The Longest English Lesson Ever: Academic Speech Workshop at the Department of Chemistry

16 May 2019

Students of the Department of Chemistry (who are participating in the project “Development of Foreign Language Competence of TSU Students”) have prepared and carried out an academic speech workshop, that is, an event where everyone can speak on various popular, experimental, or theoretical aspects of chemistry. The event was organized by a team of project teachers: Nadezhda Petrunina, Aleksandra Soboleva, Yulia Ibragimova, Sergei Molchanov, and Oksana Sharafieva.

         Lothar Heinrich, professor of Münster University, and Vladimir Botvin, head of the TSU Laboratory of polymers and composite materials, managed to find cordial and inspirational words for greeting the workshop participants. Expert team evaluated the reports and included Sergei Ten and Eugenia Tomilova, the graduate students, Vladimir Sidelnikov, master student of “Translational chemical and biomedical technologies” program, Uliana Chernova, master student of Department of Chemistry, as well as Mikhail Kovtunov, Vladislav Korostelev, and Erika Yamschikova, the latter being among the most experienced and active project participants. The event was crowned with awarding ceremony of the plenary session winners, namely, Anastasia Silina (group 08602), Ekaterina Kim and Vadim Trufanov (group 08702), and Konstantin Zhadan (group 08802). The parallel sections also had their winners: Maria Khabibulina (group 08802), Anna Grushevskaia (group 08703), Dmitrii Fedosov (group 08702), Elina Nikolayeva (group 08701), Mariia Dorofeeva (group 08701), Chengdong Yan (group 08701), and Young Loo (group 08803).

         Anastasia Silina (group 08602): “I am very glad that we have been diving into science and art for four years now and that we have the opportunity to communicate in English. This year it was especially nice to tell the reports to the jury, where the judge was not a native speaker, but a professor from Germany, so we faced certain cultural differences and also traced a new interesting and beautiful accent. Theoretical and sci-pop reports provide an opportunity to practice the academic language spoken by the world scientific community. I hope that next year we will have this opportunity again!”

         Ksenia Kazantseva (group 08801): “When I first heard about this workshop, I decided that I could not take part in it: I was scared and ashamed of public speaking. Several days passed, and I could not get the event out of my head. I followed the lists of participants and their topics. Then, little by little, I began to look for a topic for myself, but I still did not take it seriously. And then I made up my mind. And I didn’t regret it because during the whole preparation period I learned the rules of writing articles, I read various articles on my topic that were published in English. The restrictions placed on our work made it more complex, but also more interesting. The workshop itself impressed me a lot: a symbiosis of chemistry and art, chemistry and biology, history, medicine... There were both complex scientific studies and entertaining projects. The welcoming speeches were remarkable, pleasant, and very motivating. I firmly decided that I would participate next year, I really hope that the event will take place. I want to thank all the organizers, the expert team, and the participants. You do it yourself and create real magic! Special thanks to Nadezhda Vladimirovna for working with each of us, for giving advice, editing, motivating, for the whole time that you spend with us.”

         Polina Leonova (group 08701): “I am very glad that I had the courage to participate. Now I know for myself that I can do it, and this is a starting point. It will now be easier to participate in such events in the future. I would like to thank Nadezhda Vladimirovna and her steel nerves for constant support and help, for good organization, and just for the whole time spent with the students. The workshop itself immersed us into the world of the English language so deeply that it is the second day I have been thinking in English. It was cool! 5 stars.”

         Daria Korsakova (group 08701): “This is a great opportunity to practice the language and public speaking. Yes, it was probably scary, but it was an unforgettable experience. Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in this event!”

         Mariia Dorofeeva (group 08701): “This is a great chance to get acquainted with smart people who can do their best and are interested in this event who are socially active and always ready for something new! I adore listening to reports on scientific and sci-pop topics, handing out booklets, asking questions. And all this takes place in English! This is not only a great language practice, but also a practice of public speaking. At such events, freshmen and sophomores feel like young scientists who have something to tell. And things like a coffee break help it best! Nadezhda Vladimirova, thank you for making every effort to fulfil this! This is cool.”

         Semyon Nikulaichev (group 08703): “The obvious advantages of this event are the opportunity to realize the importance of communication, to expand your horizons, to learn how to work with foreign resources, as well as how to search and process information. I am amazed at your patience and express my immeasurable gratitude! ”

         Kristina Postolakiy (group 08703): “I am very glad that I decided to take part in this. I am grateful to you for how you have helped us by recording the readings, by proofreading every file. This is simply a huge work. This is a very great experience. I think that in the future it will be very useful to me!”

         Mark Khainovskiy (group 08701): “Thank you very much for the event. Professor Lothar is very cool. I even recorded his speech to memorize it. According to my scientific supervisor, who also attended the workshop, it is an incredibly big job – to organize such big events and to attract attention on part of the audience.”

         The project team teachers are grateful to the Department of Chemistry officials: Yuri Slizhov, dean, Vladimir Shelkovnikov and Mikhail Anischenko, vice deans, Tatiana Ogniova and Marina Akimova, dean’s office secretaries, Elizaveta Lukina, students’ union official, as well as to students of the Department of Chemistry: Olga Beloussova, Rostislav Gukovich, Bogdan Gurov, Elizaveta Dudnik, Anastasia Ivanova, Anastasia Kinsfator, Yulia Kladova, Mikhail Kovtunov, Ekaterina Lvova, Anastasia Silina, Aleksandra Zakharkiva, Eugenia Zinina, and many others – for the invaluable contribution to making of the whole event.