World » Europe
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Language Day–2003. Introduction of Russian

During the 1970’ / 1980’s Russian was taught in many British schools, however, in recent years it has been less popular, than the cold war period during which, the main interest in learning Russian came from the desire to learn a language from such a mysterious society & maybe potential enemy.

Now with a new leader V.Putin and an even more openness world attention to Russia grows again and the Russian language is once again being added to the curriculum in some British schools.

 Hummersknott School & Language College (Darlington, UK) has introduced Russian and Chinese languages to it’s curriculum and recently it held a language open day where pupils from Darlington schools and colleges experienced several Russian and Chinese workshops which, included alphabet/grammar, dance, cuisine, culture & history.
At the end of the day the audience could watch performances from Russian and Chinese representatives. A professional choreographer based at Newcastle University performed Russian dance.

The main idea of the event was international education as well as putting learners from Hummersknott School & Language College in contact with others in Russian speaking countries (Russia & Ukraine) and allowing young minds to develop their own opinions based upon personal experience of contact with someone from that country.
With the break up of the Soviet Union & with far less restriction on travel between East & West, has brought another wonderful opportunity for pupils of Western Europe to connect & learn the language of the largest country in the world. However, the real geographical range of using this language is much wider, Russian is also understood in countries of the former socialist block, e.g. Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia etc.
Durham County in the UK already plays an active role in the international projects around European countries. Thousands of schoolchildren and many hundreds of residents of County Durham have either visited one or more of its twined towns, or hosted a visitor from a partner area, including Russia.

Such an international education initiation helps to create a better climate of understanding based on knowledge and direct personal contact.

At present Hummersknott School & Language College is looking for new partners from Moscow and S-Petersburg schools.

There are some exciting projects where the future school-partners can take an important role.

If you and your school would like to take a moving part in our new project please contact at

Svitlana Tarasova-Briton,