The Representative Office of St Petersburg University in Greece, opened at the Centre of the Russian Language and Culture ‘Russian Word’ (Thessaloniki), is working at developing inclusive learning and teaching in the field of Russian as a foreign language.

Amid the pandemic, new approaches were adopted not only to traditional forms of education, but also to inclusive education, which is developing. At present, one of the priority directions of government policy in many countries is the full participation of disabled people in the life of society and their highest possible inclusion in the learning and teaching process.

‘Unfortunately, access to education of this segment currently needs significant improvement. However, it should be noted that this issue is being raised more and more often. Also, the dynamics of discussion and implementation of the principle of inclusive education in the modern world is satisfying. Attention to people with special educational needs, as well as their needs in the process of learning a foreign language is one of the topical issues of the University, the leader in promoting the Russian language and culture abroad,’ said Dmitry Ptyushkin, Director of the Language Testing Centre of St Petersburg University.

Creating a comfortable learning environment for students, as well as for students with disabilities is one of the fundamental rules of St Petersburg University.

Dmitry Ptyushkin, Director of the Language Testing Centre of St Petersburg University

The Representative Office of St Petersburg University in Greece actively participates in the development of inclusive education in the field of Russian as a foreign language. It also ensures that all students are treated equally and creates comfortable conditions for people with special educational needs.

Katerina Lorentzou, a blind student, is studying at the centre in Thessaloniki. She wanted to study Russian a long time ago. Thanks to the fact that Katerina played goalball (a team sport designed specifically for sportspeople with visual impairments) she travelled to different countries to participate in tournaments and competitions. She made friends with team members from Russia at one of the competitions and became highly motivated to master her friends’ native language in order to speak to them.

TORFL is an international certified examination in Russian as a Foreign Language. It makes it possible to test your language skills and receive a relevant state issued certificate.

Katerina has been studying Russian for two years now, and she has achieved some success: she has passed the test of Russian as a foreign language at levels A1 and A2. Now she is preparing for the TORFL exam at B1 level and she does not plan to stop as she is looking ahead to new horizons.

The certain results of this activity are reflected in the new video of the Representative Office of St Petersburg University in Greece. In this video, Katerina also tells about herself, her path, achievements and plans.