South Ural State University switched to the international standard of students’ language training. Now bachelor’s and master’s degree students and also postgraduates of one of the largest Russian universities have the possibility for advanced English learning with subsequent receiving of IELTS international certificate.
High-level language training is still one of the most important advantages in curriculum vitae of a young graduate, and also the strongest competitive advantage in the international labor market. Graduates of South Ural State University hold key positions in the world’s transnational corporations.
Nowadays, there are more than 2000 international students from 48 countries of the world who are studying at SUSU on various specialties (totally there are more than 30 thousand students studying at the university). Due to active participation of students and research fellows of the university in international educational and scientific projects, the university pays close attention to qualitative language training. Advanced English language learning starts from getting admitted for bachelor’s studies. During four years, aside from general educational program, students study English language not less than 5 hours a week. By the results they pass the international IELTS examination which tests academic skills of a graduate in listening, writing, speaking and reading. The examination is taken by independent international testologists who are native speakers; under condition of successful completion of the test, applicant receives an international certificate.
“Our university started providing this opportunity so that a graduate who has an IELTS certificate could continue studying for obtaining master’s degree in Russia or abroad, could contribute to science. The certificate will help him to realize himself in international contacts: freely participate in international conferences, prepare his own research publications and be a specialist who is in demand in the world’s labor market where it is difficult to compete without knowing the international language of communication,” notes Deputy Director of SUSU’s Institute of Linguistics and International Communication Elena Yaroslavova.
The level of English language knowledge during enrollment at a university for a non-linguistic specialty doesn’t play a big role. All university applicants are provided with comfortable conditions for study based on the level of their language training: from minimal to high. Such approach allows students to elaborate a personal educational trajectory and gradually move towards the determined goal. International manuals developed specially for successful IELTS passing help a great deal in this, along with the new teaching approach.
”Implementation of ‘mixed’ training allows maximally increase students’ time for independent work and increases efficiency of classes. Students spend 50% of time studying in lecture rooms, and another 50% - studying in online mode. New online technologies allow a lecturer maximally use the time for live communication with students during classes and to transfer training and practicing certain language skills to online mode with the use of training aids. For that, we developed online training aids of 4 levels from A1 to C1 which will be tried out during 2017,” says Elena Yaroslavova.
The mixed approach in language training was as well implemented in 2017 for master’s degree students and postgraduates. In educational process, materials of a specialized textbook for master’s degree students and postgraduates are used along with a multi-level online training aid which is available via Moodle online platform.
“Language reform” touched not also students but also SUSU teaching staff, the majority of whom passed advanced vocational training** and proved their level which corresponds with the international teaching standard. Each year, more and more SUSU students, among whom there are many foreign citizens, choose professions connected with language knowledge.
“Specially for international students, the SUSU Institute of Linguistics and International Communication offers master’s degree program “Theory and practice of English language” in the field of “Philology” which is realized in English language. Last year, this program was successfully completed by students from Syria and Iraq. Master’s degree program in Russian language “Russian as a foreign language” is very popular among Chinese students. Not less popular is the “Foreign regional studies” specialization, within the frameworks of which an exchange of students is conducted between partner universities of Russia and China: during a year students from Russia live and study in China, get acquainted with traditions, learn the language and customs of this country, and vise versa.”
SUSU Institute of Linguistics and International Communications implements programs of advanced language training in 12 bachelor’s and master’s degree specialties (including the double-degree program with universities of the USA), and also for postgraduate studies and specialist’s studies. Both Russian and international students can get qualitative language education.
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* International English Language Testing System