WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The agreement on the center’s establishment was signed on Thursday by the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute and Metaphor Academic Center for Russian Language and Culture located in one of Washington’s suburbs.
"The establishment of the center lays the basis for cooperation between the experts in the two countries sharing a common goal of promoting Russian language outside Russia," Metaphor’s Director Zhanna Buzov told Sputnik. "It will unite our US experience with the Institute’s opportunities."
Buzov explained that the center is created on the basis of eleven-year old Metaphor and the latter now gets the new status which will allow it to carry out new types of activities.
Pushkin Institute’s Vice-Rector for Research Mikhail Osadchiy told Sputnik that the new center is joining a partner network that comprises educational institutions abroad that are successfully working on the promotion of the Russian language.
"We seek educational institutions including universities, schools or cultural centers that have been successful in this area to include in the network. And then on their basis we start realizing long-term projects on Russian language promotion," he explained.
While other countries have similar projects, like the Goethe-Institute, British Council, and Confucius Institute, Pushkin Institute is the only one in the world that offers and implements higher education programs.
"We are not only promoting Russian language, we are also preparing teachers of Russian language," Osadchiy explained. "Moreover, we conduct scientific research, while most analogues institutes don’t. It includes developing and publishing textbooks and dictionaries and other resources. Most recently, we started conducting neuro communicative research."
The opening ceremony, held at the Russian Cultural Center, was attended by representatives of the American Councils, American, Georgetown and Maryland Universities, as well as teachers from Russian schools.
Then during a round table participants discussed challenges of teaching Russian in the United States as well as cooperating with US educational institutions within the framework of the federal program on promotion of the Russian language.
Osadchiy, along with the institute’s Head of the Center for Lang Teaching, Testing and Migration Policy Assistance, Oleg Radchenko, and a number of Russian language teachers joined the discussion.
On Friday, Metaphor will host another round table on matters related to teaching Russian language in the United States.
The Pushkin Institute, founded in 1966, specializes in teaching Russian to international students and in training teachers to teach Russian as a foreign language, according to its website.
Metaphor is one of the biggest educational centers in the Washington area with some 450 children aged 2-16, and 45 teachers of the Russian language.