ADA – Thanks to an East Central University professor and her students, more local residents are now familiar with the beauty of Russian language and culture.
Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, a longtime Languages professor and director of Global Education at ECU, and her advanced level students just finished teaching Russian to children ages 9-12 in a six-month run at the Ada Public Library.
The free classes were held each Thursday evening at the library. Despite Covid-19, only two classes had to be cancelled – and that was due to bad weather.
“My two daughters have been taking Russian lessons with Dr. Sukholutskaya and her students since October 2020,” said local resident and parent Micah Reasoner. “They have enjoyed getting to learn about the Russian language and culture. We are thankful for her bringing and sharing her knowledge of that wonderful country to Oklahoma.”
Local elementary students were not alone in learning something new. Sukholutskaya’s ECU students also discovered the joys of teaching a different language and culture.
“The project affected me more than I thought it would initially,” said Tyler Gifford, of Purcell, who just graduated from ECU with a Computer Science degree and a minor in Russian. “I already miss the students. I watched them make great progress, growing in not only areas of language but also in cultural awareness. I saw them developing new problem-solving skills in learning to speak a different language.”
Because the Russian language program was so successful, Sukholutskaya said she hopes to revive it in coming semesters.
“There are more things that unite people from different cultures than divide or separate them,” she said. “The children who came to these classes learned about this, as well as about a fascinating new culture and language.”
Cutline: Tyler Gifford, of Purcell, teaches the Russian language to elementary students at the Ada Public Library as part of a cultural outreach program in the community. (ECU)