american in russia

An American in Russia, II



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region sponsor reciprocal
grant schedule opportunity
choose research preference
key (3) depends perspective
ground dynamic semester
crowd various excursion
grave kerchief in order to





My name is Laura Molloy. And we are in Ryazan.

And I work here as a teacher of English and various subjects in the English language.

So this is Ryazan State University, named for Yesenin, which is where I work.

This is the main entrance to Ryazan State University. It is named for Sergei Yesenin, who was a famous Russian poet from this region, from Ryazan.

And this is him. We have a statue of him just in the front.

Right now I am going to meet some of my students from English class.

And we have some crazy scheduling issues — so we rescheduled the class.

And so right now I’m going to meet them and we will go to find a room.

Generally everyone who comes into the Fine Languages Department studies English primarily, and then they will have a second or even a third language in addition to that.

So this group studied German in addition to English. But most of them have studied English at an earlier age, in high school or perhaps before that.

Some of them actually even had opportunities to study English at this university before beginning because they offer courses for high school students or for adults, so they had an opportunity there.

I am here was part of the Fulbright Program. It is a program which is sponsored by the US Department of State, and there are different types of grants.

It’s reciprocal so that some Russians or people from other countries go to the United States, and Americans go to other countries, either to do research or to work as teachers.

I am here as part of the ETA Program, which stands for English Teaching Assistance. There are about thirty of us in Russia, and there is a Fulbright office in Moscow that places us in different cities.

So I didn’t choose Ryazan, they didn’t exactly ask me where I wanted to go. But I did state a preference for being in this general region. So they placed me here.

But one key difference between a university in Russia versus one in the United States is that they have one group or one class, they have every single class with: English, philosophy, history, everything with the same group of seven, eight, nine, or ten people, whereas in the United States, we have five or six courses per semester, and each one is with different people.

So here they develop a different relationship within groups, so they all know each other extremely well, and in America we really don’t and we had a different crowd every time.

That can be an advantage or a disadvantage, from a teacher’s perspective. It depends on the group and what the dynamic is. But either way, you do see a strong dynamic in each group that you don’t see in classes in the United States.

Now we’ve gone on an excursion to a village which is near Ryazan. So we’re in a village called Poshpova. And we are visiting a monastery which is called Iyana Bogaslovsky, and that is the monastery of John the Baptist. This is a men’s monastery which is about 40 kilometers outside of Ryazan.

Now in order to enter the monastery, we need to wear a kerchief. As women in the Orthodox tradition, we need to cover our head when we’re in a monastery and in a church.

Here we have some graves from monks who used to live in this monastery; they’re all buried on the grounds. These are graves.

Most of my travels — all of my travels have been in the European part of Russia, so far, in cities especially along the Volga and around the Moscow area.

But I haven’t been to Siberia or the Far East, so I’d love to go and see Siberian cities, eastern cities and see Lake Baikal.

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1. Laura only teaches English as a second language. Is this right or wrong? Who is Laura? Where is she from? Where is she?

2. She showed viewers a statue. Describe the statue.

3. Are classes always held at the same time and in the same room?

4. This the first time that the students are learning English, and they are only learning English. True or false?

5. Does the Ryazan State University pay Laura? Did Laura choose to live and work in Ryazan? What is the Fulbright Program?

6. What is the main difference between American and Russian universities?

7. Laura only works and goes to clubs and discos in Ryazan. Is this correct or incorrect?

8. Has she traveled all over Russia?
A. Have you had a foreign instructor? Have you lived and worked in another country?

B. Are there Americans or other foreigners living in your city or neighborhood?

C. Do you recommend your city or town to Americans or other foreigners as a place to live?

D. What will happen in the future?

E. Should there be more teacher and student exchange programs?


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