moscow. All festival participants from our university got special diplomas, and Ladjal Brahim was honored as the Festival winner. He performed Russian folk songs and couplets at the final ceremony with feeling and enthusiasm.
After the event, the group visited Red Square and strolled the Moscow streets.
On February 11-12, 2018 international students of the Russian Language programme participated in the annual festival 'In That Big World' organized by Nizhny Novgorod Linguistic University. Richard Williams took part in the essay competition; Brahim Ladjal shared his views on national secrets of happiness at a round-table and showed off his culinary skills at an international fair.
On February 21, Ouyang Jiayi, Wang Yiping, Salih Ali, and Ladjal Brahim tested their knowledge of Russian at the 'Total Dictation' held at Nizhny Novgorod Linguistic University.
On March 14, our international students participated in the Russian Word Festival, organized by the radio station Serebryanyi Dozhd and the Nizhny Novgorod Architectural Academy. They sang Russian folk songs and read poems by Soviet poets.
Under the supervision of Irina Makarova and Ksenia Grushko, Wang Yiping and Ladjal Brahim wrote papers which they presented at a conference at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on March 30. The reports will be published in a forthcoming collection of articles which will be included in the Russian Citation Index base.
On April 18, Ali Salih took part in conference 'Man. Society. Culture. Socialization', in Ufa (Bashkortostan Republic). In additino to participating at the conference, he reported that he managed to see the sights of the city.
Students have achieved a lot during the academic year. Soon they will get certificates that will give them a chance to enroll in the Higher School of Economics – Nizhny Novgorod or other universities.
The international group expresses their gratitude to their teachers Ksenia Grushko and Irina Makarova for their teaching, academic support and fun social events.