Russian Flagship Presence at ASEEES - Washington, DC, November 2016
At the recent annual ASEEES Conference in Washington, DC (November 17-20), the Russian Overseas Flagship Program was well represented at two panels. First, ROF Academic Director Dr. Eleonora Suleimenovatraveled from Almaty to join American Councils President Dr. Dan E. Davidson for the roundtable Study Abroad: Broadening the Field, during which both spoke about the peculiarities, innovations, and successes of the Flagship program. The panel was well attended and sparked lively discussion about current trends in study abroad in the former Soviet Union. Dr. Suleimenova painted a vivid picture of the unique opportunities Flagship students take advantage of during their Capstone experience in Almaty, including direct enrollment courses at KazNU and internships with local organizations.
The next morning, Dr. Karen Evans-Romaine (Flagship Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison) moderated the panel The Russian Flagship and Beyond. Consisting of six ROF alumni — Derek Groom (UCLA, 2012-13), Aleksandra Marciniak (GW, 2012-13), Meagan Dunham (UW-Madison, 2013-14), Kyle Farrell (UW-Madison, 2014-15), Miriam Goldman (PSU, 2014-15), and MikaylaHolland (BMC, 2015-16). Each panelist spoke about his/her own Flagship experience and how the program has impacted his/her life after graduation. American Councils would like to thank Dr. Evans-Romaine for organizing such an important and informative panel!
ROF Student Involved in USKZ Fest
Russian Overseas Flagship student Grace Garrett (Bryn Mawr College) has used her musical talents on the ukulele to help promote US-Kazakhstani relations and cultural understanding. This summer, she performed at USKZ Fest in Astana to commemorate twenty-five years of diplomatic relations, and she then returned to Astana to perform for President Nazurbaev and other government officials at the Constitution Day Concert. Her performance of "Kozimnin karasai" has surpassed 150,000 views online. She was interviewd by the prominent Kazakhstani media outlet Tengri, which can be found here.
Flagship Conference - Almaty, Kazakhstan April 2016
On April 18-19, 2016, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University hosted an international conference addressing current issues concerning the Flagship program.
A festival for the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture was held on the eve of the conference, on Friday, April 15th. Flagship students participated in the festival, demonstrating their Russian language proficiency and knowledge of Russian culture through their performances. American students recited poetry and performed songs in Russian, even donning Russian folk costumes. Olga Riabova, the docent of Saint-Petersburg State University, delivered the opening address for the festival.
On Monday, April 18th, teachers and students listened to presentations and participated in master classes.
Afterwards, the Flagship students studying at KazNU during the 2015-2016 academic year presented on the internships they participated in within various institutions and organizations. Some students led classes and extracurricular events in schools, assisted plant breeders with forestry, and completed scientific research projects at institutes in biology, biotechnology, and ecology. Others worked in museums, edited magazines such as “Business Kazakhstan” and “Liter,” and participated in press-clubs. Still others worked with Tengri News, in triage in clinics, at language centers, and elsewhere. The presentations gave the audience an impression not just of the internships themselves, but also of the level of proficiency in Russian that the students have achieved. To conclude the session, some of the students recited dialogues and sang songs in Kazakh.
American Councils President Dr. Dan Davidson presented the plenary lecture, which explored strategies for second language acquisition through cultural immersion and practical linguistic applications. The lecture elicited a lively response from the audience, which consisted of not only teachers but also the Flagship students themselves. Dr. Davidson presented an interesting comparative analysis of the development of linguistic competence in strategically important languages at the beginner, intermediate, advanced, and professional levels.
His lecture focused on the development of linguistic competency and the potential for improving that competency through the circumstances of immersion in the country of study. The questions posed in the presentation allowed the attendees to consider not only contemporary problems in theoretical and practical aspects, but also to outline a course for the administration of a strategy of study specifically with Flagship students in the coming year.
After the lecture there was a lively discussion in which the attendees took active part.
After a short break the attention of the participants was directed to the master class “Intonation in Communication: Relevant issues for the TRKI-II – TRKI-IV,” led by Olga V. Riabova. The master class focused on practical concerns. Over the course of three hours the teachers discussed theoretical and practical questions of the study of intonation and suggested new ideas and opportunities for improvement from their personal experience. In the small group sessions, teachers from the Flagship program presented. The conference materials (26 articles, including the plenary presentation) were published in advance.
The university also hosted a ceremony honoring the completion of an academic-methodological internship by the teachers of theDepartment of Russian as a Foreign Language, “Linguistic preparation in the form of tiered certification” (March 19th- April 18th). The results of the internships were presented and certificates were awarded.