On 29th October, Voronezh State University Rector Dmitry Endovitsky and Head of the International Education Institute Vladimir Rodionov met with Mr.Vincent Benét, the Vice-president Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (France). He visited VSU in order to establish a broader partnership and exchange experience in distance education.
– We are eager to promote distance education in our Institute, as a lot of our students don't live in Paris, and we want to make foreign language learning available for everyone. Today we teach over 100 languages, and in 56 of them we give our graduates a diploma. Russian is one of the major thought languages. Our VSU colleagues have shown us the software they use for distance learning of foreign languages. We would like to apply this technique to teach Russian to French students, and then adopt it to teach other languages, including ethnic minority languages, – said Mr. Benét.
The distance learning software is based on the teaching Russian as a foreign language programme. It was developed at the New Education Technologies Laboratory of the International Education Institute while working with international students and trying various teaching methods. The programme includes two components: a course of on-line classes and an electronic course book – a software complex that can be filled with various content depending on the subject language. On-line classes constitute about 20% of the whole course. After studying certain modules of the programme curriculum, students get access to grammar sources and vocabulary games according to their level. The focus of the learning process is on communication. The software is used within the further professional education programme, the graduates of which pass the final exams and get a certificate.
– We want to present the language to students from other countries, and thus use the communicative method combining the foreign language module with their mother tongue module. The first version of the software was designed for Spanish-speaking students. Now we are working together with the Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations who want to enhance the quality of education for their students. There are two types of students of Russian at INALKO – those who major in Russian, and those who will need Russian for their future work. The on-line learning programme helps them to be in touch with language and culture. With the help from the Russkiy Mir Foundation we have developed a number of unique learning programmes, such as "Russian language in songs" Now we are discussing the content of the French module with our French colleagues. The software can be adapted to any language. By 1st April, we are going to start a trial Spanish version of our programme, – told Vladimir Rodionov, Head of the International Education Institute.