From January 17th toJune 17th, 2016 Ekaterina Gordeeva and Oleg Borisov enrolled in MA programmeTeaching languages with the use of online technologies(direction 44.04.01. Teacher education), took part in the student mobility for study at the University of Caen (Normandy, France). This five-month mobilitywas supported by the Erasmus+ Programme.
Here are the impressions of this student mobility participants.
MAProgrammeat Caen University included the following disciplines: Methods of teaching French as a foreign language (Didactique du FLE), French as a foreign language (Acquisition des langues et FLE), Introduction to automatic text processing (Initiation au TAL), Syntax and semantics of the modern French language (Syntaxe et sémantique du françaismoderne), English, Translation from Russian to French, from French to Russian (Traductionrusse), Russian literature.
All the modules focused on the formation of general cultural and professional competence of a language teacher, as well as competences related to the use of new information and communication technologies in teaching English and French.
The module on English allowed to improve the knowledge and level of the English language proficiency through learning from teachers who were native speakers of English. The English classes were lively and exciting. The topics for discussion were interesting and informative for everyone: hiking accidents, literary tourism, trips to other planets, etc. Also during the lessons,the students learned to analyse the songs in different languages, and studied the basics of ethnography.
The module on Translation from Russian to French, French to Russian contributed to the improvement of specific translation skills while the module Russian Literature allowed to explore the views of the French literary criticism on the Russian literature and learn new methods of text analysis.
All classes were conducted by experienced teachersand linguists, many of whom are employees of the linguistic research center CRISCO at the University of Caen Anne Prunet, ValérieAmary, Catharine Mason and others.
In addition to classroom training, the students were able to work remotely in the Moodle virtual learning environment, which simplifies the learning process greatly. All the students had access to the basic and additional materials for students of the programme.
The high level of professional competence of teachers, their motivation and responsiveness should be noted specifically. Friendly attitude of the French teachers helpedthe international students adapt quickly and overcome the language barrier.
In addition, the university organisationErasmus&International in Caen offered a number of activities aimed at establishingclose contacts between international and French students, at getting them to know the culture, geographical and ethnographical peculiarities of France: patronage, tandems, polyglotcafes, quests, international dinners and parties, sports events, sightseeing. The international students were actively involved in all extracurricular and cultural activities that allowed to further explore the culture, customs and geography of France, find friends among French and international students increase proficiency in the French language, learn the trends in the development of modern French language and French society, to join the European values.
The developed infrastructure at the University of Caen should be mentioned separately. On campus there are modern and historic academic buildings, libraries, student canteens and cafes, a sports complex which offers university students a variety of sports, cinemas, and student dormitories. The city centre is within a walking distance from the university and student dormitories.
The mobility participants from VSU complied with the programme, passed all the exams in selected disciplines successfully and are now ready to use the knowledge gained during the mobility period in their teaching practice and future careers.