Social Anthropology Center


The faculty of the Department of English (chaired by Dr. Irina Petrova, Associate Professor) have been teaching English at the Social Anthropology Center since 2001.

At the beginning stage the language is studied in groups with varied levels of language proficiency. All first-year students are initially tested and then divided into subgroups in accordance with their language proficiency in order to achieve best results and to create a favorable and stimulating atmosphere at the lessons. 

The experience of teaching students of the Department shows that the majority of the students face the following problems: inability to speak fluently, confusion as regards  grammatical constructions, difficulties in aural understanding of foreign speech, and numerous mistakes in writing.  The program of teaching English for the students of the Social Anthropology Center was worked out taking into account these problems. The aim of the program is to develop the main aspects of the language: communication skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge, an ability to understand the English of native speakers, a technique of reading general and professional literature, and writing skills. Apart from general colloquial topics, also included into the program is professional and linguistic-cultural information. The special feature of the program is the simplicity of the material presented to the students, gradual increasing of complexity, hands-on presentation of lexical and grammatical material which is necessary for developing and improving speech skills.     

The program is made on the basis of textbooks of MACMILLAN publishing house of the Straightforward series (Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced). The textbooks differ in the degree of complexity of the material, in the topics presented, and in the volume of the texts and audio material. The choice of the textbooks for each year of education is made in accordance with the academic curriculum and the students’ level of linguistic proficiency. But the general approach in all textbooks is the same: multi-tiered construction of educational program designed for several years of studying, a topic-based approach to the organization of the lexical and grammatical material, gradual increase of the difficulties, availability of audio course (recorded by native speakers) and a wide variety of types of texts in each block.

We have chosen not only to work on improving of grammatical skills of our students, but also on enlarging the active vocabulary of the students. For this purpose we use the following textbooks: Michael Vince, Paul Emmerson. Intermediate and Upper Intermediate Language Practice. English Grammar and Vocabulary; Raymond Murthy. English Grammar in Use; Stuart Redman. English Vocabulary in Use, published by MACMILLAN and Cambridge. 

Starting with the 4th semester the students work with the professionally oriented texts so that they could be ready to use their knowledge in professional and research activities. For this stage the teachers of the Department have prepared a special textbook to teach reading of professionally oriented texts based on the authentic texts of English and American anthropologists (A. Ilyina, I. Kostina, V. Krakovich. Professional English for Anthropologists). The textbook is intended for both the work in class and independent work of the students. For further work we use the textbook by V. Krakovich and N. Kuramina  English for Anthropologists. 

At the final stage the 4th-year students of the Social Anthropology Centre present their final papers with multimedia technology applied. The presentation is held in English.

Findings presented by the students are the result of their work with anthropology book sources, English Internet sites and English texts of the professionally oriented Reader prepared by their tutors, teachers of the Department of English: Irina Kostina, Assistant Professor,  and Alla Ilyina, Associate Professor.

The professors of the Department of English form a special committee which consists not only of English tutors, but also of representatives of the Social Anthropology Center, including the Professor Artemova, Deputy Director of the Social Anthropology Center, and anthropology professors. 

The students are called to demonstrate their ability to logically, eloquently and coherently present the summary of their theses and answer questions of the committee in English. All reports are made in PowerPoint, so the students have to think through and arrange the visual support by way of illustrations, photographs, diagrams, and so on.

The subject matter of graduation projects is extremely broad. The information on the presented papers by the students of the Social Anthropology Center can be seen on the site and in the bulletin of the University.