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STOUH Hosts Seminar on “Aspects of the Intercultural Approach to Teaching Foreign Languages: English through Russian Realities”
On January 30, 2023, a seminar on strategies for teaching foreign languages using an intercultural approach was held at the Department of Foreign Languages of the Faculty of Theology. The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Vladislav V. Alpatov, Assistant Professor of the Department of English Language Teaching Methodology and Business Communication of the Institute of Foreign Languages of the Moscow State Pedagogical University.

Dr. Alpatov’s talk was about two applied aspects of the intercultural approach, namely the possibilities of teaching English through Russian realities and using the popularity of English to attract interest in one’s native culture through familiarization with how foreigners see it.

Dr. Alpatov drew attention to the fact that in international contacts it is important for the student to understand and be able to present their culture, which is often more interesting to the speakers of the target language than a potential conversation about their country. According to Dr. Alpatov, it is worth paying more attention to vocabulary that reflects the culture of the native country, including everyday life. First of all, these are correct equivalent words in the target language, conveying Russian realities. However, this task requires authentic materials - texts about Russia compiled by native speakers of the foreign language.

In the remainder of his talk, Alpatov gave an overview of the sources of such texts and demonstrated examples of their being developed methodologically for English teaching. Authentic texts about Russia are represented by a wide range of travelogues from “Тhe Books of the Great and Mighty Tsar of Russia and Prince of Moscow” by Richard Chancellor in the 15th, century to the video blogs of contemporary tourists (e.g., Gareth Leonard) or expats who have settled in Russia (e.g., Priest Joseph Gleason), scholarly works by foreign scholars of Russian (e.g., Anthony Cross), tourist guides, and many other various publications.