The Pushkin Institute Research, Education and Coordination Centre of SUSU runs a unique professional development course entitled “Development of Original Electronic Course of Russian as a Foreign Language” for lecturers of Russian as a foreign language from the People’s Republic of China. Nearly 20 people have been enrolled on the course.
The teachers from China highly praised the course on using electronic technologies in the methods for teaching Russian as a foreign language. The course was developed by two SUSU structural divisions, namely the Institute of Linguistics and International Communications and the Institute of Open and Distance Education. The interest in this programme is due to the fact that in China, like in Russia, blended learning is actively introduced to the education system. This fact explains the need for electronic support of courses.
“Blended learning implies the combination of face-to-face classes and e-learning. This is a new trend both for Russian and Chinese education systems. Thus, some lecturers who hadn’t worked in the blended learning system may experience difficulties with electronic technologies in their subject field. The programme offered by SUSU concentrates on the methods of developing an electronic course on teaching Russian as a foreign language, and it shows how it can be implemented,” commented Associate Professor of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language of the SUSU Institute of Linguistics and International Communications Elena Doronina.
At present, the course participants study basic methodological principles of the electronic course, analyse the ways of forming three types of competence in the process of learning Russian as a foreign language, devise tasks for mastering grammar skills in all types of speech activity, as well as work on learning materials for students. This work is performed by the specialists of the Pushkin Institute at SUSU and the Institute of Linguistics and International Communications.
In the second part of the programme, the participants will get an insight into the technology of creating an electronic course under the supervision of Deputy Director of the SUSU Institute of Open and Distance Education Olga Elagina. They will learn the requirements for preparing text materials, presentations, images, video and audio files, assignments for submission, i.e. tests, individual and group tasks. The course attendees will not only acquire theoretical knowledge, but also develop a fragment of their own electronic course. Later, the materials developed by participants will be presented in the contest of teaching skills.
“The main idea of professional development course is a call for sharing best practices. Due to the contest of teaching skills, all participants could see each other’s works, discuss developed fragments, exchange their opinions, and note positive aspects. The participants will not only complete the course, having obtained the required knowledge and skills, but also actively cooperate with their colleagues and find new ways and solutions for effective teaching of Russian as a foreign language,” commented Elena Doronina.
It should be reminded that the course is designed for teachers from China who want to use modern methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language. The course is run off-campus and its duration is six weeks (48 hours). Upon completion, the participants will get certificates of professional development. The main advantage of this programme is that it has been developed using the wide experience of South Ural State University in the field of electronic teaching aids.
It should be noted that the professional development course is offered within the Action Plan on the support of Russian and education in the Russian language, for implementation of which South Ural State University received a grant in 2018. The work is being carried out in the framework of the project “Establishment and Development of a Network of Pushkin Institute Centres (no less than 8) in the PRC on the basis of Organisations Providing Education in the Russian Language” in the context of the event “Development of Open Education in Russian and the Russian Language Teaching”. The Pushkin Institute Centre carries out an active work in this direction in the People’s Republic of China, where SUSU has recently launched two centres of the partner network.