Moodle and Russian .. two worlds colliding

Not colliding really, more seamlessly blending together…

We’ve just finished the latest run of the Learn Moodle MOOC and as usual thousands of participants from around the world joined in, in their quest for a certificate of completion proving they know the basics of teaching with Moodle.

As usual with these MOOCs I am keen to engage with non-native English speakers, French, German  – and more recently Russian. Amongst the Russian speaking contingent was a large group from ITMO university in St Petersburg who all signed up to investigate the use of Moodle for teaching English for Specific purposes. At the end of the course, I was asked if I’d like to attend their ESP conference in April and talk about Moodle…

Perfect timing, since it fits in with  the plans for the Big Adventure. I’m all booked up now for three weeks in St Petersburg in April. I’ll be attending the ITMO during the first week, working as normal, studying and absorbing Russian during the second week and taking the Basic Level exam (registration permitting) during the third week. I’ve told the cat I am not coming home until I can speak fluent Russian – although since my return flight is booked for 24 April, I might have to qualify that statement somewhat..

Deep breaths: I’m looking forward to the conference and I am grateful that my Moodle job allows me to work from anywhere in the world. However, I do catch myself every now and then thinking “What on earth have I let myself in for?” Three weeks on my own in a country whose language I only started learning last year, where many of the locals struggle with English… the vanity  of taking an exam that I don’t need to do, won’t get any professional benefit from  and will stress about for another two months..

Me in April….

And then I remember… oh yes! I LOVE languages 🙂

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