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Our Students to Become Cultural Ambassadors

Yulia Kirichenko and Diana Grishchenko, who are studying at the Teacher Training Institute of Belgorod State University, were among the 15 students from across Russia, chosen to promote Russian language and culture

The pair went down to Rostov-on-Don for the final selection from 50 candidates. Successful students are sponsored by the Pushkin Institute to teach Russian in CIS countries where Russian is not a first language. Winning the competition puts them in the top percentage of teachers who teach Russian as a foreign language.

Candidates were required to demonstrate their skills in front of a panel of judges. There was a prose test, a theatrical phase and a mock lesson, where they showed their command of grammar. They were coached by members of the Institute, and mentored by former winners. Ms Kirichenko certainly had a rewarding experience, and was excited by her new role, explaining,

The role of the ambassador is to enthuse young people, by showing them the beauty and diversity of our language, and to introduce them to the rich history, art, and culture of the Russian people. But the experience has to flow both ways, and a greater appreciation of foreign cultures will help us become better neighbours in a feeling of mutual trust and admiration.

Their first assignments will be issued for December, when they will be placed in schools across the CIS and beyond. The competition was held as part of the International Congress of Culture and Media Volunteers, and is part of a program run by the Pushkin Institute since 2015. Since its inception, the 'Russian Language Ambassadors' project has seen more than 35,000 people take part. The program is open to people between 18 and 30, and is funded by the State Youth Affairs Department (Rosmolodezh). Last year, Svetlana Savvina, a student at the Teacher Training Institute won a place in the program, and went to teach this spring in Hoabin, Vietnam.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Languages and Academic Writing

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11.10.2019


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