From 11 to 17 September, 2016 within the framework of the Tempus project, Voronezh University was visited by the Programme Director of the on-campus MA in TESOL Studies of University of Aston (UK), Dr. Muna Morris-Adams. As part of her visit, a series of events were organised, including a meeting with the Vice-Rector for Research and Informatisation Prof. Vasily Popov (http://www.vsu.ru/ru/news/feed/2016/09/7448), a working meeting with the VSU Tempus working group members, as well as classes and meetings with students.
The main purpose of Dr. M. Morris-Adams’ visit to VSU was co-teaching of the modules «Language Teaching Methodology», «Technologies in Language Teaching» and «Age Appropriate Pedagogy» with the first and second year master’s students of the MA programme in the field of Language Education. The classes where Dr. M. Morris-Adams did co-teaching with the Associate Professor of the English Philology department Elena Chaika and the Associate Professor of the French Philology department Svetlana Bulgakova, were traditionally held in the computer lab of the faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology with the use of materials of electronic moodle platform, and were interactive and full of creativity. Dr. M. Morris-Adams also made a presentation on the profession of a language teacher, and told the first year master’s students about her professional choice and teaching experience, then answered numerous questions regarding the specifics of language teaching. During the classes and meetings, Dr. M. Morris-Adams not only shared her professional knowledge, but also showed a variety of practical methods to enhance the students’ interest and implement the creative approach to language teaching.
Dr. Muna Morris-Adams also held a meeting with teachers and students of the gymnasium named after A.V. Koltsov, and observed a class delivered by the second year master’s student I. Akamsina at the Faculty of International Relations carried out in the framework of the training practicum.
During the meeting with Vice-Rector for Research and Informatisation, Prof. Vasily Popov Dr. M. Morris-Adams discussed the issues of cooperation within the Tempus project and improving the training of students enrolled on the master’s programme «Teaching languages with the use of online technologies», the possibility of cooperation between Aston University and Voronezh University through the development of joint academic projects and the development of teachers’ and students’ mobility.
In addition to formal meetings and discussions, Dr. M. Morris-Adams took part in a number of cultural events, including a sightseeing tour round the city of Voronezh, a visit to the first Peter the Great’s battle ship Goto Predestination, the museum of history of VSU, the museum of rare books and a trip to the archeological park and nature reserve Divnogorie. On all the events, Muna Morris-Adams was accompanied by the teachers and MA students who provided consecutive interpretation.
The trip to the archeological park and nature reserve Divnogorie, in spite of the cool weather, was held in a very warm and friendly atmosphere. The event had a teambuilding character, especially important for the first year students. They agreed that Dr. Muna Morris-Adams is not only a highly-qualified university teacher, but also a terrific person. She showed the same respect to both teachers and students and managed to instantly relieve the tension of the language barrier, and helped to overcome the fear and uncertainty experienced by the first year students when communicating with a native speaker.