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  Home > Language Services > Russian Language Courses

Teachers & Methodology

Teaching staff

All the teaching staff in Language Link's Russian as a Foreign Language Departments are highly trained Russian language specialists with considerable experience and post-graduate degrees. Our teacher selection process is rigorous: apart from possessing post-graduate qualifications in teaching Russian as a Foreign Language, all teachers must have taught at university level, and preferably abroad. All teachers must be able to speak at least one or two other major European languages. And finally, excellent references must be presented from both former educational employers and former students. Given these standards of selection, there is little doubt that Language Link's teachers are among the finest in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd.

Even after teachers have been selected for employment with Language Link, they continually upgrade their teaching skills by regularly attending workshops, seminars and conferences. Their classroom performance is periodically observed by Elena Kallo, Language Link's Head Teacher.


Mikhail Bakhtin, the famous Russian philosopher, calls language a "contradictory multiplicity" because of its many seemingly contradictory aspects. Grammar and linguistics focus on single units or parts of language whereas the study of stylistics and pragmatics focus on how language is used as a whole in "real life." How, then, should we study foreign languages? There is one common unifying factor that we can focus on. Language, although a dynamic entity with many different aspects, has one practical goal - COMMUNICATION.

All Language Link teachers come to the classroom with this practical view! Communicative language teaching helps the student to not only understand the language but also to use it in authentic, "real" situations. This objective requires a focus on all the aspects of language - grammar, pragmatics, stylistics, pronunciation, etc. - with the goal of authentic communication.

Teacher profiles

Elena Kallo
Elena Mikhailovna Kallo graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU) philological department with a degree in Russian language and literature, specializing in Russian as a Foreign Language. Elena did her post-graduate studies at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Federation Academy of Sciences in the area of psycholinguistics. She has extensive teaching experience in Russia and at universities in France, Finland, Great Britain and Austria. She is currently director of academic programmes at Language Link, and director of the special programmes 'Dickinson in Moscow', 'RLUS' and 'Goucher Summer Immersion Programme'. Elena is one of the best specialists in teaching Russian culture and literature to foreigners. Her lectures on Russian poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries and literature of the Silver Age were brilliantly received in the U.S. (at Dickinson College) and are always very popular among students. Elena's classes combine the depth and originality of her own unique approach with the methodology of creative student involvement in order to clearly convey the key concepts of the course. Material is drawn from a wide variety of historical and cultural resources. After completing a course with Elena Mikhailovna, students generally have a real interest in Russian culture and some even begin to write their own poems and essays.

Ludmila Loifer
Ludmila Loifer graduated from Moscow State University with an MA Degree in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language and Literature. In addition to ten years' experience teaching Russian both at home and abroad, Ludmila has extensive experience as a Franco-Russian interpreter as well as an editor of scientific works. She has successfully worked for the Russian Language Centre at Moscow State University, the Russian Institute of Social Sciences, and the UNESCO Gorbachev Fund, and taught at prominent companies such as "Alpha Bank" and "Nestle Water Coolers". Ms. Loifer is a highly rated teacher of all levels from beginner to advanced, and holds a specialization in teaching business Russian language courses.

Ludmila Nezvankina
Ludmila Nezvankina graduated from the Moscow State University with a Master's Degree and a specialization in teaching Russian as a Foreign Language and Literature. With over twenty years of international experience, Ludmila has successfully taught Russian to American, British, German, Italian, Japanese and Finnish students. She is also one of the Literary Encyclopaedia authors. For three years, Ms. Nezvankina held a professorship at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania where she taught both Russian and Russian Literature. For several years after her return to Moscow, Ludmila was head of Moscow's semester program for students from both Tufts University and Dickinson College. In the classroom, Ludmila teaches Russian using a methodology that combines the communicative approach to language teaching and the study of Russian culture. Her students range in language proficiency from complete beginners to professional philologists. Ludmila teaches such courses as Conversational and Business Russian, special courses on Russian Literature, the History of Russian Language and Language of Mass Media.

Sofia Medvedeva
Sofia Medvedeva graduated from the Moscow State Pedagogical University in 1984 with a specialty in Philology and has been teaching Russian as a Foreign Language ever since. Sophia has taught not only in her native Russia, but also in America, England and France. Besides teaching, Sophia has also authored and co-authored numerous articles and textbooks for foreigners, most notably, Vremya (Time). In addition to teaching for language Link, Sophia is currently a Senior Lecturer at the State Preparatory Department for Foreign Students at Moscow State University. Sophia, like so many Language Link teachers, has developed her own unique and personalized method for teaching Russian to foreigners. As such, her lessons are always accompanied by jokes, anecdotes and last but not least, a fun atmosphere.

Marina Freidina
Marina Freidina graduated from the Maimonida State Jewish Academy with a specialization in teaching Russian and Hebrew languages. She also completed further education in cultural studies at the centre for tourist personnel training as a Moscow city guide. She worked as a Russian language teacher and a coordinator of seminars at Davidson College (US). While teaching, she also completed a course in written and spoken English. For the last few years she has taught at Language Link, working with students from Britain, America and Australia successfully joining language courses with cultural aspects in her classes.

Elizaveta Zakharyan
Elizaveta graduated from the Russian division of the philology department at MGU. She has a degree in Russian as a Foreign Language, and has worked on the Russian language faculty at Moscow State Automobile and Road Technical University. She has taught adults and children from many different countries. Elizaveta taught students of various levels in Myanmar and the USA. She believes that psychological compatibility between the teacher and student is very important in lessons, so she tries to find an individual approach to each of her students. Using the communicative method of teaching, individual approach and role playing, she makes her classes interesting, fun and effective.

Olga Kovtun
Olga graduated from the fine arts division of the MGU history department, and specialises in Russian as a Foreign Language. She is fluent in German and Italian, and has a good grounding in English. In addition, Olga has completed Florensky courses specialising in teaching and psychology. Over the course of many years she has worked with students from various European countries, both adults and children. A distinctive feature of Olga's teaching is the use of games as part of the communicative method of language learning, thus making her lessons interesting, unusual, fun and effective. At present she works with students taking semester-long academic programmes (Conversational, and a course in Russian cinematography), and also for the companies "Transcea" and "Daimler Kraisler".

Aislou van Rhujn
Aislou completed a degree in Russian as a Foreign Language at MGU. She works with students of various levels of Russian language ability in the international centre of Russian language (an MGU partner school). She successfully teaches courses of intensive study. Her fluent knowledge of German allows Aislou to work especially well with students from Germany. During her lessons she uses her own method of "psychological synchronism." Using this method, students gain self-confidence and work much more efficiently and energetically, and show great results. In 2003 Aislou gave an excellent talk at an international conference of Slavic studies at Humboldt University in Berlin.

Alexander Ryzhkov
Alexander graduated from the Russian Language and Literature division of the philology department at MGU and teaches Russian as a foreign language. He is now a teacher in the Department of Foreign Languages at MGU. For the past few years he has taught summer courses of Russian language to interns from France, the US, South Korea and Japan at the Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Sochi. He has also taught at universities in Aurangabad and Delhi, India. As an expert on Moscow, Alexander has been leading foreign students on wonderful tours of historical and cultural sites in and around Moscow since the very beginning of his career as a teacher. He conducts seminars on the history of Russian poetry, cinematography and folklore for foreign students in the Department of Foreign Languages at MGU.

Galina Luterovich
Galina Luterovich graduated from the Khabarovsk State Pedagogical University and also completed extension courses at St. Petersburg State University and Pedagogical University. She works with foreign students from Europe, Asia and America at beginning and intermediate levels, and also teaches advanced level students. Galina is the author of the manual "Introduction to Scientific Style: Medical Profile", a manual on cultural studies of St. Petersburg and an anthology of fictional stories with exercises.

Elena Panova
Elena graduated from Volgograd State Pedagogical University's philology department with a degree in teaching Russian language and literature, and completed post-graduate studies at the same university. Elena has a PhD and is an associate professor and has a certificate in Russian as a Foreign Language from People's Friendship University. Elena presently combines her work for Language Link with teaching at Volgograd State Technical University's Russian language department. She works with students from various countries at the department for international students.

Elena Ivanova
Elena graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical University philology department with a degree in teaching Russian language and literature, and a foreign language (English), and also specialises in Russian as a Foreign Language. She is fluent in English, and has worked with great success with students of various levels. At present Elena is working in one of the best departments of Russian for foreign students in Moscow, at MADI, and is doing post-graduate study. In her lessons Elena combines professionalism with a creative approach; she 'liberates' her students, building a friendly atmosphere in class. Her lessons are always interesting and fun. Elena has successfully worked in companies such as "Perekryostok", Input-Output, "Russian Standard" and "Moscow Teleport", and also with students from England and the USA on semester-long academic programmes.

Elena Nikolenko
Elena graduated from the philological department at MGU with a degree in Russian language and literature, her dissertation being on teaching methodology for Russian as a Foreign Language. For more than 15 years Elena has worked with great success at Moscow University, and also in Finland, Great Britain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy and Turkey. Every year Elena gives lectures on RFL teaching methodology for specialist Russian philology teachers from Finland, Austria and Japan. She has created her own unique methodology for teaching Russian to foreigners. Elena has authored and co-authored numerous articles on the "effective intensive" method of RFL teaching. This method was created in conjunction with Galina Levina and incorporates a number of study aids, textbooks, and educational videos, such as "Zolotoe Koltso", "Vladimir 1 and 2", and the film "Chashki".

Elena Aisakova
Elena graduated from the Moscow State Pedagogical University philological department with a degree in Russian language and literature, and then did post-graduate studies in the department of modern Russian. Her sphere of academic interest is sociolinguistics. Elena studied in the department of upgrading qualifications at the Russian People's Friendship University. She has worked as a teacher of Russian at Dickinson College (USA) and in the Russian department at the Russian State Academy of Physical Education. At present she teaches sociolinguistics at the Institute of cultural studies, and Russian language at RGGU's RFL Centre. At Language Link Elena works with students from various countries on semester-long academic programmes, and also at "FinanceBank" and A C Nilson.

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