Russian Language Seminar: Estimates and conclusions

Russian Language SeminarOn the occasion of the end of the Russian language learning program organized by the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the sponsorship of the Mouzenides Group and supervision of the Russian Language Centre of Culture, Russian Word (which was in charge of curriculum and teaching), Grekomania spoke with the Director of the Centre Ms. Tatiana Zouravleva.

Ms. Zouravleva, how do you assess the track record of the Russian language training in Thessaloniki?

The program is in its third year and finished its 6th cycle with great success. Students not only acquired some basic knowledge of Russian, but also attained what we call the «A1» level of understanding. Also, we had a lot of students.

How many people participated in the program?

In this sixth round there 200 people, but we've had more than 1,000 have applicants.

How are the students evaluated?

The bar was quite high for these intensive courses. But the cooperation of teachers and students in a climate of mutual trust has yielded fruit with most students successfully completing the course. An example of typical feedback from students is the following, from George Kostopoulos, student of Philology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki:

«Apart from the difficulty of familiarity with the Russian Alphabet, it was difficult to master the declensions of verbs and nouns as well as  grammatical structures which are peculiar to Russian. However, despite the difficulties, the results were impressive, as all of us were able in a short time to understand the logic behind the structure of the language and were able to write and speak relatively well».

How well did you get on with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Mouzenidis Group?

Really, it went great. Both entities were extremely willing to provide solutions to any technical or other kinds of problems arising during the course and we thank them especially as it helped make our work much easier.

We were told that that you did a profile survey of the students. What did you learn?

27% were full-time students, 25% were unemployed, 23% were employees, 21% were self-employed , and 4% were civil servants.

Reason given for wanting to learn Russian were, for professional development, 30%, for work, 26%, because of interest in the Russian culture, 21%, business reasons, 12%, and other reasons, 11% .

With regard to interest in continuing Russian language studies, 86% wanted to continue,  while only 14% thought they'd learned enough and did not intend to pursue further studies.