June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
21.22.1 - 21.22.8
English for Russian FacultyInternationalization is an important challenge for the Russian higher education system todayand one of the biggest obstacles is the lack of the English language proficiency among thefaculty. This deficiency is especially true for the technical and engineering universities whoare attempting to address the lack of English language proficiency. This paper describes theprogram created at _____________________________to improve the English language skillsof their faculty.For a long time, Russia, as a part of the Soviet Union, was a "closed" country with limitedinternational contacts, where education and science developed successfully, thoughindependently. In science, there were a large number of journals in the Russian language, andthe conferences which were held in the Soviet Union, were only in the Russian language. Intechnical and engineering education, all the textbook and manuals were in Russian, eitherwritten by the Soviet scientists, or translated into Russian from other languages. The latterwas true for very few textbooks, e.g. textbooks in physical chemistry by Peter Atkins(Oxford). English language teaching, especially at technical and engineering universities, wasaimed at reading and translating foreign publications, but not at communication. Moreover,there were very few native English language speakers in the faculty and thus opportunities topractice communication skills were limited except for major cities like Moscow andSt. Petersburg. Furthermore the Russian language was used for communication in science andeducation in all the socialist countries. The result was that neither students nor faculty had areal need for English language proficiency.The situation changed with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia became an independentand democratic country open to the global educational community. After signing the Bolognadeclaration at the Berlin Conference in 2003, Russia started active participation in globaleducation at which time the weak command of the English language by faculty and studentswas apparent. The lack of foreign language proficiency among the faculty is explained by thefact that almost all of them are graduates of the Soviet-era universities. In order to solve thisproblem, universities developed their own different and unique solutions.In the 2011-12 academic year, _______________ started a project funded by the university ofteaching English to faculty. Initially, 50 most active faculty were selected and divided intofive groups of ten according to the results of their placement tests. Each group met twice aweek for four academic hours of English throughout the whole academic year. Theachievement test at the end of the academic year included grammar, writing, and an orallecture presentation in English. Out of the 50 faculty, only 37 persevered through the wholeprogram and showed significant improvement in English proficiency. Information about thisprogram spread around the university by word of mouth, and many more faculty membersshowed interest for the academic year of 2012-13 with an enrollment of 170 faculty (out of150 planned) and 15 study groups. After one semester, the program has achieved 100%retention with all members still attending the courses.The paper will focus on analyzing the academic progress of the faculty and teaching methodswhich are used in order to work with adults.
Sanger, P. A., & Ziyatdinova, J., & Ivanov, V. G., & Barabanova, S. V. (2013, June), English for Russian Faculty Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/17227
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