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Internet contest of students’ essays ‘The Ingenious Reader’

contest 2011-12

Every year the English Philology Department at Herzen University announces our Internet contest ‘The Ingenious Reader’ («Вдумчивый интерпретатор») — a competition of students’ critical essays on fictional or publicist works by English-language writers. The e-format makes the contest accessible not only for students of the faculty of Foreign Languages at Herzen University (Saint-Petersburg), but for all students across Russia, Europe and overseas.

As the number of our contestants is large, we usually hold the competition in two rounds.
During the 1st academic term till April 1, all essays submitted via e-mail are reviewed by a team of experts consisting of post graduate students, teachers and professors of English Philology Department. The selected essays (5-6 of them) are further uploaded and featured on the contest’s web page (http://ephil.herzen.spb.ru/?cat=63) to be assessed and voted for by our site’s visitors. Apart from voting, peers can send a review of one of the essays commenting on its strong and weak points. Their opinions are also taken into consideration and influence the results.
Finally, in May, the contest jury (Prof. I. Schirova, the Chair of the jury, Prof. O. Filimonova, Vice-Chair, and Assc. Prof. Y.Sergaeva forming its ‘core’) announces 3 winning essays and 1 best essay review, as well as publishes the experts’ feedback. The final result is calculated as the sum of points and votes given by the judges together with Internet users.

The jury at work

The contest is steadily gaining its popularity among English language students who are encouraged to participate by their teachers and benefit from it getting additional points to earn credits. But first of all, the participation in the contest contributes to:
— integrating language and literature studies
— perfecting writing and literary analysis skills
— fostering creativity and critical thinking.
(written by Y.Sergaeva)

Read more about the contest in Prof. I.Schirova’s article ‘The Ingenious Reader’ — promoting literary analysis skills and creativity.

‘The Ingenious Reader’ contest
Watch the presentation about the contest THE INGENIOUS READER
You can use this form to submit your essay, commentary or questions:

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Conferences, seminars, round-table discussions

TESOL Impressions: Beautiful Places, Outstanding People, Valuable Insights

by Yulia Sergaeva

Boston, New Orleans, Rome – what makes these cities even more attractive for visiting? The answer is TESOL conventions bringing together English language instructors from all over the world.
The TESOL (the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) Convention is a very important annual meeting in the field of teaching English as a second or foreign language. It gives a great opportunity to share expertise in the latest ELT methods, anticipate future trends in the field and to exchange ideas with colleagues from different backgrounds. The program usually includes paper presentations, practical demonstrations and workshops, poster presentations and Electronic Village sessions. One can spend a whole day in the exhibit hall that features recently published books, innovative materials, audiovisuals, and computer assisted learning aids.
In this review I will share impressions of my participation in two 2010 TESOL conferences which took place in Boston and in Rome.

Read the whole article “TESOL Impressions” here.