handouts TEFL in Russia

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Teaching English in Russia : 

Teaching English in Russia Zoya Proshina Institute of Foreign Languages, Far Eastern National University, Vladivostok, Russia

Language Situation in Russia: 

Language Situation in Russia Over 100 languages Russian – state / national language 30 other official language (in autonomous republics & regions)

Sakha Autonomous Republic: 

Sakha Autonomous Republic 2 national languages - Russian and Yakut; 5 official languages – Even, Evenki, Yukagir, Chukot, and Dolgan; 1 official working language – English since 2000

Historical context: 

Historical context An educated person = well-read + foreign languages (A.Pavlovskaya. History of Foreign Language Education in Russia.)


19th century: French 1900-1950: German Since 1950s: EFL at secondary schools Self-sufficiency in the closed society Perestroika > EL boom Economic needs

Educational context: 

Educational context 19th century: Private education – learn to speak by speaking (nurses, governesses) 1950-70s: Primary goal: reading + translation. FL as an outlet, gate to the outside world. 1980s-until now: intercultural communication in oral and writing forms


Preschools Non-mandatory classes 5-year-olds and earlier

Secondary Schools: 

Secondary Schools General Comprehensive Secondary School (525 hrs / 3 hrs a week) 5th -11th grades (normal) 1st – 11th grades (experimental) Intensive English Schools (4-6 hrs /wk) 2nd -11th grades


Foreign Language is a mandatory subject at school, English being one of them.

Interview of R.Line, Great Britain Ambassador to Russia: : 

Interview of R.Line, Great Britain Ambassador to Russia: Today about 85 % of Russian students study English in cities, 70% - in towns, 60 % in villages.


Teachers Local Peace Corps volunteers (1992-2002) At universities: occasional EL grantees and fellows

Model of ELT: 

Model of ELT European part of Russia British English Asian part of Russia American English < British English

5-7 grade curriculum in FL: 

5-7 grade curriculum in FL

8-9 grade curriculum in FL: 

8-9 grade curriculum in FL

Final Exams: 

Final Exams National unified exam Listening Reading Vocabulary and Grammar Writing Speaking Centralized test School tests

University Enrollment: 

University Enrollment Entrance exam for humanities majors National unified exam Centralized test Tutoring ‘Preparatory’ training courses


Universities “The Bologna process”: diploma convertability – adapting to Europe Three types of diplomas: Bachelor degree (4 yrs) Specialist (5 yrs) Master degree (6 yrs)

English for Majors: 

English for Majors Groups of 10-15 students 4-5-6 years 10-14 hours/week Aspects: Speaking Listening Reading (home-reading; individual reading) Writing Grammar Vocabulary Rhetorics Linguistics (General L., Theory of E.Grammar, E.Phonetics, E.Lexicology, E.Stylistics, Pragmatics, Translation Theory…)

English for Non-Majors: 

English for Non-Majors Groups of 15-40 students 2 years + optional 2 years 4 hrs/week Non-aspective T/L Content-based education

Post-university degree: 

Post-university degree FL exam: reading / translating speaking on the research theme no writing

Functional context: 

Functional context Inter-economic: transnational companies business with foreign partners Intercultural: information about other countries information about Russia

Intercultural usage of English: 

Intercultural usage of English

Intermediary translation of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean words from English into Russian: 

Intermediary translation of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean words from English into Russian Intermediary translation is translation from an English variety used by non-native speakers, i.e. from ELF. e.g., Chinese -> China English -> Russian

China Daily: 

China Daily The Sino-Russian Suifenhe-Bogelanqinei Trade Complex Bogelanqinei = Pogranichnyi B < P L < R Q < CH -gel- < -gr-, -qin- < -chn-

Difficulties of Intermediary Translation: 

Difficulties of Intermediary Translation Irregular spelling Spelling variations From English or from Japanese? Qigong Xianggang Tai-chi / tai-ji Chikung / qigong Tao / Dao Hangul / hangeul Sushi CУШИ / СУСИ

Course of East-Asian Englishes at FENU: 

Course of East-Asian Englishes at FENU Pluricentricity of English and basics of the World Englishes theory Brief description of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Englishes, their development, status, and specifics. Systems of Romanization in China, Japan, Korea Correlations between Cyrillic and Romanized writing systems that exist in these Asian countries. Asian loan words in English, their assimilation. Translating texts on Asian cultures

Moscow State University: 

Moscow State University School of Foreign Languages. 2001 – new speciality: “Russia” (Department of Regional Studies) “Those who know foreign languages have not studied Russia enough.” (Prof. Svetlana Ter-Minasova)

St. Petersburg School Victor V. Kabakchi: 

St. Petersburg School Victor V. Kabakchi GLASNOST <l/2> political "the policy or practice of more open consultative government of information, esp. in the Soviet Union since 1985 [Russ. гласность, literally, publicity, openness]." (OEED) Этот русизм прочно вошел в словарь английского языка в период пе­рестройки (OED 1972), потеряв при этом мягкий знак. Е. g.: The world, having learned the word glasnost last year, now twist­ed its tongues around perestroika. (Newsweek 04.01.1988; summing up the year of 1987) <> The U.S.S.R. — that mystery inside an enigma that so fascinated Americans in this Year of Glasnost — is celebrating its seventh decade... (Life Jan 1988) As well known as that word has become around the world, there is still no English translation that fully carries its Russian meaning. It is usually trans­lated as 'openness', but it is both more than that and less than that. (Gorbachev 1988, p. 145) GLASNOST and PERESTROIKA Perestroika and glasnost, glasnost and perestroika. They will still be secure in the vocabularies of all the languages of the world long after the children of the Soviet Union and its satellites have begun to ask: 'Mummy, who was Lenin?' or for that matter: 'Mummy, who was Gorbachev?' (Keith Waterhouse 'Just Two Big Words', Daily Mail 22.08.1991)

Natalya Yuzefovich, Khabarovsk: 

Natalya Yuzefovich, Khabarovsk

Englishization of Russian : 

Englishization of Russian Direct borrowings Syntactic calques Hybrids Corporative mixture

Direct Borrowings into Russian: 

Direct Borrowings into Russian Business: promotion, advertiser, head-hunter, shopping, management Communication: internet, web-design, on-line, display, fax, computer, mass media Administration: speaker, grant Policy: electorate, consensus, pluralism Mass media & entertainment: talkshow, daily, publicity, DJ, rap, hip-hop, single Food: cheeseburger, pepsi, cola, french-fries

Syntactic calques: N + N: 

Syntactic calques: N + N интернет-кафе < internet café караоке-бар < karaoke bar вэб-администратор < web-administrator офис-менеджер < office-manager


Hybrids: “Духless” by Sergei Minayev слухмейкер (rumor-maker), беспрайсовый (priceless)


Russification Баксы < BUCKSы Кликать < CLICKать (to click the mouse) Байкерша < BIKERша (female biker) Пиарщик < PRщик (a PR person)

Corporative Mixing Jargon : 

Corporative Mixing Jargon Эйчары обязаны мотивировать сейлзов на приобретение коммуникейшн скиллз. В частности, презентейшн скиллз. Именно скиллз, а не нолидж, как считают некоторые, вообще часто определяют саксесс в бизнесе. И дело не только в профите. Своеобразным бенефитом от работы может быть и обычный сатисфекшн, которого нам всем так не хватает. HRs are bound to motivate sale agents to develop communica-tion skills. Presenta-tion skills, in particular. Skills, not knowledge, as somebody may think, enhance success in business. And it is not just profit that matters. You can benefit from work by getting mere satisfaction which all of us lack so much.

Nativization of English : 

Nativization of English New words and collocations: unpleasantries home task (= home assignment), foreign passport (=for traveling abroad) state university (=national university) heroine mother (=having 5 and more children) Palace of Culture (=community center) Candidate of Science (Russian PhD)

Change of meaning:: 

Change of meaning: scientific conference (academic research) hostess (geisha+waitress) Gymnasium (type of school) New Russians (rich) social work (unpaid work)

Russian mentality in English syntax: 

Russian mentality in English syntax Imperative: Read the text. Over-emphasized negation : Do not disappear (< Stay in touch). I think I cannot do that. (< I don’t think I can do that.) Double negation: It is not possible not to see the complexity of the problem. Affirmative and negative disagreement: Yes, I won’t be able to do it. No, you can call me any time.

Russian students’ preference of the variety of English to study: 

Russian students’ preference of the variety of English to study

Faculty preference for varieties of English to be taught: 

Faculty preference for varieties of English to be taught

Faculty’s self-labeling of the variety of their English : 

Faculty’s self-labeling of the variety of their English


Russia English = acrolect Russian English = mesolect Ruslish = basilect

Deviations = mistakes? : 

Deviations = mistakes? Deviation “is the result of a productive process which marks the typical variety-specific features; and it is systematic within a variety, and not idiosyncratic.” (Kachru 1983: 81)

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