BILIUM Project



































BILIUM final meeting and discussion @ the London School of Russian

BILIUM final meeting and discussion @ the London School of Russian






































BILIUM Project – Final Meeting of the Partners




4 June 2014Greifswald, Germany

Those present:

Project Coordinators: Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva (EK), Thomas Hentschel (TH), University of Greifswald (Germany);

Partners of the meeting: Elena Denisova-Schmidt (EDS), University of St Gallen (Switzerland); Olga Shterenshis (OS), Covor, Elena ??? (Netherlands); Viktor Anders (VA), Tatjana Meier (T M), Weltsprachen Institute (Austria); Irina Krivova (IK), Nadezhda Golizdra (NG), Union des Russophones de France (France); Olga Bramley (OB), George Bramley (GB), London School of Russian Language and Literature (United Kingdom);

Staff of the Institute of Foreign Languages and Media Technology, University of Greifswald.

Welcome speech by University Lecturer, Dr H. Peters, on behalf of the Institute of Foreign Languages and Media Technology, who thanked the partners for their contributions to this important project. The research makes it clear that the topic of bilingualism must be supported in education systems, in order to integrate migrant communities in countries of the EU. It will also be developed in future projects.

Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva, Project Coordinator, welcomed the partners.

Elena Denisova-Schmidt welcomed the group and gave a brief summary of the contributions made by each of the organisations. On behalf of the project, she expressed acknowledgement and thanks to the partners for these contributions, many of which would not have been possible without the close cooperation between the partners, e.g. The University of St Gallen, the London School of Russian Language and Literature, the Russian-Swedish Cultural Society, the Weltsprachen Institute, and the staff at the participating primary schools. The project involved extensive research work in the respective countries, meetings in the partners organisations, presentations and discussions.

The findings of the research and discussions were presented in the first part of the BILIUM Project publication. Information has also been included on the partners websites and on a Facebook page dedicated to the project.

Thomas Hentschel gave a presentation to describe the stages, techniques and methods used for working on the project, and on its origins.

According to recent research, a very high proportion of pupils in Germany and other European countries are from a migrant background (up to 80% in Germany), and schools and teaching institutions, lacking the appropriate structures or systems, often struggle to deal with the issues arising from this. In particular, there are problems of integration of children in kingergartens.

In response, the project was set up with the aim of providing a European framework for examining and comparing research work into multilingualism across Europe. The exchange of ideas and methodologies from different levels of work with bilingual children has been very successful.

The task now is transfer the results (in publications) to stakeholders within the participating countries and also in Russia, which faces similar problems: the lack of skills, experience and a system for dealing with the issues associated with multilingualism.

Actions for the future

Other language groups (of migrant communities) should be used in the educational system,

Parent – teacher programmes should be developed,

The curriculum for teachers at supplementary educations schools should be improved, based on what has been learned,

Provide training for teaching staff in kindergartens.

Results of the first module, Germany

There is no united policy with respect to multilingualism in Germany, and each Land (Province) determines its own policies and practices.

There are high migrant populations in many German cities that use their own language. This services to enrich the local culture and society. Development in may areas depends to great extent on the languages spoken. Bilingualism needs to be supported in Germany and negative attitudes to migrant languages needs to be combated; the success of bilingual children at school very much depends on the policies and approach of local government.

Media and Science – there were 90 projects (including sub-projects) described in the first module.

EK presented the results of research that had recently been done in Germany, and an analysis of 177 projects relating to multilingualism, carried out by a wide range of organisations in all areas.

Olga Bramley gave a presentation on the Practical aspects of teaching young bilingual English-Russian children.

Before starting her talk, she introduced the recent Russian Song Festival, which was organised this year within the framework of the Bilium Project, as it was dedicated to the Russian-British Cross Cultural Year. The first event was a solo concert by the famous Russian singer Sergey Zakharov, and the second event was an international festival and contest of songs in Russian and English. Such projects play an important role in contributing to the aims and objectives of the Bilium Project. Russian culture is accepted and very much appreciated in the UK.

Olga expressed her thanks to the Project Coordinator, who had taken on a massive undertaking – with success.

There already exists a lot of information relating to good practice in training teaching staff at supplementary schools teaching bilingual children. The aim now is to ensure this information reaches the right people.

A Bilingual Education – Bilium Project Facebook page has been set up to disseminate information about the project to the public. All partners were requested to join the page and post their project materials on it –

The Bilium Part 1 publication has been sent to 20 organisations providing teacher training for staff dealing with young bilingual children in the UK. No feedback has been received so far, so further contacts will need to be made.

Summary of the key points made at the partners meeting in London, when, in consultation with teaching staff, proposals were discussed for a concept of teaching bilingual children:

Practical problems in teaching Russian/English bilingual children:

1. Teachers having to teach groups of pupils with different levels of language skills, so the approach to teaching is very individualised and preparations are very time-consuming for the teacher

2. Absence of comprehansive teaching books

3. Pronunciation difficulties

4. Difficulties in teaching Russian grammar, which is very complex, e.g. cases, complex sentences with connecting words

5. Lack of spontaneous learning, as using and practising the language is limited (native Russian children adapt quickly, and their Russian gets pushed aside

Practical recommendations for teaching bilingual Russian-English children:

1. Teaching a variety of methods and skills, flexibility, full palette

2. Music and songs, by a music teacher

3. The selection of talented literature/teaching texts needs to be emotionally charged (emotion is conducive to developing good memory skills)

4. Memory association techniques

5. Recorded literature/prose and poetry – variety of professional voices (male and female)

6. A unified system of class work and home work, i.e. home work needs to be relevant to the work covered in class

7. Reading aloud, including simultaneous reading

8. All types of skills need to be covered in a lesson – reading, writing, listening, speaking, – which must be interactive

9. Creative group work (creative work draws from all knowledge and skills, and materials are memorised)

10. Teaching history and culture

11. Pronunciation

12. Teaching diverse vocabulary

13. Using speech therapy methods

14. Using visual aids

15. Lessons recorded on DVD – using the library of such DVDs

16. Important identification of the subjects

17. Teaching the language of the country of residence

18. Introducing literary texts by the teacher in class before childrens reading, provoking interest

19. Presentation through reading aloud and reciting, dramatisation

TH asked whether the schools teaching is based on traditional Russian or western methods.

OBs reply: The School (in common with other, similar schools) works formally within the framework of the English educational system (i.e. pupils study to attain GCSE and A level qualifications). Most of the teaching staff are of the old guard, relying on the methodology traditionally used in Russian schools. However, around a third of staff teach in English schools, so English methodology is carries over to some extent. The School is managed along lines used in English schools. Tuition is individually structured, based on the individual childs needs (e.g pronunciation). Staff are given the freedom of choice of methodology and, as experienced and skilled professionals, they are accorded a great deal of trust – this brings positive results.
























Am 4. Juni 2014 findet am IBZ (Bahnhofstrasse 2/3, Greifswald) im Rahmen des „Internationalen Sprachen- und Tandem-Tages“ und in der Anlehnung an den 15. Deutschen Kinder- und Jugendhilfetag das letzte offizielle Treffen der Teilnehmer des EU-Projektes BILIUM ( , welches im Rahmen von Leonardo-da-Vinci-Partnerschaften vom Fremdsprachen- und Medienzentrum Universität Greifswald 2012 – 2014 durchgeführt wurde.
Das Hauptziel des Projektes, an dem elf Partnerorganisationen aus zehn Ländern (Österreich, Schweiz, Niederlande, England, Frankreich, Schweden, Italien, Tschechien, Spanien, Kroatien) beteiligt waren, bestand darin – ein internationales Fortbildungskonzept für Lehrer und Erzieher, die mit bilingual (2L1) aufwachsenden Kindern und ihren Familien beruflich zu tun haben, auszuarbeiten. Es ging also um Kinder und Jugendliche, deren Muttersprache nicht identisch ist mit der Sprache des Landes, in dem sie leben.
Die Projektergebnisse, die allen Interessenten am 4. Juni vorgestellt werden, bestehen aus drei Modulen:
– die Bestandsaufnahme der bereits vorhandenen politischen, gesellschaftlichen, rechtlichen und wissenschaftlichen Situation mit der Erhaltung, Förderung und Erforschung der Mehrsprachigkeit im Vorschul- und Grundschulalter in Deutschland und den Partnerländern;
– die sich darauf basierende Verfassung des eigentlichen Fort- und Weiterbildungskonzeptes für die Kita- und Grundschullehrer an den polykulturellen Bildungseinrichtungen;
– die Anpassung dieses modularen Konzeptes an die Gegebenheiten des jeweiligen Partnerlandes.
Es ist den Projektpartner unter der wissenschaftlichen Leitung der Mitarbeiter des Fremdsprachen- und Medien-Zentrums Universität Greifswald (Direktorin – PD Dr. H. Peters) gelungen – nicht nur das Konzept aufzubereiten, sondern bereits die ersten Schritte in die Richtung seiner Approbation und seiner Erweiterung durch die praxis-orientierte Instrumente der linguakulturellen Förderung der Migrantenkinder zu machen.

Diese sind vor allem im Zusammenwirken der Kita/Grundschule und des Elternhauses des bilingual aufwachsenden Kindes sowie, je nach dem Vorhandensein, der Einrichtung der Zusatzbildung (z.B. Migranten-e.V.) anzuwenden. So entsteht s.g. „Dreieck der gegenseitigen Integrations-Unversehrtheit“ („treugol’nik vzaimnoj integracionnoj sohrannosti“), das dem Kind die ausgewogene Integration in die Gesellschaften des bewohntes und des Ursprungslandes ermöglicht und ihn zur „Weltbürger“ wachsen lässt.
Diese Instrumente („Kalender-Portfolio eines bilingualen Vorschulkindes“, „Road Map Bilingual“) werden den Gästen am 4. Juni, ab 10.00 am IBZ durch das BILIUM-Konsortium präsentiert.
Das Programm:
10.00 – Begrüßung der Gäste und der Projektteilnehmer durch die Projektleiterin PD Dr. Heidrun Peters (FMZ Universität Greifswald)
10.30 – Begrüßung der Gäste im Namen des BILIUM-Projektkonsortiums durch die Schweizer Partner (Dr. Elena Denisova-Schmidt, Universität St.-Gallen, Schweiz)
11.00 – Projektdarstellung: Module, Technologien und Methoden (Thomas Hentschel, IKaRuS e.V.)
11.30 – Kaffee-Pause
12. 00 – Präsentation der Projektergebnisse (Modul I) (Konsortialmitglieder aus Österreich und Schweiz)
13.00 – Präsentation der Projektergebnisse (Modul II) (Dr. Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva, FMZ Universität Greifswald)
13.30 – Schlusswort und Einblicke in das BILIUMII-Projekt 2015-2017 (Thomas Hentschel)



Alle Interessenten sind herzlich eingeladen.
Veranstaltungssprachen – Deutsch und Englisch.
Es wird um die Anmeldung gebeten unter: ekoudrjavtseva(at)

в связи с 15. Всегерманским Днем помощи детям и подросткам

Последняя рабочая встреча в рамках проекта БИЛИУМ, посвященная презентации материалов 1 и 2 модулей проекта их целевой аудитории в ФРГ (воспитателям регулярных ДОУ, в первую очередь, и педагогам, занимающимся их обучением в педуниверситетах и т.д.) пройдет 4 июня, в «Международный День языков» (Internationaler Sprachen- und Tandem-Tag), в Институте иностранных языков и медиа-технологий Университета г. Грайфсвальда.

Адрес: IBZ, Bahnhofstrasse 2/3, Greifswald
Начало встречи: 10.00

Программа встречи:
10.00 – Приветствие участников от имени Института иностранных языков и медиа-технологий (приват-доцент, д-р Х. Петерс)
10.30 – Приветствие от имени консорциума проекта БИЛИУМ (д-р Е. Денисова-Шмидт)
11.00 – Описание стадий, технологии и методики проекта (Томас Хенчель)
11.30 – Кофе-пауза
12. 00 – Презентация результатов 1 модуля (авторы материалов 1го модуля по странам)
13.00 – Презентация результатов 2 модуля (канд.пед.наук Е. Кудрявцева)
13.30 – Заключительное слово и представление вариантов продолжения и развития проекта БИЛИУМ в 2015-2017 г. (Т. Хенчель)
14.00 – Обед в ресторане «Олива» (Domstraße 40, 17489 Greifswald;
15.00 – поездка участников и гостей встречи в г. Штральзунд





Планируется присутствие представителей коммунальных и земельных властей, педагогов ДОУ, в связи с чем презентации 1 и 2 модулей проходят параллельно в двух различных аудиториях на английском и немецком языках соответственно.


26-27, APRIL 2014 Russian/English Song Festival and International Bilingual Contest (in partnership with Eurolog-UK Association). To publicise BILIUM and demonstrate a bilingual approach to cultural activities. 2 videos were produced:

DAY 1 Russian/English Song Festival – CONCERT (in partnership with Eurolog-UK Association




PARIS Meeting of 10 November 2013

The 6th Bilium Partners Meeting took place in Paris on the 10th November 2013.

A total of 6 meetings have been held to date:

1. In Germany, at the University of Greifswald

2. In Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in the offices of the RusSchool organisation

3. In Gothenburg, Sweden, at the premises of the Russo-Swedish Cultural Association

4. In Vienna, Austria, in the offices of the Weltsprachen Institute

5. In the United Kingdom, at the London School of Russian Language and Literature

6. In Paris, France, at the premises of the Union des Russophonies

In attendance at the meeting were:

Irina Krivova and Nedezhda Golizdra (France), Olga Bramley and Maria Zheleznikova (United Kingdom), Olga Sterensis (the Netherlands), Inna and Anna Khromova (Sweden), Elena Denisova-Schmidt and Alexander Schmidt (Switzerland).

1. Discussion of a letter from the National Agency of France to our French partners – commentaries on the progress of the project

Irina Krivova:

There is a need for:

a) appointing an evaluator

b) creating 3 working groups

The participants of the meeting expressed their regret that the project coordinator was not present.

In the event that groups cannot be formed in accordance with the application, it was proposed that the following groups are formed instead:

1) UK, France, Sweden – to work with bilingual children in schools

2) Switzerland is to create a project group in agreement with E. Koudrjavtseva

3) Netherlands – an administrative group for disseminating information, checking websites, facebook groups, and monitoring the progress of the projects

The project coordinator will need to be consulted in respect of the project evaluator. Who exactly is this meant to be?

Olga Bramley reminded the partners that there is a “Bilium” group on Facebook and invited them to be more active in placing existing material onto this page.

2. Results of the first year into the project

a) Each country has carried out research into the situation regarding the teaching of bilingual children in the respective countries. Materials for this were taken from the media, scientific and published research works, and also legislation. This research was translated into English, mainly by the partners themselves and in part also by the London School of Russian Language and Literature. The material was also edited by the London School, including the material of the associated partners. All translations have been included in the printed brochure, of which the layout and typesetting were done in the UK, and the printing has been proposed to be carried out in Prague.

b) The participants of the meeting were all agreed that each country should receive a minimum of 25 copies of the published brochure (distribution is only via the official partner of the project). The partners will ask the project coordinator, Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva, for an estimate of the costs of the brochure, and also for documents relating to the conditions of publication, so that a final joint decision may be taken. (I. Khromova advised that there had been a proposal from Sweden to publish the brochure free of charge, but this had not been realised.)

c) It was decided by the participants of the meeting that once the final costs for the brochure are agreed, if the printing costs are not paid by a third party (e.g. Rossotrudnichestvo) then they will need to be met by the partners themselves, except for the UK.

d) A decision on the logos for the brochure was agreed unanimously: logos of all the official partners, along with the name of the organisations, are to be included in all printed matter.

3. Discussion of the concept of the programme of further training for teaching staff at pre-school educational institutions

There followed a discussion by the partners of the project on the concept document “A comprehensive approach to teaching bilingual children language in bilingual pre-school educational institutions (PEIs) in the European Union”.

This document was first presented to the partners at the meeting in Gothenburg in a report by the project coordinator. In discussing the proposed materials, the partners proposed to complete the concept in such a way that it reflected real, practical experience of working with bilingual children.

At the following meeting in Austria, the project coordinator presented a sample questionnaire for teachers working with bilingual children. During the discussion, the partners made suggestions for simplifying the questions and making them more specific. At the meeting in London the teaching staff (focus group) of the London School of Russian Language and Literature (LSRLL) made concrete proposals for the structuring and contents of the concept of the programme of further training courses and for the methodology of working with bilinguals (see the documentary film of the seminar and minutes of the meeting).

In the UK, the LSRLL conducted oral surveys on 16 teachers, in accordance with the concept. 16 teachers were similarly surveyed in Sweden.

Just before the meeting in Paris, the English version of the concept, in its present state of development, was edited by the LSRLL (George Bramley), and distributed to all partners. Olga Bramley commended the project coordinator, Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva, for the huge amount of work that she had put into compiling the programme’s concept.

Proposals by the participants during the discussion:

1. To reduce the terms used in the project to a common denominator.

2. To make amendments to the age groupings in the conception. In some places, the age group 1.5 to 5 years is given, but in others from 1 to 6 years.

3. The decision was taken by all participants to continue the work on clarifying which institutions in the partner countries provide teacher training for PEI staff. The partners agreed to take the necessary steps. As far as the techniques for introducing our concept into their further training programmes were concerned, the partners were of the opinion that they were not adequate for this purpose, but would take steps to disseminate the concept in their countries. (Inna Khromova reported that she had been in touch with a university offering these courses and had received the information required.)

4. The variable part of the concept was presented. The proposal was accepted to carry out a survey among the teachers’ colleagues and other teaching staff in our centres, and to collect their suggestions and wishes with regard to the contents of the programme of further training courses.

5. During the course of the meeting, the partners exchanged their experiences of working on the socio-psychological aspects of bilinguals, as well as methodology and visual aids for teaching Russian – and in speech therapy with teachers of the “Galactica” (Boulogne) and “Azbuka” (Courbevoie) Schools.

6. Elena Denisova-Schmidt proposed that George Bramley should be declared Science Editor of the first module. All agreed to the proposal.

7. It was agreed to continue working on the concept at the next meeting, planned for the first week of April 2014.

All decisions were agreed unanimously.

The organisers of the meeting in Paris were thanked by everyone. There had been a full programme, which was very informative – the partners visited a supplementary education school – “Alye Parusa” (in Paris), and were introduced to the school’s teaching methods and practices. As part of the cultural programme, the partners visited the Embassy of the Russian Federation and were invited to the “Russian Word, Russian Soul” festival.

8 – 10 ноября 2013 СОЮЗ РУСОФОНОВ ФРАНЦИИ (UNION DES RUSSOPHONES DE FRANCE) при поддержке европейской программы Леонадро да Винчи провел очередной международный семинар в рамках проекта «БИЛИУМ» в Париже.


Проект BILIUM стартовал в августе 2012

Инициатором и координатором проекта является Институт иностранных языков и медиа-технологий университета Грайфсвальда.



Руководитель Европейского проекта «БИЛИУМ» – доктор, приват-доцент госпожа Хайдрун Петерс (Германия)

Проект рассчитан на 2 года и включает в себя модули по сбору и обработке информации о статусе естественного билингвизма в странах ЕС-партнерах проекта ( ФРГ – координатор Екатерина Кудрявцева, Австрия – координатор Андерс Виктор, Великобритания – координатор Ольга Брамли, Дания – координатор Маргарита Попова, Италия – координатор Елена Царева, Нидерланды – координатор Ольга Штереншис, Франция – координатор Ирина Кривова, Хорватия – координатор Татьяна Миколай, Чехия – координатор Анна Евсина, Швейцария – координатор Елена Денисова-Шмидт, Швеция – координатор Ирина Хромова ) и по созданию концепции программы переквалификации/ повышения квалификации для педагогических кадров, работающих с естественными билингвами в системе дополнительного образования.

С приветственным словом к участникам семинара в Париже обратилась председатель Правления СОЮЗА РУСОФОНОВ ФРАНЦИИ Ирина Кривова.

Партнеры проекта приступили к выработке разработанной концепции, которая была разослана всем партнерам на английском языке перед встречей.

Директор Лондонской школы русского языка и литературы – одной из первых в Европе русских школ, работающих с билингвами (Русский+Английский)- Ольга Брамли (Англия) предложила партнерам разделить дальнейшую работу по группам.

Партнеры проекта приступили к выработке концепции A Comprehensive approach to teaching bilingual children language in bilingual pre school educational institutions in the European union по образовательным программам для преподавателей работающих со школьниками в государственных ДОУ.

В ходе выступлений участники семинара обменивались мнениями и собственным опытом. С большим интересом и вниманием в теплой дружественной атмосфере обсуждались рабочие вопросы.

Партнеры проекта «БИЛИУМ» посетили школы, ознамились с практикой работы и методикой работы с билингвами в школе дополнительного образования Алые паруса (Париж).

Прошел обмен методик и наглядных пособий по преподаванию русского языка логопедия с преподавателями школ Галактика( Булонь) и Азбуки (Корбевуа).

Завершилась рабочая встреча в уютном ресторане в центре Парижа совместным ужином участников из стран-партнёров. Все участники Европейского проекта «BiliUM» поблагодарили партнеров из Франции за теплый дружественный приём, за отличную организацию семинара и пожелали им дальнейших творческих успехов.

В плане культурной программы, Ирина Кривова организовала посещение партнеров проекта в здание Посольства РФ во Франции , где была предоставлена возможность не только принять участие в замечательном Фестивале “Русское слово, русская душа”, но и познакомиться и пообщаться с руководителем и членами Координационного совета российских соотечественников, проживающих во Франции.

“Хотелось бы отметить, что координатор проекта во Франции Ирина Кривова организовала встречу на высоком уровне”, – отметила координатор Европейского проекта «BiliUM» в Нидерландах, председатель Правления Координационного совета объединенных организаций российских соотечественников в Нидерландах, член комиссии европейских проектов от Нидерландов Ольга Штереншис.

На следующий день желающие совершили интересную экскурсию по городу.

Напомним, в проекте «BiliUM» участвуют три университета, две международных ассоциации, коммунальные ведомства и методисты системы государственного и дополнительного образования, имеющие опыт работы со смешенными аудиториями (с т.з. возраста, уровня владения как одной, так и различными языковыми комбинациями).

На международный проект «BiliUM» Европейская комиссия выделила 113 000 евро



“Practices of teaching languages to bilingual children”

Innovative LANGUAGES learning approaches in Europe: Reports – PARTNERS’ CONTRIBUTIONS

Date 5TH meeting

12th – 14th July 2013


Brookland Junior School

Hill Top, London

NW11 6EJ


London School of Russian Language and Literature

59A Oakwood Road

NW 11 6R London

United Kingdom[GB]

Tel: 0044 (0)20845860770044 (0)2084586077

National ID No.4406059


12 JULY-PARTNERS’ ARRIVAL – 19.00 meeting for dinner

The organisers request, that all the participants arrive in time for the meeting.

Saturday 13th July 2013 Introducing practices of teaching languages to bilingual children used by the London School of Russian Language and Literature

9 am – 11 a.m. Visiting the school lessons of the partners’ choice:

· 9.15 – 9.45 Russian Lesson to age group 3-4 “Solnechnye Zaichiki (Sun Rays)

Teachers: Irina Ponomariova, Hanna Brain

· 9:20-10:50 Russian Lesson to age group 4-5 “Zolotye Rybki” (Goldfish) Teacher: Katerina Gerasimova

· 9.30 -10.00 Russian Lesson to age group 5-6 “Zolotye Grebeshki”. Russian Reading Lesson to age group 5-6. Teacher: Yelena Pilipenko

· 9.30 -10.00 Russian Reading Lesson to age group 6-8. “Kolobki” (Gingerbreadmen). Teacher: T. Fonari

· 9.30 – 10.10 Integrated Russian Reading and General Lesson to age group 6-8. Teacher: Regina Nauts

· 9.30 – 10.10 Russian Reading and Speaking Lesson to age group 9-11. Teacher: Ludmila Nesheret

· 9.15-10.00 Literature Teaching to Year 5-6. Teacher: Luisa Pavlova

· 10-10.30 Literature Teaching to Year 7-8. Teacher: Dr. Natalya Moroz

11 a.m. 1.30 p.m. 16th School End of Year Awards Ceremony and Performance


1.30 p.m.- 2 p.m. Lunch Break (Hot lunch provided for the Bilium Project Guests @£10.00 per person)

2 p.m – 3 p.m. Discussions: The London School of Russian Language and Literature

o Introduction

o Approach to bi-lingual teaching at the London School of Russian in the light of the Bilium Project

o Best practices identified.

o Identifying and discussing the requirement for teacher-training, based on the Russian Supplementary Schools’ experience

Sunday 14th July 2013 Making future plans: exclusive partners’ meeting

10.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Discussing the project outcomes under the aspect of:

o What has been learnt from the project so far?

o What are the future project actions you wish to take for your organisation, as to its contribution to the proposed teaching module

(5 min per institution. If applicable, use pictures in order to be clear and concise)

o Discussing the development of the proposed teaching module

Bilium Project Facebook Page- the concept and type of contributions

o Bring wishes, ideas, contributions, your best photographs and electronic knowledge!

Establishing Action-Plan:

o Planning pedagogical seminars and workshops in public supporting the research projects

13.00- Lunch and sight –seeing

The organisers retain the right to change the programme radio_broadcast/73145555/ 109281583/


Ольга Бреедвелд. Для меня всегда важно увидеть на практике, как работают другие преподаватели, как реагируют и отвечают дети.

12-14 июля 2013 г. гостеприимно открыла двери для проведения семинара «Практическое обучение детей-билингвов» в рамках проекта «Билиум» Лондонская школа русского языка и литературы (первая профессиональная субботняя школа Англии, Член Международной Ассоциации русских культурно-образовательных центров в Европе) – (директор Ольга Брамли).

В семинаре принимали участие партнеры по проекту из разных стран Европы, таких как Австрии, Франции, Швейцарии, Германии, Нидерландов.


Overview of Research on the subject of Multilingualism in England


English is the (de facto) official language of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and is spoken as a primary or sole language by 95% of the population of the country. Welsh is the second most spoken language and is used by 19.7% of the population of Wales. Other officially recognised minority languages used within the United Kindom are: Cornish, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Lowland Scots and British Sign Language. In addition, the main migrant languages are: Arabic, Punjabi, Bengali, Saraiki, Urdu, Sylheti, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, French, South-western Caribbean Creole, Malayalam, Tamil, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Polish and Russian.[1]

The United Kingdom, and in particular London, is an extremely multicultural and multilingual nation with a very rich diversity of languages spoken, alongside English as the principal means of communication. Most of these languages are present for historical reasons, mainly as a result of mass immigration in recent decades of people from former colonies (notably India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the West Indies) and also from other parts of the world (e.g. China, Italy, Russia, the Middle East).

Community languages are spoken by over 5.5% of the population, the largest group – 2.7% – being South Asian languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Hindi and Gujarati. London is home to 45% of the total ethnic minority population, but community languages are spoken throughout the country. [2]

Other languages, such as Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic and Cornish, are indigenous to the country. With the exception of the Welsh language, which is in fairly common usage, is taught in Welsh schools as a compulsory subject and is otherwise maintained and actively promoted by the Welsh government and local authorities, these languages are used by only a small minority of the population and are not supported in any significant way by the local authorities or administrations. Scottish Gaelic is spoken by only 1.4% of the population of Scotland, and Irish Gaelic by 6.6% of the population of Northern Ireland. These figures compare with 21% in the case of Welsh, which also enjoys status as an official language.[3]


National policies relating to the teaching of other languages in schools and colleges in England are decided by the Department for Education. The Department is responsible for the education of young people up to the age of 19. There is a similar Department for Northern Ireland, whereas policies relating to Scotland and Wales are decided by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly respectively. This report and the research carried out into multilingualism are concerned with the legislation and practice in England only, unless otherwise stated.

Although the Department for Education (DfE) recognises the benefits of maintaining the linguistic and cultural traditions of ethnic minority groups in education policy and planning, it takes the view that responsibility for developing and maintaining the mother tongue should rest with the ethnic minority communities themselves, and that the language of teaching in schools should be English. In this respect, its objectives are to ensure that children whose mother tongue is not English attain proficiency in English, and hence include them into mainstream education, as speedily as possible, as well as to raise awareness and understanding among policy makers, educational establishments and local authorities of the barriers to achievement faced by learners of English as an additional language (EAL), including refugees, asylum seekers and those who have just arrived in the country. To this end, the “Skills for Life” strategy, initiated in 2001, seeks to improve the quality of teaching in literacy, numeracy and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

My research into studies and research projects recently carried out by academic staff at universities and educational institutions strongly suggests that the major factor perceived by educationalists and policy makers as a barrier to achievement in the above situation is the lack of fluency in English or a standard of English of speakers of EAL lower than that of their native-speaking peers. Speaking a first language (at home) is often seen as an impediment to learning English and to good academic performance in general, and priority must be given to learning English as the main medium of communication and learning.

However, one of the most important lessons to be learned from the findings of this research is that, contrary to this belief, speaking or knowing another language at home brings invaluable benefits to learning a second language. Whereas the need for children to master the official language of the country they reside in is obvious and not disputed, there are valid arguments for questioning the wisdom of pursuing a policy that disregards the need for tuition in the mother tongue of EAL speakers.

The views and policies of the DfE in this respect would not appear to comply fully with EU regulations, which require it to “take appropriate measures to promote … teaching of the mother tongue and culture of the country of origin …” (Article 3 of Directive 77/486/EEC). Moreover, Article 45 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families states that the adoptive country should make endeavours to provide tuition of the native language and culture to migrant children.

The DfE has, however, passed a recent proposal to make the teaching of foreign languages compulsory in maintained primary schools from September 2014. Traditionally, foreign languages have only been taught at comprehensive (secondary) schools, tuition in these subjects at primary schools being very limited and dependent on local interest. The proposal was subject to a public consultation in November and December 2012 of primary and secondary school staff, university students, local authorities, organisations representing teaching staff and other organisations. The vast majority of those consulted were in agreement with such a move and recognised its benefits: young children had a natural aptitude for learning languages and are comfortable switching between languages; making languages compulsory in primary schools would lead to raised attainment levels in secondary schools, give children a more global outlook and enhance their career prospects.

A possible explanation for this proposal (in light of the DfE’s view that foreign languages should be maintained by the minority communities themselves) is that it concerns the teaching of modern European languages: French, Spanish, German and Italian (although Mandarin is also included in the list of possible options), whereas ethnic community or migrant languages appear to be regarded by policy makers and educationalists in a different light, or are accorded less importance. In her detailed study “Language Planning and Policy in Manchester”[4], Andrea Donakey refers to a “hierarchy” of foreign language teaching in England, with European languages (e.g. French, German, Spanish) enjoying a higher status than community languages (e.g. Urdu, Arabic).

In 2010, in response to, among other things, an overall decline in the general interest to study other languages, and the opportunity to take these subjects at (secondary) school, the DfE introduced the English Baccalaureate, a performance measure designed to gauge the number of pupils attaining grade C or above in core academic subjects including foreign languages. A survey carried out in 2012 found that the increased take-up of subjects including languages is reversing the long-term trend of decline in this area. Schools now have more flexibility in deciding which languages should be taught, and these need not be any of the official EU languages. Factors such as resources, future vocation, local and regional needs and personal preference must be taken into consideration. Foreign languages remain, however, non-compulsory subjects in English secondary schools in spite of the government’s “National Language Strategy”, the objective of which is to improve the teaching and learning of other languages.

In response to the needs of people from migrant communities with little or no knowledge of English, local authorities are providing more and more services in foreign languages, such as interpreting and translation services, public information in other languages, library resources and supplementary education in community languages. Supplementary schools are set up mainly by speakers of community or minority languages and operate outside normal school hours. They may receive funding from the local authorities, although the regulations and criteria for qualifying for this type of funding differ greatly from area to area. Similar funding may also be available to so-called “language colleges”, i.e. comprehensive schools with enhanced subject (language) status, which has been achieved through outstanding performance and innovation.


There has been a considerable amount of research carried out in recent years into the subject of multilingualism in England by the Department for Education, universities, institutes and other educational organisations, with particular reference to how it is handled in, and what impact it has on, the educational system, in terms of policy, planning and practice.

Broadly speaking, it has been possible to identify four common themes or approaches that have determined the objectives and reasons for this research and the way in which it has been carried out: bilingual teaching or teaching in a multilingual environment; working with texts; attitudes to multilingualism in education; and international collaboration and sharing good practice. It makes sense, therefore, to present an overview of the research findings according to these categories.

Research studies have been chiefly carried out and presented by academic staff, experienced teaching professionals, educationalists and specialists in teaching and pedagogy. They have tended to be classroom-based, involving pupils in nurseries, primary schools and, to a more limited extent, secondary schools.

Bilingual teaching/Teaching in a multilingual environment

There were some six or so projects that involved the teaching of children in a bilingual setting, either in mainstream education or in community (supplementary) schools. The pupils’ first language was used in some or all subjects alongside English by both teaching staff, in giving instruction and tuition, and pupils, who were allowed and encouraged to read, write and speak in both languages.

It was universally found that this practice of using two languages conjointly brought a good number of clear benefits to teaching young children:

  • It promotes learning and the improvement of attainment levels, not only in the languages being used, but in other subjects as well,
  • It enhances creativity and imagination,
  • It promotes social integration and, at the same time, identity, making the child feel proud of his/her bilingualism,
  • For all the above reasons, the school becomes a more attractive place for both pupil and teacher, which can lead to more pupils wanting to join and more teachers wanting to remain at the school.

Issues of identity and the child’s background and home environment affect the choice of language used. An understanding of these is important and children should be encouraged to switch between languages.

The system of supplementary language schools for bilingual children (also known as “heritage schools”) has proved to be very effective not only for maintaining the mother tongue and helping the children to improve the language of the country of residence, but also for providing a “cushioned” psychological environment, and an additional broad education of a high standard. These findings are supported by the success and long experience of The London School of Russian Language and Literature, a supplementary Russian language school for children of families in which one or both parents are native Russian speakers. The school has been operating for fifteen years. Lessons in Russian language and literature, history and mathematics are conducted in Russian for 3-4 hours on one day of the week. Students work with unadapted original Russian textbooks and literary works, similar to those their peers in Russia work with at their schools. In addition, homework is given to revise what was covered in class. After several years, students of the school almost invariably achieve the highest possible grades in GCSE and A-level examinations, and, in many cases, attain a standard of Russian (spoken and written) much higher than that of native-English graduates in Russian from the best UK universities. Further testimony is provided by regular letters of thanks and praise from parents, who often express their satisfaction with the excellent progress made by their child and the speed with which this is achieved. Pupils are intelligent, academically gifted and highly creative, and there can be no doubt that their experience at the school contributes to this to a considerable degree. On completing their course at the school, a number of students are not only able to read unadapted Russian literature, speak the language fluently and understand Russian speech at a natural tempo, but are also able to produce creative work in their mother tongue to a high standard, including writing poetry or high quality in-depth translations of literature and poetry into English. As a recent example, the English translations of the lyrics of a number of traditional Russian romances produced by a former pupil of the school were very effective and professionally composed, and displayed a high level of skills and feeling.[5]

Working with texts

A very effective method of working with texts in a bilingual learning environment is the use of dual-language books, i.e. reading books written in both the native or home language and in the main language of the country of residence. Although the purpose of these materials may well be to improve the skills of the child in reading and understanding the one language, this research shows that both languages can be developed in this way. In addition, children learn to explore and analyse the similarities and differences between the two languages and critical literacy skills are developed. Just as importantly, there is increased confidence in and enthusiasm for reading.

The comprehensive study “Children’s Understanding of Text in a Multilingual Nursery”[6], by Charmian Kenner, looked at how everyday literacy materials brought into the nursery from the children’s homes (e.g. magazines, maps, cooking recipes) could be used in addition to traditional narratives and storybooks, which are most often the only materials used to teach literacy in primary schools in England, in order to develop literacy skills in young children and to improve children’s understanding of language genre, texts and their meaning.

Another important study, “Becoming Biliterate: London six-year-olds learning different writing systems”[7], by Charmian Kenner, Gunther Kress et al, had the objective of examining, through observing how children taught their classmates about writing in their home language, what the children understood about writing as a system of representation and what comparisons the children make between the two systems (languages used).

Attitudes to multilingualism in education

While the values and benefits of a multicultural society are generally recognised and even encouraged throughout the country in all aspects of life, there appears to be a widely-held opinion, prevalent not only among educationalists and policy makers but also parents and children, that using or developing a first language is not conducive to good academic performance or to second language acquisition, and that insufficient skills in English present an impediment to learning. Moreover, supplementary schools and institutions set up by minority ethnic communities are frequently perceived as separate and inferior in knowledge to mainstream schools. Such views appear to have a direct impact on shaping the current practices and policies in schools in England where there are significant numbers of multilingual pupils.

The two papers “Leading Increasingly Linguistically Diverse London Schools”[8], by Dina Mehmedbegović, and “The Role of Community Groups and Community Language Schools in Initial Teacher Education”[9] by Dr. Leena Helavaara Robertson, examine the prevalent attitudes in the light of education policy and practice in more detail. As a result of the latter study, significant progress in combating the problem in the field of teacher training has already made through developing teaching materials and resources for teaching staff, teacher training providers and students.

International Collaboration and Sharing Good Practice

There are several organisations from the UK that are currently involved in active collaboration projects with schools and organisations in other countries, mainly through the European Shared Treasure programme, funded by the EU Comenius Partnership strategy.

These projects, which have been designed to involve the active participation of young children, typically involve classroom activities, joint working, communication and active involvement. For example, in setting up an on-line newspaper, children were closely involved in the design and planning, making and implementing decisions and monitoring and evaluating the success of the project. The intention with these projects is to create a learning environment that is conducive to promoting linguistic and intercultural understanding, developing the child’s sense of identity and sharing ideas, opinions and cultures by freely communicating in two languages.

In other projects, collaboration, best practice and experience of teacher training and language development are shared through mutual visits, job shadowing and joint conferences.

The Media

The subject of multilingualism in the UK press tends to be divided into two general strands: 1) the teaching of modern foreign languages at school, which is generally viewed in a very critical light, i.e. that much still needs to be done to address an overall decline in the teaching of foreign languages, the poor performance in general of students learning other languages and other problems in this area; and 2) the prevalence and rich variety of multiculturalism in migrant communities (e.g. Asian, Oriental, African), in which multilingualism plays a part. In this respect, it is generally regarded as something very positive and attractive; its benefits are recognised and there is a general consensus that multilingualism should be developed further.

As an illustration of this, The Guardian featured an article entitled “Schools can only benefit from bilingual pupils” in December 2007, which wrote in praise of a successful multicultural primary school in East London, in which 42 different languages are spoken and 70% of children speak English as a second language. The head teacher of the school describes the benefits of a multicultural environment: children’s first language skills promote second language acquisition, enthusiasm for learning is increased, parents are supportive and there is also a lot that monolingual children can learn from.

Although the government appears to encourage and support the development of both types of language tuition (community languages in supplementary schools and modern foreign languages in main-stream schools), general media coverage points to an ever-decreasing funding from central government in this area. For example, an article in The Independent of 12th November 2011 explains that the decision taken by the University of Glasgow to cut courses in most modern languages, apart from French and Spanish, is a direct response to government funding deficits. It argues, however, that the decision might be rash or short-sighted, and suggests that it is more expensive in the longer term to re-establish a university department that has been closed down than to keep it running. Essentially, learning other languages is crucial for multiculturalism to be effective and for improving the mobility and employment prospects of young people.

This last point is often echoed by other journalists, notably in The Times, and in letters from the public (to the same paper), who express concern that the country is clearly at a disadvantage economically and in other respects in failing to do more to improve the teaching of foreign languages at schools and universities, in spite of the generally accepted status of English as the main vehicle for communication internationally.

Other articles and letters from the public speculate on the reasons for the general decline in learning foreign languages and for the relatively poor achievement of students in these subjects:

  • foreign languages tend to be regarded as superfluous since English has become the dominant world language,
  • they may be difficult to learn,
  • it is easier for children to attain high standards in a language they speak at home than for those who learn the language from scratch,
  • the number of hours spent teaching languages in the classroom is far lower than in other countries,
  • foreign languages were made optional subjects in secondary schools as a result of recent government policy.

There is also a large difference in the numbers of students taking examinations in modern languages, which has been very low in state schools but has been maintained in independent schools.

Finally, the Financial Times reported in February 2011 on an interesting study carried out recently, which found that, contrary to the traditional belief that bilingualism was in some way a “cognitive handicap”, knowing two languages is in fact beneficial to a child’s development, guards against dementia in older life and has other benefits too.


Academic staff and professionals in the field of education have made a strong case for improving and developing the teaching of foreign languages in the English educational system, in particular in mainstream schools.

There is clearly a growing appreciation, not only among academics and educationalists but also among the general public, for the benefits of knowing and speaking a second language and of maintaining and developing the first language of people from ethnic minority backgrounds. An understanding of these benefits and a will to bring about a reverse to the decline in the teaching of both community languages and modern foreign languages are also evident from the research carried out in this project.

There are, of course, arguments to the effect that providing services in other languages, and this may include supplementary schooling, may discourage people who speak little or no English from learning the language of the country, thus preventing an obstacle to their full integration into society and limiting their prospects for employment. There is also the concern that the usefulness of some such services may not justify the high costs involved. However, the advantages of maintaining a first language or of learning a second one are far more compelling in considering any longer term planning and strategy in relation to language tuition.

The research studies and projects examined here provide invaluable advice and guidelines on how to go about this effectively and with lasting success.

George Bramley

The London School of Russian Language and Literature

[1] Wikipedia, 16.02.2013

[2] BBC website, “Languages across Europe”, 18.02.2013

[3] BBC website, “Languages across Europe”, 18.02.2013

[4] University of Manchester, School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, 2007

[6] Goldsmiths College, University of London

[7] Institute of Education and Goldsmiths College, University of London

[8] London Institute of Education

[9] Middlesex University

7. Meeting

Place: University of St. Gallen (HSG) (CH)

Date: 4-6 April 2014

Project Partners: Viktor Anders (AT), Tatjana Mahler (AT), Olga Bramley (UK), Inna Khromova-Plehanova (SE), Anna Kasenova (SE), Olga Malyshvea (DE), Hannah Gramlich (DE), Sergej Prokopkin (DE), Thomas Hentschel (DE), Dr. Elena Denisova-Schmidt (CH)

Dr. Elena Denisova-Schmidt, the host, gave a short overview of the current situation with heritage languages in Switzerland as well as the consequences raised by the referendum of 9 February 2014 and the temporary exclusion of Switzerland from Erasmus+ and some other programs. After this, the floor was given to Thomas Hentschel, who moderated a discussion on the following topics:

1. Didactical recommendations for working with bilinguals

2. Preparing the planned outcome (Module 2)

3. Using the results in professional education and curriculum development

The list of institutions providing training for pre-school teachers prepared by the Austrian partners was taken as an example and debated. There are some differences in the educational systems between European countries: In some countries, teachers are trained at universities (for example, in Finland and partly in the UK), while in other countries, university study is not required (for example, in Germany and Switzerland – just Berufsausbildung). Some partners still need to submit their lists ASAP.

Cooperation between state schools and schools offering supplemental education (for example, in heritage languages) should be developed. Some public schools in the UK have many migrant students with a low level of English. Language assistants (professionals, native speakers) accompany those students in classes and support them in the learning process. There is also some cooperation between state schools and schools offering HSK lessons in some Swiss cantons.

Extracurricular activities might be a sufficient tool for maintaining and developing heritage languages. Those activities might include work with families and various cultural and sporting events (summer camps, sport competitions, music festivals). The example of the London School of Russian Language and Literature was raised.

The brochure for Module 2 is being edited by George Bramley (UK). Olga Bramley (UK) will take a look at the final version in the first third of May. Question to the Publisher: May we submit the manuscript on 15 May?

Project partners discussed possible tools for dissemination and ways the project could be developed, including the possibility of additional funding on a regional basis. NB: Project partners are now actively looking for ways to contact potential stakeholders, especially colleges of professional education.

The project will have the following outcomes:

2 Brochures:

Bilium, Part I, Retorika A 2014 (published)

Bilium, Part II, Retorika A 2014 (in the editing process)

1 Facebook page:

1 website:

1 movie:

The final meeting will take place in Greifswald, Germany (4 June 2014).

Minutes of the Bilium Project Partners’ Meeting

“Professional Education: Change management in organisations, developing new working programmes for kindergartens”,

Vienna, Austria, 15 June 2013.

The meeting was hosted by Viktor Anders and Tatjana Mahler of the Weltsprachen Institute. Also in attendance were partners and representatives from the partner organisations: France (J. Feougier), Germany (E. Koudrjavtseva), Switzerland (E. Denisova-Schmidt), the United Kingdom (O. and G. Bramley), Sweden (I. Khromova) and the Netherlands (O. Sterensis).

Viktor Anders welcomed the participants and started the meeting by giving some background information and basic statistics on multilingualism in Austria. For example, in a recent competition for schoolchildren, who had to give a talk in both German and their native language, 45 languages were represented, the main ones being Bosnian, Turkish, Arabic, Polish and Hungarian. There are at present over 22,000 schoolchildren in Austria whose mother tongue is not German. This figure represents a little over 19% of all schoolchildren. Other studies have also shown that there are high numbers of speakers of these languages in the country.

Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva reminded the partners of the importance of submitting the interim report (by post and electronically) by the end of June.

Internet sites (with material in English) should be mentioned in the report. Viktor needs the partners’ Skype addresses to create a group site.

The EST database details must also be completed on-line by the 1st October 2013.

There then followed an update and discussion of the work done to date by the partners on the first module of the project; to devise a new teaching programme for use in kindergartens and pre-schools.

An initial questionnaire had been devised for teaching staff involved in teaching multilingual children (at main-stream and supplementary schools) for the purpose of gaining an initial general picture of teaching practices, approaches and methodology in the respective countries. This was presented to the participants and discussed in detail. Olga Bramley proposed that two separate questionnaires are produced; one for self-employed teachers and another for use by school directors, which would be more useful for all concerned. It was also suggested that the wording in some of the questions is changed. Moreover, the document needs to be written in English.

It was agreed that the partners would examine the questionnaire and get back to Ekaterina, Project Coordinator, with objective recommendations by the 1st July 2013, so that the form can be distributed by the 10 July. Completed forms will then need to be returned to Ekaterina by the 1st September 2013.

Compilation of the full written material is nearing completion but it will need to be translated into English. It was agreed that George Bramley would carry out thorough proof-reading/editing, but would not be in a position to translate the document.

The complete material needs to be sent to print by the 1st August, and the deadline for publishing the results of the 1st Module is the 1st October 2013.

Olga Bramley proposed creating a Facebook page for the group.

The partners then went on to discuss the overall situation of Russian language teaching at schools throughout Europe. Current issues affecting teaching programmes are typically challenges presented by contemporary life and the modern age, e.g. new technology, in the face of traditional methods and approaches. In Germany, there are noticeable differences in the typical approach to teaching of Russian teaching staff and their German peers. For example, German teachers are more likely to recognise that languages, including Russian, have evolved over time, and their relationship with the children is rather more formal or reserved than their Russian counterparts, who are typically on more familiar terms with the children.

There are a good number of supplementary schools teaching Russian throughout Europe, in which the high standard of teaching has been acknowledged. Examples were given of schools in France, Germany and Spain.

The next meeting will be held in London on the 13 July at the London School of Russian Language and Literature.   George Bramley

London School of Russian Language and Literature


BILIUM Project Seminar and 3-rd Partner Meeting

Odinsskola, Gothenburg, Sweden

13 April 2013

Introduction and welcome by Inna Khromova-Plekhanova, Chair of the Russo-Swedish Cultural Society and co-ordinator of the project in Sweden.

The Society was founded in1995 and is the largest in Sweden, providing opportunities for communication and social exchange among children in a multilingual environment. It opens on Sundays, and for special occasions such as new year concerts. It is very popular with Russian-speaking children, who typically make figures, decorations etc.

As many as 700 children participate in activities arranged by the Society, such as Russian language learning, drawing, art and creative craft work. Lessons and activities are free of charge and take place at the Odinsskola. Teaching is done on voluntary basis but the school receives funding from the state.

Features of teaching bilingual children (Russo-Swedish bilingualism) and Presentation of the subjects taught at the School by Elena Strelkova, teacher of literature and drawing.

When is the best time to start teaching children other languages?

The answer to this question is simply; as soon as possible. A child is able to perceive sounds and voices while still in the womb and can even recognise his own mother’s voice. Even at a very early stage, children have an enormous capacity for learning. The age of 3 is crucial for a child’s acquisition of knowledge and information, but in order to learn a language properly help is needed.

Russian is the fourth most spoken language in world and has by far the highest numbers of speakers among the Slavonic languages. It is a highly inflected language with a complex grammar structure. 300 million people speak Russian, and it is the mother tongue of a great many people from the countries of the former Soviet Union now living e.g. in Western Europe. In Sweden there are around 95,000 Russian-speaking people (quite a high number considering the country’s small population).

The subjects taught at the school include: drawing, dancing, arithmetic, culture, Russian Literature, Russian language. All sensory organs are used in learning these subjects, e.g. pictures are used to teach colours, songs are used to describe sounds (e.g. storms, rain). Singing is an important teaching method, in Swedish as well as in English. A lot of materials are imported from Russia. Picture books and visual aids are used to a large extent, e.g. ‘ABC’ books (“azbuka”) are ideal for teaching about animals and some can reproduce their sounds. Other books show the seasons/months of the year in chart form alongside a clock, so that analogies can be made as an aid to memory: 12 hours/12 months. Different coloured boxes are used to represent specific items or categories (for very young children, e.g. 2 years). For example, 12 boxes of different colours represent the months of the year, each one containing 30/31 smaller items denoting the days of month. On using up, i.e. counting down the items, the child learns that a new box – i.e. month – will be started.

It was stressed that results can be achieved only if attendance is regular.

Alexey Zgersky, Artist, teacher of drawing at the School – commended the work of Inna and all the other teaching staff, and commented that the teaching of Russian in Sweden is going from strength to strength, and its effect has been to cultivate very intelligent polyglots, which can only be advantageous for the country and all concerned.

Presentation of the structure and analysis of teaching at the London School of Russian Language and Literature by Olga Bramley, the School’s Director and Chair of Eurolog-UK.

This is a professional school, with no state funding or other form of financial support. Staff receive a salary, although this is not particularly high, and a charity ethos is very much present (the school is registered as a company limited by guarantee, i.e. it has charitable status). Highly skilled and dedicated staff are selected according to qualifications and experience. The school operates on Saturdays only. It is situated in a green, pleasant residential location with good facilities, which is important as it provides an ideal learning ‘climate’ or environment.

The school accepts children from the age of 3. Children acquire maximum knowledge between the ages of 3 and 6 (первое предъяление информации).

Children have 3 classes @ 45 mins. There are 3 groupings of pupils, according to age: 3-4 years, 4-6 years and 6-10 years.

Tuition is most effective if pupils attend from an early stage and continue throughout.

Exams can be taken in GCSE and GCE A level, although the standard is raised and the syllabus is given greater depth than the exams designed for non-native learners of Russian.

A teachers meeting, lasting half an hour, is arranged every week to encourage an amicable and supportive working relationship among the staff. This factor, along with the pleasant working environment and the staff’s good relations with the pupils, are all important stimuli for good performance. The children enjoy coming to school, which is another important factor for the schools’ success.

Pupils learn on average up to 1,000 words per year initially. Emphasis is given to correct pronunciation and the consolidation of lexicology, which is learnt according to themes (ca.15-20 new words a lesson).

Quality materials, including classical literature, are used. It is most effective to include elements of grammar into the above teaching, rather than arrange special grammar lessons. A new piece of literature is studied every week – this also forms the basis for homework.

Grades are given, but not low grades or failures.

There are typically around 10-12 children in a group.

Several concerts involving participation by all children are held throughout the year: “Последний звонок” (end-of-year celebratory concert, at which certificates are also awarded to the children), “Новый год” (New Year festivity), also concerts to celebrate the 8th March and the Autumn Festival.

Pupils learn to write and read from the age of 6, in parallel with the English school system, so that there is no discrepancy in the child’s progress in the two systems.

Tuition can even continue into the school holidays, e.g. visits to the opera, concerts, exhibitions etc. are all useful for enhancing learning. In addition, the summer camp arranged by the school is a very important and effective method of consolidating fluency in the language. Children are mixed as far as possible (e.g. in dormatories/bedrooms) with speakers of Russian from other countries. Thus Russian is the common language of the camp. Children also identify with each other and develop their own identity.

The school’s success has been achieved over many years’ experience and dedication of the staff. It is to the school’s credit that former pupils emigrating to Russia have been immediately accepted into classes of their own age group in Russian schools.

Many pupils are able to write poetry and prose in Russian to a high standard, even those from mixed families.

Another important event arranged by Eurolog-UK is the Russian Song Festival and Contest, held annually. This is an important event not only from a perspective of culture or entertainment but also for enhancing language skills; language can be acquired very effectively through singing and music.

What further proof can be required that supplementary schools can achieve excellent results and high standards in education!

The specific features of working with natural bilingualism in a multicultural setting Presentation by Margarita Popova (Denmark)

‘The future of the Russian language lies in education.’

The main points of Margarita’s presentation on teaching bilingual children are:

– bilingual teaching forms part of supplementary education.

knowledge of and learning the mother tongue helps the child to learn the language of the country and other school subjects as well.

hence, if there is such an obvious positive influence of native tongues, then surely a child’s first language should be made a compulsory subject?

it is very important for parents to provide support, stimulation and inspiration for their children in learning the mother tongue – this will have a definitive impact on the child’s success.

learning the mother tongue can only bring benefits; at the very least it does not hinder the child and at most it can help the child considerably in his/her education, but only with systematic and consistent teaching.

the topic of bilingualism: its definition, its advantages and disadvantages, is a subject of on-going research.

Politicians are still opposed to mother tongue teaching and reluctant to provide the funding for it. A possible explanation for this is that the business world prefers to communicate on one common world language (English). However, it has been proved that multiculturalism and hence multilingualism are beneficial for business: bilingual people have been found to be more creative (than monolinguals), they can resolve tasks more easily and can process information more quickly. In addition, they show a greater competence for cooperation and for switching between skills, without the need to concentrate as much.

This is supported by Danish scientists researching multilingualism at universities.

The ethos of supplementary (i.e. Saturday) schools for bilingual teaching is to provide well qualified, skilled and enthusiastic staff who can make tuition entertaining or interesting for children, as opposed to mainstream schools.

in Denmark English is essential for study at universities, where a lot of materials have not been translated from English, hence teaching in both languages at schools is essential.

Teaching native languages to migrants in second and later generations, by Marina Andersson (Sweden).

Marina has had experience of working at various schools, teaching English, and has observed the formation of a child’s personality with respect to language and bilingualism. Bilinguals can be said to have a different view or perception of the world.

Marina described her experience of living and teaching in India (at the Mitra Academy), where children grow up with and use two or three languages. In addition to English, the state language, which all children are obliged to know, children speak one or several of the local dialects of the country. Interestingly, there are marked differences between aspects of Indian sign-language and those in general use in the rest of the world (e.g. shaking one’s head means “yes” and waving one’s hands in the air signifies applause).

Marina talked about her own family, especially her children, who had become multilingual as a result of living for extended periods in various countries and of learning the different languages from an early age. She introduced the group to her son, Daniel, 11 years old, who speaks Russian, Swedish and English, all to native standard and with equal fluency. He displayed no difficulty at all in switching between the languages when asked questions in different languages by the project participants.

Marina reiterated Margarita’s observation that bilingualism (or multilingualism) has clear advantages (e.g. children learn other languages more rapidly and with greater ease) and that these advantages, although widely accepted by experts, are, unfortunately, not recognised by politicians.

How can language learning be promoted?

Marina drew attention to various studies dealing with language acquisition and learning, notably by Lenneberg (Critical Period Hypothesis), Foust (Window of Opportunity), Lev Vygotsky (Theory of Cultural Mediation and Internalisation) and Richard Tucker (Development of Multiple Language Proficiency).

The main points to note are that the earlier languages are learned the better, and that children should be motivated, i.e. learning should be entertaining and interesting; children learn best through play, stories, music, games, i.e. “total physical response activity”

Experience of working in teaching Russian as a native tongue: “Dialogue” and “ABC by story-telling / Speech Palette” by Dr Ekaterina Koudrjavtseva, Germany

Ekaterina started her presentation by observing that Russian serves as a good starting point, or ‘gateway’ to learning other Slavonic languages, i.e. it lays the building blocks for learning other tongues.

It is quite common that bilingual people do not think in terms of a “first” or “second” language, but rather in the language best suited to a given situation, i.e. a bilingual child will choose speak in the language in which he or she feels better able to express himself or herself in the situation, or which feels more appropriate to the situation.

Ekaterina’s presentation had three fundamental parts:

the difference in methodology of Russian as a foreign, a non-native and a native language (or one of two native languages), depending on the knowledge and the self-perception, in this respect, of the child, and also the teaching environment,

the necessity for parents and teachers to work in tandem on an educational (not teaching) basis, whereby the child has the leading role in determining which direction this takes,

the difference between maintaining a language and studying a language for a specific purpose on an interdisciplinary level.


The second meeting of the partners of the BILIUM Project, supported by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Life Long Learning Programme, took place on the 26th and 27th January 2013 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. In attendance from the London School of Russian Language and Literature, participating partner organisation of the project, were Olga Bramley, George Bramley and Ksenia Bramley.

The meeting was coordinated and presented by Olga Shterenshis, Director of the RusSchool in Rotterdam, who welcomed partners from Austria, France, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

The first presentation was given by a representative of Utrecht City Council on the recent findings of the Council’s research into multilingualism in Utrecht, the background for which is, amongst other things, the EU’s intention that all EU citizens should speak at least three languages.

This was followed by a presentation by Olga Bramley, Director of the first bilingual (Russian–English) School in the UK – The London School of Russian Language and Literature, who summarised the key findings and recommendations from the recent EU Grundtvig research project “Art: a basic human need: Neurodidactic answers to increasing social challenges”, in which the School was a key partner. This project involved research into the development of the brain in the learning process, how memory works, and the main differences between male and female brains and their functions in the learning process, with the intention of introducing the important new knowledge acquired into school systems. Olga Bramley stressed the importance of integrating all key scientific findings and known intensive teaching methods into the tuition of bilingual children.

The third presentation was given by Prof. Guus Extra of Tilburg University: “Responding to Increasing Linguistic Diversity in Multicultural Europe”, who aimed to give a summarised analysis of the increasing complexity and diversity of the languages spoken in EU countries, their status in the countries where they are spoken and within Europe, how far European states support tuition in the mother tongue of its citizens, and the importance of this linguistic diversity for the identity of Europe and its citizens. His study presents a strong case for major investment and funding to find solutions for some of the shortfalls and problems facing large numbers of European citizens.

The afternoon session was spent on discussing the preparation of the planned publication of a compendium of the collected materials by all partner organisations on research carried out into multilingualism by schools and universities, the legislation concerning multilingualism and how the subject is handled in the media in their respective countries. The publication is planned for May 2013 and is being coordinated by Dr. Ekaterina Kudrjavceva-Hentschel of the Foreign Languages and Media Centre at the University of Greifswald, Germany, who is also coordinating the BILIUM Project itself.

The next meeting is to take place in April in Gothenburg, Sweden, and will be hosted by Inna Khromova-Plekhanova of the Russo-Swedish Cultural Society.


НИДЕРЛАНДЫ. Встреча в рамках Европейского проекта «БИЛИУМ» при участии Лондонской школы русского языка и литературы

25-27 января 2013 в Роттердаме платформа RusSchool при поддержке европейской программы Леонадро да Винчи провела второй международный семинар в рамках проекта BILIUM (первая встреча прошла в августе 2012 г. ФРГ, в Институте иностранных языков и медиа-технологий университета Грайфсвальда).

Проект BILIUM стартовал в августе 2012

Инициатором и координатором проекта является Институт иностранных языков и медиа-технологий университета Грайфсвальда.

Проект ставит своей целью расширение би- и полилингвального образования в Европе с учетом компетенций, привносимых в страну постоянного проживания мигрантами. Решение данной задачи возможно только на основании общеевропейских, всемирных (ЮНЕСКО), страновых и земельных (в федеративных государствах) законодательных актов, связанных с поддержанием языков национальных меньшинств и мигрантов в целом (русский язык не является в ЕС языком нацменьшинства). Вторым условием является знание общеевропейских и внутригосударственных приоритетов в области изучения социальных, культурных, этнографических и лингвистических особенностей мигрантов и их учета в политической и образовательной системах принимающих стран. И наконец, третьей, но не менее важной составляющей оказывается отражаемое в СМИ мнение политической и культурной элиты, мультиплицируемое в массы коренного населения каждой страны.
Поэтому первый модуль проекта BILIUM, работа над которым ведется партнерами около полугода, направлен на обобщение информации о законах, постановлениях, положениях и т.п. различного уровня по правам мигрантов на сохранение и поддержание родных языков в странах-участницах проекта (Австрия, Англия, Германия, Голландия, Дания, Испания, Италия, Нидерланды, Франция, Хорватия, Чехия, Швейцария, Швеция). Также в рамках данного модуля собираются данные о развитии темы родных языков и интеграции мигрантов в принимающее сообщество в СМИ и научно-исследовательской, преподавательской и проектной деятельности по данному направлению в Европе.
Итогом первого модуля должна стать брошюра с обзором полученных данных и рекомендациями по направлениям дальнейшего развития темы (недостаточно рассмотренным на данный момент, но приорететным и не противоречащим нормам европейского и государственного права). Издание планируется на май 2013 года.

С приветственным словом к участникам семинара в Роттердаме обратилась госпожа Ольга Штереншис – координатор Европейского проекта «BiliUM» в Нидерландах, член комиссии европейских проектов от Нидерландов.

В первой части встречи представитель муниципалитета г.Утрехт подробно познакомила партнеров с результатами исследованиями “The Dutch City of Utrecht as a European Hotspot and Laboratory for Multilingualism”, проведенного по заказу муниципалитета.

Большой интерес у гостей мероприятия вызвало выступление координаторa проекта в Великобритании госпожи Ольги Брамли. Директор Лондонской школы русского языка и литературы -одной из первых в Европе русских школ, работающих с билингвами (Русский+Английский)-познакомила партнеров с результатами проекта “Art: a basic human need:Neurodidactic answers to increasing social challenges”, осуществеленном в рамках программы Грюндтвиг. Лондонская школа являлась одним из партнеров в данном проекте.

На одном дыхании присутствующие слушали выступление профессора Тилбургского университета, котрый познакомил участников с результатами проекта “Language Rich Europe”.

Ценные подарки выступающим подготовил РУССКИЙ МАГАЗИН “БОГАТЫРЬ” (Hoogstraat 44a, Rotterdam).

Вторая часть встречи была посвящена обсуждению собранных материалов, их доработке и публикации. Координатор проекта в ФРГ госпожа Екатерина Кудрявцева обобщила результаты и обсудила с партнерами возможности издания собранных материалов.

Следующая встреча пройдет в Швеции, г. Гётеборг в середине апреля и принимать гостей будет Русско-шведское общество культуры. Координатор проекта в Швеции – руководитель общества И.Хромовa-Плехановa.

Напомним, в проекте участвуют три университета, две международных ассоциации, коммунальные ведомства и методисты системы государственного и дополнительного образования, имеющие опыт работы со смешенными аудиториями (с т.з. возраста, уровня владения как одной, так и различными языковыми комбинациями).

За работой в рамках проекта BiliUM можно следить на сайте

25-26 августа 2012 года в Институте иностранных языков и медиа-технологий Эрнст-Моритц-Арндт-Университета г. Грайфсвальда состоялась первая встреча участников Европейского проекта «БИЛИУМ» (BILIUM – Bilingualismus Upgrade Module).

Руководитель Европейского проекта «БИЛИУМ» – доктор, приват-доцент госпожа Хайдрун Петерс (Германия)


Координатор Европейского проекта «БИЛИУМ» в Германии – кандидат педагогических наук, научный сотрудник Института иностранных языков и медиа-технологий госпожа Екатерина Кудрявцева

Проект рассчитан на 2 года и включает в себя модули по сбору и обработке информации о статусе естественного билингвизма в странах ЕС-партнерах проекта ( ФРГ – координатор Екатерина Кудрявцева, Австрия – координатор Андерс Виктор, Великобритания – координатор Ольга Брамли, Дания – координатор Маргарита Попова, Италия – координатор Елена Царева, Нидерланды – координатор Ольга Штереншис, Франция – координатор Ирина Кривова, Хорватия – координатор Татьяна Миколай, Чехия – координатор Анна Евсина, Швейцария – координатор Елена Денисова-Шмидт, Швеция – координатор Ирина Хромова ) и по созданию концепции программы переквалификации/ повышения квалификации для педагогических кадров, работающих с естественными билингвами в системе дополнительного образования.

В проекте участвуют три университета, две международных ассоциации, коммунальные ведомства и методисты системы государственного и дополнительного образования, имеющие опыт работы со смешенными аудиториями (с т.з. возраста, уровня владения как одной, так и различными языковыми комбинациями).

На международный проект «БИЛИУМ» Европейская комиссия выделила 113 000 евро

В первый день на Круглом столе по вопросам многоязычия и его изучения в Грайфсвальде были представлены проекты земли Мекленбург-Передняя Померания совместно с Институтом славистики Эрнст-Моритц-Арндт-Университета г. Грайфсвальда (доктор наук, Марек Фиалек), проект ЕС с участием Института медицинской психиатрии университета Грайфсвальда (доктор наук, Ж. Ридель), проекты Института ZAS Berlin (Натали Топаж), проект ЕС с участием коммунальных властей г. Грайфсвальда (Ведомство по делам семьи и молодежи г. Грайфсвальда).

В рамках первой встречи участники проекта обсудили: отдельные аспекты работы по первому модулю, вопросы запуска сайта проекта и пополнения его текущей проектной информацией, систему подключения к проекту ассоциированных партнеров (без финансирования ЕС, но с правом публикации результатов коллективных исследований в сборниках ЕС по данному проекту), единую систему стандартизации и проверки качетва материалов, создаваемых в рамках проекта «БИЛИУМ», а также уточнили программу визитов в организации-партнеры на 2012-2014 годы.

По окончании встречи ее организатор и координатор проекта в целом, Институт иностранных языков и медиа-технологий, предложил гостям пешеходные обзорные экскурсии по родине Каспара Давида Фридриха г. Грайфсвальду и развалинам монастыря Эльдена; а также по городу Штральзунду, вошедшему в сокровищницу мировой культуры ЮНЕСКО.

Следующая встреча в рамках проекта «БИЛИУМ» состоится 26-27 января 2013 год в Нидерландах.

The initial seminar of the BILIUM Project was organised and presented by Project Coordinator Dr. Ekaterina Kudrjavceva-Hentschel of the Foreign Languages and Media Centre at the University of Greifswald, and was held on the 25th and 26th August 2012. Partners from participating countries, including Germany, the UK, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland were welcomed, and details of the project and future working arrangements were presented and discussed.

The aims and objectives of the project are to expand multilingual education in Europe by drawing on the skills brought by immigrant professionals, and to develop a programme of further training for teachers or staff in nurseries and primary schools working with children growing up in a multilingual environment. This will be done over several stages, the first of which will be to analyse the current situation in the partner countries concerning multilingualism with regard to legislature, the media and to courses and research work being carried out on multilingualism at schools, universities and other institutions. The second stage will involve practical work, in which teachers’ qualifications and weaknesses are analysed. The actual programmes for further staff training will be devised on the basis of the knowledge and skills acquired from all of the above and will be submitted to partner organisations for approval.

In addition to discussing plans for completing the first of these stages, useful and informative presentations on relevant subjects were given by professional and academic staff, including Prof. Dr. A. Wöll: “Presentation of the University of Greifswald Slavistics Project “Polish as a range of language acquisition from nursery school to A-level”, and Natali Topaj: Presentation of the ZAS Berlin Project on Research into Multilingualism.

Interesting and enjoyable excursions were arranged to both Greifswald and nearby Stralsund.


To the 1st workshop of the Leonardo da Vinci project BILIUM (2012-2014, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK, France, Sweden; associated partners: Italy, Czech, Spain, Croatia)

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am pleased to invite you to our kick-off meeting of the BILIUM project taking place in the framework EU LLP Leonardo da Vinci program. The goal is to become an overview about scientific work to the topic of bilingualism in the city of Greifswald and to establish a road map for cooperation between participants of the project and organizations from abroad.

We would like to ask  you, to do a presentation about your project and describe possibilities of cooperation.

The BILIUM Project:

The project has been initiated by 11 partner organizations from 10 European countries. It deals with the development of a concept for training teaching staff at pre and primary schools, which are working with bilingual children and their families.

The project consists of 3 modules, whereas the first is a description of existing political and social framework including legal aspects and mass media in the participating countries.

venue: Bahnhofstrasse 50, 17487 Greifswald; Raum 5


Saturday,  25th  august 2012

10.00-11.00 – opening and presentation of projects, which are dealing in Greifswald with bilingualism

11.00-12.30 –round table: „Bilingual Greiswald“ – initiatives and projects: „Bilingualism/ 1st and 2nd mothertongue“ discussion of points of interest and cooperation.

– Dr. M. Fialek: Präsentation des Projektes der Slawistik Universität Greifswald „Polnisch als Spracherwerbsangebot von Kita bis Abitur“ (

Dr. Jeannette Riedel, Dipl.-Psych.: Präsentation des Projektes der Medizinische Psychologie Universität Greifswald “MSc in Migrant Health: Addressing New Challenges in Europe” (

Lela Zenk: Präsentation der Projekte der Stadt Greifswald zur Unterstützung der mehrsprachigen Familien

Natali Topaj: Vorstellung der Projekte ZAS Berlin zur Erforschung der Mehrsprachigkeit (



Mittagspause 13.00-14.00


14.00-15.00 – Projektbesprechung – Programm- und Mobilitätenänderung/ Обсуждение проекта: изменения программы и списка мобильностей в связи с неподтверждением 3х партнеров

15.00-16.00 – Verteilung und Detaillierung der Arbeitspakete(wer, was, Abgabetermine)/ Распределение «рабочих пакетов» и детализация заданий для каждого партнера (кто, что, сроки сдачи)

16.30 – Exkursion in Greifswald und Eldena/ Экскурсия по Грайфсвальду и Эльдене

Sontag, den 26. August 2012

9.00-10.00 – Besprechung und Detaillierung des I. Projektteils: Erstellung der Übersichten zum Thema „Situation mit dem Bilingualismus – Politik, Wissenschaft, Presse und Gesellschaft – in den TN-Ländern“/ Обсуждение и детализация первого модуля проекта «Ситуация с билингвизмом в странах-участницах: политика, пресса, наука»

10.00-11.30 – Workshop: Qualitätsstandards des Projekt BILIUM/ Стандартизация качества рез-ов проекта и ее проверка внешними проверяющими

12.00-12.30: Bestimmung der Daten und des Gastgebers für den II. Workshop, sowie Detaillierung seines Programms/ Уточнение дат и места второй встречи и ее программы

12.30 – 13.30 Mittag/ Обед

13.30 –  Exkursion nach Stralsund/ Экскурсия в Штральзунд

Sincerely yours

Fremdsprachen- und Medienzentrum Universität Greifswald