Russian lessons for young Georgians26.10.2012 | 15:47
Do the Georgians need Russian? Today, this issue is really relevant. The young generation in schools study English or French, and many cannot string two words together in the language of a neighboring country. Not everyone can afford Russian lessons. The NGO "Union of Russian youth of Georgia" has decided to engage in this issue. Here anyone can learn the Russian language for free. There has appeared much more of those wishing to speak Russian than the teachers had expected.
I have found out that in Tbilisi there operate free courses for all who want to learn Russian. This project was launched by the NGO "Union of Russian youth of Georgia". I decided to go to the office of the organization to see firsthand that the courses really function, as well as to meet with the staff of the URY ("Union of Russian Youth"), teachers and students.
According to the chairman of the "Union of the Russian youth of Georgia" and concurrently the director of the project Alexander Bezhentsev, one of the main objectives of the organization is to promote and facilitate the study of the Russian language in Georgia.
- Our organization has been operating for 14 years. It brings together Russian and Russian-speaking youth in Georgia. We have branches in almost all major cities of the country. Our main activities are sports, intellectual games, a variety of training courses on human rights issues and educational programs, such as the Russian language courses for everyone. In addition, we are helping young people with employment, partially acting as the employment service, which, unfortunately, does not exist in Georgia.
- How many people work in your team?
- About ten people; for some large projects we invite volunteers. Our organization includes more than 1,000 people.
- How did you get the idea to teach the Georgian youth Russian language?
- This year we have organized the championship on brain-ring; it was attended by teams from the regions of Georgia (Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi and Tbilisi). When we selected children to participate in the contest, many of them were discarded because of poor knowledge of the Russian language. They just did not understand the quiz questions.
- As far as I know, a policy of Americanization of society is being carried out at the state level ... Is there a need for the study and knowledge of Russian language?
- The range of use of the Russian language for young Georgians is very wide, ranging from the need to communicate with their counterparts from the former Soviet Union republics and watch foreign films dubbed into Russian, and finishing requirements of the employers when applying for many positions. Yes, government organizations and private firms require the knowledge of the Russian language along with the English. However, many students in a private conversation say that in their work they often need to know Russian. Do not forget that at least 20% of Russian-speaking citizens live in Georgia. It's important to find a common language with them, and today's young people understand this.
- What is the portrait of your listeners?
- It's a girl or a young man from 18 to 30 years. As I've said, their intellectual level is very high (many come to us from the Georgian Club "What-Where-When"). As for the professions, they are trade employees, students (sociology, political science, medicine), managers of travel agencies and banks employees, Alexander Bezhentsev says.
- I look forward to further funding, since the number of those willing to study has exceeded all our expectations, administrator of the courses Irina Sorokina says with a smile. Each group includes 15-17 people. And for the language study personal approach is very important. Alas, our project, including training of three streams of listeners, ends in February.
- Who are your teachers?
- We have selected only professionals. In the group of novices the teacher is Sofa Beria, lecturer of Slavic Languages National University. In average group - this is Nelly Kartvelishvili, teacher of second category, a teacher of Russian language and literature, biology, chemistry; and in group on business-Russian - this is Michael Aydinov, chairman of the Association of Russian-Georgian Journalists and Pushkin Society of Russian-speaking writers of Georgia "Arion".
Financial manager of the "Union of Russian youth of Georgia" Dmitry Bregvadze told us about the financing of Russian language courses in Georgia. "This project was made possible thanks to the support of the fund "Russian World". "This is not the first time when we are working with the organization. We are working on a joint program for three years. Together we have organized and held two championships on brain-ring among the Russian-speaking youth".