As the new academic year starts, meetings of language speaking clubs have resumed at the International Resource Center of Tomsk State University Research Library.
“Do you dream of speaking a foreign language like a native speaker but all your efforts seem to be wasted? Have mastered grammar, effortlessly do tests, but you still don’t speak fluently? It is all because of the absence of a language environment”, says Elena Tsukanova, the head of the International Resource Center. “One cannot speak a foreign language freely without practicing it. So what do you do if there is nowhere or no one to talk to? We have a solution – come to the Research Library! We’ve got speaking clubs here in eight languages to choose from!”
“If you are interested in Italian culture, you will have a captivating adventure across Italy with Carolina Botteschi, a PhD student at the TSU Faculty of Philology”, Elena continues. “Sebastjan Jemec, a polyglot from Slovenia and a PhD student at the TSU Faculty of Historical and Political Sciences, will tell you about the special features and dialects of the German language, and at the Chinese club he will relate details of organizing trips by train in China.”
And the nuances of Chinese culture and language will be revealed by Wu Wanying, a PhD student at the TSU Faculty of Philology, and Zhao Tengfei, a third-year student at the Faculty of Philology. Tomsk francophiles will gain new knowledge about the language and culture of France and French-speaking countries under supervision of Derghal Fateh, a master’s student at the TSU Biological Institute. If you dream of learning Spanish, you will get a boost of positive energy during these clubs: Martin Barba from Ecuador and others will share their sunny spirits with you!”
If you choose to learn English, there are two English clubs that have been functioning at the Research Library over the years, and it is these clubs that gave a start to all the other speaking clubs. In English speaking clubs on Tuesdays, fundamental academic topics are discussed; this semester the club will be moderated by Carolina Botteschi. The English speaking club on Fridays is open to everyone. Ximena Calderon, a moderator of the Friday English speaking club and a librarian of the International Resource Center, won’t let you get bored as she always has various games and topics to offer for a casual relaxed chat in English on Friday evenings.
TSU academics and PhD students have the opportunity to join the “Morning English with Jean” online club. Discussion of topics related to participants’ research studies and academic interests is the main point of this club. It is moderated by Jean Kollantai, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (USA), and a TSU Center for Academic Writing co-director; it is precisely she who initiated the activities of speaking clubs at the TSU Research Library in 2014.
Cinema lovers can join the Cinema Club where participants watch movies in their original audio with English subtitles and share their impressions afterward.
There is also an exotic club – Rumah Bahasa – devoted to the Indonesian language and culture. Its moderator Khoestiadi Bintang Vega is from Indonesia and now studies at the TSU Institute of Economics and Management. At each club meeting, there will be guests – representatives of different provinces of Indonesia where hundreds of peoples live. Each guest will speak about the characteristics of their region, and the second part of the meeting will be devoted to the Indonesian language.
Russian native speakers who would like to help foreign students learn the Russian language, culture, and traditions are invited to the TSU Russian Speaking Club for international students – your participation will be much appreciated.
Language Wednesdays is the format that has become hugely popular in recent years. The meetings are arranged in the hall next to the International Resource Center. The participants can choose freely what language to speak and with whom, without a moderator or prepared topics for discussion. Speak-Dating conversation marathon meetings will help you boost your language skills.
“By overcoming a language barrier and the fear of speaking a foreign language, integrating into a multilanguage and multicultural community, you will not only broaden your horizons but also find new friends!” Elena Tsukanova says. “We invite you to our community to open up a whole world of opportunities!”All the speaking clubs in the TSU Research Library are arranged with the support and assistance of the TSU International Division.
International Resource Center is located on the 3rd floor of the TSU Research Library.