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29-31 october 2009, Bordeaux (France)

bordeauxThe first methodological seminar of the project "Sputnik" implemented with the support of the European Grundtvig programme took place in the French city of Bordeaux (October 29-31, 2009). The seminar was attended by partners from 4 countries:  Great Britain, the Netherlands, Slovenia and France. Total multilateral partnership involves six countries. For various reasons The delegations of Spain and Cyprus were unable to attend the first seminar.

The seminar was attended by 45 participants: leaders of organizations, teachers, RCT, adult learners.

The first seminar had a set up nature.

Seminar’s objectives were:

  • to introduce all the partners to each other, to present the activities of their organizations (contents, forms and methods);
  • to present the major trends and themes of adult education in Europe;
  • to launch the European project "Sputnik" for adults learning Russian language;
  • to discuss with partners the details of the work to create the final product of the project - training manuals in Russian language for adults.
  • to familiarize partners with cultural and historical heritage of the city of Bordeaux and the Aquitaine region.


The problem field of the seminar was:

  • the development of lifelong learning education for adults in Europe;
  • adult learners training in a variety of non-formal educational institutions proposing Russian courses in partner countries;
  • teaching techniques, methods and ways of working with adults;
  • exchanging experience of teachers;
  • setting guidelines for the implementation of the project.


The workshop program included:

  • 2 presentations by the coordinators of the project;
  • 4 presentations by the partners;
  • an educational tour for students and teachers to become familiar with the cultural and historical heritage of the city of Bordeaux which is classified by UNESCO as world heritage of mankind;
  • a round table to discuss organizational matters for the project;
  • results of the logo competition;
  • a cultural program.


During the seminar the announced program was fully implemented.
Presentations of partners, review of their organizations, the report "Guidelines for Adult Education in Europe" and the presentation of the project "Sputnik" aroused a great interest among the audience. The increased attention of the public, a lively discussion confirmed the utility of such a project based on multilateral cooperation.

During the workshop, participants were able to learn about training programs in partner countries as well as forms and methods of work with adult audiences.

Summing up the results of questioning the Russian language students revealed different forms of motivation for adult language learning. Not surprising was the fact that in the first place there is an interest and love for Russia, to the richness of its culture and beauty of its language.

Of the main obstacles to rapid language acquisition, the majority mentions the grammar. Many interesting suggestions and proposals came from the students to create a future textbook "Sputnik", which should be the result of a productive partnership between countries - participants of the project.

The main feature of the project – is the participatory feature, which means joint work of teachers and students to develop the concept and content development of educational materials.

During the round table "Mobility of teachers and students in Europe," leaders of the project partner countries have been able once again to discuss the details of the upcoming work and to reflect on the question "What will bring mobility to the project for their organizations?", to outline the following calendar of seminars and workshops, to define the content and form of the final product of partnership.

In the discussion of the project partners came up with the following tasks:  the result of the partnership should be the preparation and approval of a textbook "Sputnik" in its electronic version. Each partner is responsible for the preparation of its section which will a part of the whole training set.

Partners identified the level of the textbook under the European standard as being-A1-A2. The volume of the textbook is 20-30 pages.

After discussion, it has been decided to assign the following tasks to the partners:
Partners from France elaborate a training manual "The Russian language in situations" (the development of 10 training topics) and its electronic version.

Partners from the Netherlands work on a tutorial "Interactive exercises in the Russian language." Project manager in the Netherlands Olga Shterenshis proposed an interactive portal of resources in the Russian language.

She noted that the portal operates successfully only if the partners will regularly send their contributions.

After discussion, the partners decided to consider this issue and possibly create such a portal when first contributions are available.

Partners from the UK offered to elaborate a manual called "Illustration of grammar effects of the Russian language with examples of classical literature," which attracted the interest and support of all partners.

Partners from Slovenia offered to prepare a training manual, "Business trip" and its electronic version (development of 10 training topics).

It was decided to assign tasks for partners from Spain and Cyprus later.

One of the solemn moments of the seminar was the awarding of the prize to the winner of the contest of  "Logo" . The prize was a textbook on the Russian language from the deputy editor of the Polish magazine "Evropa.ru" Irina Korniltseva.

The cultural part of the seminar included a sightseeing of Bordeaux for Russian language teachers and adult learners as well as a trip to the famous wine chateau Lafite Smith, where the partners were able to learn the culture of winemaking in Aquitaine and, of course, taste the best French wines.

The final touch of the seminar was a very warm and friendly evening at Ms. and Mr. Jacquemin place, where the hostess Lydia showed visitors the exhibition of paintings of artists of the Ural region, and the owner Claude offered to the guests the delicious dishes of the French cuisine.