Foreigners Study to Feel the Intonation of the Russian Soul

An experimental master class for foreign students and teachers of Russian as a foreign language was held at Sevastopol State University. Marina Bokhonnaya, PhD, from the Russian Language Department at Tomsk Polytechnic University, spoke about the methods of working with foreigners in Russian universities.

When a foreign student arrives at a university, teachers of the Russian language begin to work with them and over the course of a year they prepare them for admission. When teaching, it is important to not only correctly present the information, but also to give the student the opportunity to apply it in everyday life.

“Foreign students learn Russian from a textbook, but it’s a dry, official language, and it’s very difficult to learn real Russian intonation. If the teacher is not expressive enough then it is twice as difficult”, said Marina.

There is an opinion among foreigners that Russian people are unemotional, but during the lesson students were actively involved and learned to feel intonations and understand the Russian soul.

“In fact, we still do not understand each other well, because we only talked a little. It seems that Russians are very restrained, but today it was interesting. I liked practicing phrases expressing emotions”, said Jan Dean, a postgraduate student from Vietnam who shared his impressions.

The speed of teaching the Russian language for all foreigners is individual and many factors influence this, therefore several options for teaching programmes have been developed at the Center for International Educational Programmes at Sevastopol State University taking into account the individual character of each student. An indicator of language proficiency is an adequate response to jokes.

“To understand a joke, you need to know the language very well. Some students, having learned a little, begin to feel intonation and if they also understand jokes, then it means everyone is well done”, said Andrei Faerman, Head of the Center for International Educational Programmes at Sevastopol State University.