On July 1, there was a meeting in the International Resource Center of the TSU Research Library during which the work of language speaking clubs and their coordination were discussed. TSU International Division staff members, coordinators and moderators of the clubs participated in the meeting.
“The importance of speaking clubs for learning and mastering foreign languages can hardly be overestimated,” noted Svetlana Rybushkina, Head of the TSU International Division. “Their great popularity among both the university community and common citizens is explained to a large extent by the fact that it is the representatives of other cultures and nationalities who started to moderate the clubs. It adds to strengthening international and interconfessional relations, to developing awareness about cultural and linguistic diversity.”
Past semester the speaking clubs were held in French, Chinese, Russian, English, Spanish and German. Participants of the clubs had been interviewed for feedback and the results were summarized during the meeting by Ekaterina Trifonova, Director of the Language Support Center of TSU International Division. According to her words, the participants noted the high quality of moderators’ preparation for the clubs, thorough choice of topics for discussion and their diversity. In addition, the participants wished the clubs would last longer and be held in different places, for example, outdoors.
Elena Tsukanova, Head of International Resource Center and coordinator of the speaking clubs, emphasized the uniqueness of each moderator, their creative initiatives and desire to transmit their cultures though their languages.
“Moderators offered both global ecological topics and some easy topics for discussion within the clubs,” said Elena. “During the clubs the participants recited poetry and sang songs in Spanish, discussed stereotypes of the Russians and the French about each other, practiced tongue twisters and learnt slang, and even tried to write Chinese characters.”
All in all, during the spring semester the Research Library hosted 71 meetings of the speaking clubs with the total of 908 participants; and the total number of the participants including Russian speaking club is 1378.
Galina Serbina, RL Deputy Director, shared her recollections on how the language clubs started several years ago. She noted that it is Jean Kollantai who was one of the initiators of creating speaking clubs. She is now a moderator of the Morning English with Jean online club for TSU research fellows and also runs the Academic Writing course for the International Division staff.
Irina Dubovitskaya and Natalia Ermakova, coordinators of the German and the French directions respectively, told about their close collaboration with the moderators of the German and French speaking clubs.
All the moderators of the speaking clubs did presentations. Rizqina Ramadhaniah and Ximena Calderon presented two English speaking clubs, Alevtina Volkova and Tatyana Burkovskaya – the German speaking club, Daniil Zgersky, Valentina Manashova and Tatyana Stakanova – the Russian speaking club, Zong Yang – the Chinese speaking club, Fateh Derghal and Guibert Alban Aymeric Jacques Marie – the French speaking club. They shared their experience of preparing and organizing the meetings.
Foreign students - moderators of the speaking clubs received Certificates of Appreciation from the Tomsk State University.
The meeting concluded with an excursion to the Book Museum of the TSU Research Library where the participants had a chance to see the rare books and manuscripts in French, Spanish, Arabic, and other languages.