On December 1st 2018, one more group of SUSU staff members took the international exam IELTS. Preparation for this test was part of the project 2.1.1 Implementation of the best practices of language training at Project 5-100 universities in the Lingva additional language training program. Members of the university’s staff who successfully completed the exam shared their thoughts on the programme.
Aleksandr Shishkov, Dean of the IET Faculty of Energy and Power Engineering, head of the Department of Automated Electric Drive, Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), associate professor:
“Thanks to the Lingva additional language training programme in the Faculty of Energy and Power Engineering, international affairs are developing more strongly.
There are two master’s programmes opened which are offered in English: 13.04.02 Electrical Power Engineering and Electrical Engineering – Dean Shishkov A.N. and 13.04.01 Heat and Power Engineering, led by department head Osintsev K.V. 15 students from China are studying in the 2nd year of study and there are 14 students from China in the 1st year. Both the leaders and teachers who offer these special disciplines study in the Lingva programme.
We have opened a dual postgraduate programme with the University of Science and Technology of China, in which postgraduate I.Yu. Kholodilin is studying, and his advisor, professor M.M. Dudkin is participating in Lingva. Associate Professor A.S. Martyanov, who studied in the Lingva programme for a few years, is giving lectures in English in China. In 2018, more than 30 papers have been published in English and entered into the Scopus database. With every year, the number of teachers who write articles in English and offer presentations at various conferences is rising, and they are beginning to offer courses in English and conduct joint research. And this is all thanks to the Lingva programme!”
Yulia Babanova, professor of the Department of Economics of Business and Project Management of the SEM, director of the Technology for Developing Business REC, Doctor of Sciences (Economics), associate professor:
“Thanks to the Lingva programme, I have become convinced that it’s never late to begin studying languages, and it turns out this is a very exciting journey, not just a sea of difficulties! I really love the Lingva programme because it has opened new possibilities for me to understand the world and other cultures and it is building confidence in the future and removes barriers of misunderstanding in international research.”
Evgeniy Nikitin, associate professor of the Department of Law Enforcement and National Security, Candidate of Sciences (Law):
“The Linvga additional language training programme has given me the chance to participate in mobility programmes for university teachers, integrate in to international academic society, and gain the skills of writing academic articles in English for highly-rated journals.”
Sergey Pogorelov, associate professor of the IAC Department of Building Materials and Products, Candidate of Sciences (Engineering):
“The main thing that this education gives me is the chance to not be afraid to speak and not be scared of my own language proficiency level. Before, I would never have accepted to offer lectures in English to Chinese students in an academic mobility programme, now I can! Also, during my international business trips, I can speak with my foreign colleagues and expand my database of academic contacts. And the third thing is self-respect!”
Leonid Zayonchik, associate professor of the Department of Accounting, Analysis, and Audit:
“When I went to the first selection testing for choosing participants of the Lingva programme in Fall 2016, I would not have imagined how long and difficult but interesting this project would be.
We began with the Pre-Intermediate level. The new, colourful textbook and workbook, the set of CDs and recordings – all of this caused awe and doubt: can I do it? The group included young colleagues from various schools, various faculties, they are all energetic and ambitious, there are people to take an example from! The class schedule is very full – four lessons a week. It’s almost like the immersion method. In each lesson we practiced all forms of activities: conversation, reading, listening, and writing. After each topic we had a written test.
In the beginning, I couldn’t grasp the language, the vocabulary that was sitting somewhere deep in my memory was difficult to bring up to the surface, my spelling rarely matched the original word. But the progress had already begun. With each lesson, the freedom with which I understood written texts and English speech grew alongside my freedom of writing and conversation. And without noticing, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Academic Correspondence, International Conferences, and the KET, PET, and FCE exams flew by. Preparations for the IELTS are in full swing.
What has the Lingva programme given me? An unbelievable amount!
I gained confidence in myself. My vocabulary has grown. I laid down the bricks of the language’s rules in my mind. My hand became surer when writing English texts. Reading fluency increased. The speed at which I understand written and spoken texts increased. I gained noticeable freedom of expressing my thoughts in English and understanding the thoughts of my interlocutor.
I began having less problems translating the abstracts of academic articles. And, unexpectedly, the School of Economics and Management proposed that I prepare a new discipline for international students in the master’s programme for the next academic year.”
Lyudmila Kochegarova, associate professor of the Department of Industrial Economics and Project Management, Candidate of Sciences (Economics):
“In studying in the Lingva programme, I significantly raised my English proficiency level. In the summer of 2018, I took part in a two-day academic programme in economics, where the second week was held in English. The knowledge I earned from the Lingva programme allowed me to successfully complete the programme and take the exam. I’m sure that future improvement to my language proficiency will help me work freely with international literature and articles published in international citation databases. I am hoping to pass the IELTS exam in the future. I’d like to note the high level of professionalism of all of the teachers who offer lessons in the Lingva programme as well as the high level of interest from the programme’s students. Participating in the program gives teachers a strong drive for personal growth and opens up new opportunities. In my opinion, support for the Lingva programme is very important for the university as a whole.”
Sergey Sozykin, Associate Professor Department of Computer Modelling and Nanotechnology, Candidate of Sciences (Physics and Mathematics)
“The LINGVA programme has become a chance for many SUSU staff members to go to the next level of English proficiency. This is not a whim, but a requirement of the times! This programme has helped me too. Despite the fact that the curriculum of my field of study at the university required studying English at a more serious level than in the majority of non-linguistic areas, I could not speak English. Temporary improvement only happened during a semester of studies in an exchange programme at the Czech Technical University (in English).
To be fair, it is worth noting that I was not an exception: truly, in my group, the only people who knew English well were graduates of schools with a focus in linguistics. That is, they didn’t gain their knowledge during their studies at SUSU. However strange it may be, after I began studying in the LINGVA programme, I noted progress quite quickly. You can compare the education in this programme with immersion, since the colossal classroom load and no-less formidable homework assignments took up a lot of time.
The LINGVA programme, formally, has given me and other students the chance to prepare for a very serious international exam. Passing the exam successfully raises the level of both staff and of SUSU itself. But this is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that the programme was able to change the relationship teachers have towards themselves. Now they know that if needed, they can teach classes with students who don’t speak English. I was also able to test my knowledge in practice: in September, the university asked me to hold lessons with international master’s students.
The LINGVA programme is SUSU’s answer to the demands of the modern labour market. It gives students a chance to immerse themselves in the language and, by gaining positive results, to believe in their ability to use English in professional activities.”
Mikhail Timchenko, lecturer of the SEECS Department of System Programming.
“The Lingva programme is a strong impulse for mastering a foreign language and for professional growth. Over 10 years of studying English, I was not able to achieve even a tenth of the results I have had with two years in Lingva.
The Lingva programme has given me a number of benefits that the majority of my coursemates do not have. First, my level of proficiency moved from pre-intermediate to a confident intermediate, and I am moving confidently forward. Second, I gained the opportunity to take part in two international internships. Third, I participated in preparing 6 articles that are indexed in Scopus. Fourth, my current English level allows me to gain knowledge from foreign publications and recordings of presentations by world-class researchers.
There was never a day I didn’t want to go to my Lingva lesson. We met no fewer than three times a week, which made it impossible for us to ‘fall out’ of English. The distance between teachers and students in terms of communication was minimal. In the lessons, a lot of attention is paid to practicing speaking, which is what sets this programme apart. One main value of this programme is knowledge of academic English, which gives us knowledge not just of the language, but of writing articles in general, preparing presentations, resumes, etc.
If anyone asks me where to go to study English, I will definitely recommend the Lingva programme. It gives you confident knowledge of English, begins your professional growth, and gives you a chance to discuss current world issues, which are presented within the textbooks.”
Dmitriy Kandaurov, senior lecturer of the Department of Finance, Money Circulation, and Credit of the SEM:
“I began working as a teacher just recently, in January 2018. Before this, I worked exclusively in research. For now, I am only getting used to a new activity as a teacher and I am feeling stress. The lessons in the Lingva programme are great for helping me reduce my level of stress and increase my efficiency. The Lingva programme is visible proof of the interest of our employer in the development of its staff. It increases teachers’ confidence in their future and the future of the university. The chance to study English for free attracts staff to the university who are truly interested in research. In my opinion, the Lingva programme is able to significantly increase the publication activity of the university’s staff, especially young researchers.”