The key to academic support lies not in the programme to be delivered but in the people who have been charged with the responsibility of delivering it. Regardless of how sound that programme may be, its success is entirely dependent upon the individuals who have been selected to carry it out. At Language Link, these ‘individuals’ are referred to as academic managers and carry such job titles as Head Academic Department, Methodologists, Senior Director of Studies, Director of Studies and assistant Director of Studies.
Given the importance of selecting the right people for these positions, the question may rightfully be asked, ‘What criteria does Language Link employ when choosing its academic managers.’ Contrary to popular belief, education, degrees, and diplomas carry less weight in this decision than do a readiness, willingness AND ability to assist teachers with their academic needs and issues. Obviously being ‘ready and willing’, though commendable, is of little value without that third ingredient ‘ability’, and conversely, ‘ability’ without a desire to help is of similar i.e. little value.
At Language Link, all our academic mangers have withstood the test of time. They have not just demonstrated but proven their desire and ability to render appropriate and meaningful academic assistance to the teaching staff for whom they have been charged with helping to meet the demands of a modern TEFL classroom.
Academics aside, all academic managers employed by Language Link Russia have lived in the country for a minimum of three years and have a firm grasp of the cultural issues that will confront our new teaching staff here in the largest country on earth. Without exception, all can be counted upon to help our new teachers to understand the Russian culture, to meet the challenges presented by living in a new and unfamiliar country and to adapt to its idiosyncrasies where such exists.
Position:Director of Studies, Moscow
Educational History:Master of Education
Start date at Language Link:January 2013
Hello, I’m Vlada. I graduated from Perm University in Soviet times. I started my teaching career almost 25 years ago and have been happy to work as a teacher all these years as I am sure it’s the best profession in the world!
Most of my teaching has been in a place far from Moscow, in the Russian Far East, on the beautiful island Sakhalin, which is unique in the world due to its size, flora, fauna and international gas and oil exploration. I was lucky to be selected as a regional projects manager by the British Council in 2000. The British Council had been delivering educational activities for Sakhalin schools, institutes, teachers and learners of different ages on the premises of the Resource Centre which I also managed. With the help of the British Council’s experts, the project team, of which I was a member, I designed and implemented a new in-service teacher training programme based on reflective, communicative, and practical approaches. Thanks to the British Council’s training workshops I became a certified teacher trainer.
When my family moved to Moscow region I was happy to find a job with Language Link as I appreciate being the member of a highly-qualified professional team. So far, I’ve mostly worked for External Teacher Training department, delivering two courses: YL Refresher and TKT YL. It is a great pleasure when in the Course we all can share both what we can do well and our concerns. I have been working with the challenges of the DOS position since September 2014.
I have a varied teaching experience. I taught English for General Purposes, English for Specific Purposes, worked in various institutions, but most of all I like teaching young learners. When you teach small children you feel like a child: curious, excited, open for something new and enjoyable. It is motivating to see how the children pick up new language, make progress and are always ready share their emotions and love with you.