On the Road with Gary in … Russia; Summer Schools and Cambridge English

Forewarning: ‘Cambridge English’ in the running title above has nothing to do with William and Catherine being named by Queen Elizabeth, as you might know, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after their recent Royal Wedding. (You know, I wonder if there is anyone in the world who didn’t view part of the ceremony?  I watched a little over lunch in a restaurant in Brno, Czech Republic with two colleagues – and okay, Olga and Leslie, yes, Kate’s dress was lovely.)

My last trip before the end of this school year (well, at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere) and before my

Gary Anderson presenting on teaching teenagers

upcoming summer holidays was to Russia for ‘summer schools’ for (mainly secondary) teachers in St Petersburg and Kazan organised by our Moscow office in collaboration with Britannia Books and the Ministries of Education.

I really like Russia and I’ve been there five or six times. This time I was doing a number of different talks: on teaching tween-agers with More!, teaching teenagers with English in Mind and Interactive, and on using supplementary materials for ‘tweens and ‘teens. I also presented  on the range of Cambridge Classware – digital course presentation software for Interactive Whiteboards or mimio® – a technological device that allows you to turn any surface into an interactive whiteboard.

But I also talked about ‘Which comes first: language development or exam preparation? The chicken or the egg?’. Or maybe you can have both—if you’re using good language development materials (for example from Cambridge ELT) which also prepare for recognised exams (for example from Cambridge ESOL), i.e. Cambridge books for Cambridge exams. (You can share your opinion on the subject by voting in our poll at the top of this page.)

And that’s the idea of ‘Cambridge English’, the new joint partnership between Cambridge ESOL and Cambridge University

Cambridge English

Press: bringing together expertise in exams and in publishing. The two ‘Cambridges’ have already been collaborating on, for example, English Profile and the Cambridge English Placement Test. You may have already seen the new ‘Cambridge English’ logo on the cover of the Cambridge ELT 2011 catalogue.

In Moscow, we have launched the Cambridge English Solution for Schools project developed through a partnership between the Cambridge University Press, Cambridge ESOL and Britannia Books. And there are plans to roll-out the project to other cities across Russia next school year.

So look out for ‘Cambridge English’ events in your country in the near future.

Have a nice relaxing and reinvigorating summer break! As I hope to do here in France before my next trips to Serbia and Bosnia in August for…summer schools and back-to-school events.

Gary Anderson, Cambridge ELT International Teacher Trainer

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