It’s now been almost a month since I was at Griboedov University working with two groups of wonderful individuals icon

It’s now been almost a month since I was at Griboedov University working with two groups of wonderful individuals



НазваниеIt’s now been almost a month since I was at Griboedov University working with two groups of wonderful individuals
Дата конвертации02.08.2012
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It’s now been almost a month since I was at Griboedov University working with two groups of wonderful individuals.


I hope the students enjoyed the course as much as I did. It was heavily geared towards speaking and listening. Students were challenged to talk from day one, not only talk, but to share their own opinions openly about topics they were interested in.


We discussed language learning and why it can be so boring sometimes! (I agreed with most points). We discussed the more enjoyable aspects too, the important uses, and so forth. We shared views on English and Russian culture, TV shows, film, and the art of presenting, debating, negotiating, and many other life skills. One of my most enjoyable topics was psychology. We had fun analysing ourselves and each other through drawing and colours. The students tried to sell houses of their own creations to one another, discussed the behaviour of apes, as well as playing multiple games that required more energy than one would consider normal within a classroom situation!


My aim was simple: to help students find their own confidence in using language. Without confidence and positivism language learning can only be slowed. This started with showing them how little I cared about mistakes and that being creative with words is vital. After all, that’s how language was first created. It is amazing to see how often students correct their own mistakes when teachers consciously decide not to. It’s a phenomenon of some kind and a powerful tool, all brought about on the belief that positivism is a crucial ingredient. The other belief is that noise in a language learning environment is an opportunity, as opposed to a threat. I hope that the students never shut up! Only then can we find out where students really are in terms of their language level, and then act accordingly. Traditional tests have their limits, as all teachers know.


In general students had a rich knowledge of individual lexical icons. Their collocational knowledge was better than expected (when considering their levels when using the CEF structure). Although words like nice, interesting, great, and big were used often, once students felt more free and easy with the language, those words were quickly replaced and language became richer and more expansive. Pronunciation was higher than average, no doubt thanks in some part to popular culture e.g. The Big Bang Theory and Lady Gaga. Grammar awareness differed, as is often the case when it comes to measuring through spoken forms (as opposed to written). That is often the result of not enough practice, a reality for most schools while exam structures and demands restrict all of us teachers.

I had some interesting conversations with the students’ regular teachers and I can say it is because of them that my job was much easier than it often is when I’m teaching in other schools all over the world. Within two days of this course commencing, the students’ great attitudes shone through so I was able to challenge them constantly. Effort 100%.


All that is left to say is thank you to all the teachers and administrative staff for your hospitality and support during my stay, especially Larissa, Olga, Elena, and the IT support guy (Тимур) and a big thanks to Karina, Mary, Liana, Eugenia, ‘Grumpy’, Natalia, Yulia, ‘Queen Elizabeth’, Olesya, ‘Sleepy’, Ira, Nik, Kate, Yana, Anastasia, Maria, Dasha, Jane, Victoria, Katerina, Gleb, Nadin, Victoria, and Diana for being a pleasure to teach. I’m not so bad with names after all!


I hope we meet again.




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