As part of the cross-year history of Russia – Greece, specialists from the Center for Language Testing of St. Petersburg University have developed a course of lectures on the history of Russia for Greek listeners, according to a press release from St. Petersburg State University.
The initiative is being implemented jointly with the Russian Word Center for Russian Language and Culture (Thessaloniki), on the basis of which a representative office of St. Petersburg State University has been opened in Greece.
“Those who study the language of another country cannot but be interested in its history,” said Dmitry Ptyushkin, director of the SPbU Language Testing Center. “Therefore, we decided to create a course of online lectures that will tell in an accessible form about the main milestones in the history of Russia, as well as the moments associated with our joint history with Greece.”
The course on Russian history consists of 10 lectures. Listeners who speak Russian at the B1 level can listen to them in the original. And for those who have recently started to study Russian or are interested exclusively in the history of Russia, lectures are available in English. “Our specialists developed the program so that it was filled not only with historical information, but also be of interest to listeners who are learning the language. That is why it does not contain words that they may not understand, ”explained Dmitry Ptyushkin.
“The topics we have selected will allow the audience to see that historically our peoples are extremely close. We have a rich cultural layer and a common history, and we want no one to forget this, ”said Dmitry Ptyushkin, Director of the SPbU Language Testing Center.
Now about 200 Greek listeners have signed up for the lecture. Course organizers acknowledge their genuine interest in participating, as they attend lectures on Saturday mornings, and actively ask questions after class and request additional materials on Russian history.
Since 2016, SPbU has opened language testing centers in seven Greek cities: Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Corinth, Alexandroupolis, Heraklion and Volos. The specialists of the centers regularly hold seminars, webinars and advanced training sessions for Greek teachers, presentations of the University’s educational programs for Greek applicants, as well as online meetings with co-authors of Russian language textbooks. In addition, the staff of the University have developed open courses in the Russian language, in which up to 250 Greek students study free of charge per year.
In the future, it is planned to develop similar online courses for Italian, Serbian and Brazilian students.
About 1,500 Greeks are tested annually for their knowledge of Russian as a foreign language (TORFL) at the language testing centers of St. Petersburg State University.
The formation of the ancient Russian state and the connection between Byzantium and Russia, the role of the Russian Empire and the emergence of the New Greek state, the reign of the first Romanovs, the era of Peter the Great and the activities of Olga Konstantinovna Romanova, the Russian queen of Greece – all these topics were included in the lecture program. The period of the common historical past of Russia and Greece in the XX century is also highlighted. A separate lecture is devoted to the life and work of John Kapodistrias, the first ruler of independent Greece and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire.