A poetry competition, lectures on linguistics and functional reading, advanced professional training for teachers from ILS, VGUES and FEFU, informal gatherings, excursions, and much more provided the content of “Winter School”, whose guest speakers were Doctor of Pedagogical Science and Professor Elizaveta Khamrayeva – Director of the Inter-University Center of Bilingual and Multicultural Education at Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University, and Irina Kondrakova – Candidate of Pedagogical Science, Doctor, and Head of the Division of Organizational and Methodological Support for Pedagogical Education at Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University. These four days of intensive work provided new intellectual stimulus, inspired, and revealed new creative opportunities.
The poetry reading competition for international students at ILS was a real eye-opener for our guests:
“The students recited their poems with such feeling and deep understanding that it brought tears to my eyes,” noted Veronika Iova, who teaches Russian as a Foreign Language at the FEFU Center of Russian Language and Culture. “Their mastery of Russian is at a very high level.”
“The ILS school format is precisely the format needed in Russian education,” Elizaveta Khamrayeva remarked. “Your school has surpassed today’s requirements in many ways. Earlier than most, you have given much thought to ways to ‘export’ Russian education, created interesting models for interaction between international students and Russian students, children who have studied in the educational systems of various countries and then returned to the Russian system, or who began their education in the Russian system and then continued their studies elsewhere. Perhaps, without even suspecting it, you have created a format that should be widely publicized and have laid the foundations for export of Russian educational traditions. Everything that your teachers do needs to be captured in theoretical terms and generalized.”
“This is the first time I have been in such an amazing school,” commented Irina Kondrakova. “The school is pervaded by an atmosphere of friendship. As a teacher for many years, I was pleased to see the warm relations between student and student, as well as student and teacher, and the latter try to ensure that the students get what they need. A remarkable atmosphere and high level of professionalism.”
“Development and education inevitably go hand-in-hand,” says ILS Principal Olga Shevchenko. “We do everything we can to learn and pass our knowledge along to our students. This year’s ‘Winter School’ was a wonderful experience in cooperation for everyone involved.”