Italian Students Spent the Semester Studying English at the Institute of the Foreign Languages
As part of academic mobility program, foreign students choose disciplines at various educational institutes.
Elisa Passeri and Martina Fattore, students from Italy, have been studying at the Institute of Foreign Languages together with the 4th-year students on the course "Speaking and Writing Practice" for a semester (their teacher was Svetlana Guseva). The semester was busy for them; they got actively involved in the classes, and eagerly participated in debates and events outside the university.
Since Elisa and Martina are future Russian and English teachers, they were interested to be acquainted with the classes’ organization, and not only at the university, but also at a secondary school. They got this opportunity by visiting a number of events held by the strategic partners of the Department of the English Language.
On November 22 Elisa and Martina became participants of the practice-oriented seminar “Educational cooperation of teachers and students: class and extra-curricular activities” at the premises of Gymnasium No. 17 in Petrozavodsk. On December 17 the students visited the lessons of Irina Lebedeva, English teacher of the highest category, at the Derzhavinsky Lyceum of Petrozavodsk, where they along with pupils performed tasks, exercises, and participated in the preparation of a poster. Here is what they wrote about their visit to the Lyceum:
We had the privilege of being invited to the Lyceum for a field trip. We had been informed that this is one of the best Lyceums in Petrozavodsk, so our expectations were pretty high. Indeed, we were not disappointed: the teacher and the students impressed us. The teacher organized the lesson following an innovative didactic method, creating an informal and extremely stimulating atmosphere. Every task was planned beforehand and the strict timetable allowed each student to take an active part in completing the tasks. We found the materials presented updated and motivating, structured with a straightforward and useful vocabulary. For what concerns the students, their proficiency in the English language is remarkable. This allows them to express their ideas in a creative and effective way.
In addition, Elisa and Martina took an active part as judges in the English rounds of debates, which were organized as part of the course “Fundamentals of Rhetoric and Public Speaking” (teacher Svetlana Guseva). For them, it was the first experience of participating in debates; they appreciated the educational potential of such a format of classes and noted the high level of English of the second-year students of the Institute of Foreign Languages.
Elisa and Martina emphasized many times the advantages of classes’ organization at the Institute of Foreign Languages: small groups, diversity and interactivity of tasks and work system in class, the opportunity to express their opinions and participate in discussions, a friendly atmosphere, openness of the group students and the teacher.
Svetlana Guseva, the teacher of the Department of the English Language, noted: “Elisa and Martina showed themselves to be responsible, purposeful, and motivated students. They are always ready for classes, they get easily involved in the work, and they are sociable and open to new formats of work. It is nice that the topics for discussion within the course caused a lively response; there was always a chance for discussion and comparison. This experience is unique for me; I would like to always have the opportunity to invite foreign students studying at Petrozavodsk State University and include them in groups for a semester or even a whole year.”
Polina Fedchenko (student of group 141):
“It has been really nice to meet Elisa and Martina and learn that Russian and Italian students have so much in common. Working with them in classes is a real pleasure; constantly you learn something new about Italy, the Italians and their mentality. I wish them every success in the New Year!”
Anita Vishinskayte (student of group 141):
“We gained an important experience of intercultural communication, which allowed us to partake in Italian culture, not having visited Italy itself. Elisa and Martina have become an integral part of our group and it is already impossible to imagine classes without them. We will miss them very much and we are waiting for them to come back!”
In the last class of the semester, the students had a tea party, Martina and Elisa brought for everyone chocolate muffins following an Italian recipe. They prepared a quiz, the questions of which checked how closely their classmates followed information about Italy, which Martina and Elisa had shared in the classes. And everyone handled the quiz questions. As a memento, students of group 141 presented Italians photos and wrote wishes in the New Year cards.
We thank Martina and Elisa for this unique cooperation experience. We look forward to furthering communication and possible meetings in the future.