University of Sheffield to launch first-of-its-kind Ukrainian language course
- The University of Sheffield is set to launch two new Ukrainian language courses - one of which is a first in the UK
- Beginners course is open to anyone and will give people a chance to try learning Ukrainian for the first time and could help those who are supporting Ukrainians in the UK
- Sheffield is also launching a Ukrainian language conversion course - the first in the UK - for people who already speak/are studying Russian or other Slavonic languages and wish to learn Ukrainian at a faster pace
- Both courses will be taught by Ukrainian academics hosted by the University of Sheffield as part of its University of Sanctuary initiative.
- Language conversion course could help provide the UK with the specialists it needs in the languages and cultures of Eastern Europe - a skills gap that has emerged and could be crucial as the UK responds to the impact of the war in Ukraine over the coming years
The University of Sheffield is launching two new Ukrainian language courses, one of which is a first in the UK.
Sheffield is launching a beginners course to give people a chance to try learning Ukrainian for the first time. The University is also launching a language conversion course - the first of its kind in the UK - for those who already speak or are studying Russian or other Slavonic languages and want to learn Ukrainian at a faster pace.
Open to anyone, the beginners course will be taught at a steady pace in six week blocks. The classes could particularly help those who are supporting Ukrainians in the UK, but need some help with the language.
Both courses will be taught by Ukrainian academics who are being hosted by Sheffield as part of its University of Sanctuary initiative. The scheme supports students, scholars and other staff who are seeking sanctuary in the UK or affected by war in their home countries.
Professor Neil Bermel, Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield, said: “We know that people across the UK are helping Ukrainians who are fleeing the war in their home country, and some might like some help with the language to make every day communication that bit easier.
"The beginners course is something that anyone can try. It will be taught at a friendly, welcoming, slow pace for a very minimal fee, so is the perfect opportunity for those who might like to try learning the basics without making a huge time or financial commitment. You don’t need any prior experience of learning a language, anyone is welcome to give it a go."
Nataliia Faryna, Visiting Teaching Associate in Ukrainian at the University of Sheffield, said: "For me, teaching Ukrainian language is a way to tell people about Ukraine, about our culture and worldview, to help those people who have already taken the first steps in the chosen direction get to know it. I am infinitely grateful to the people of Great Britain for standing with Ukraine in the war and for their unwavering support."
Dr Laurent Semichon, Director of the Modern Languages Teaching Centre at the University of Sheffield, said: “We hope these courses, particularly the beginners classes, will be popular with the local community and bring people together. This initiative is not just about language; it is also about creating a space where participants can share their experience and learn more about Ukrainian culture.”
The Ukrainian language conversion course is unlike any other language programme taught by a UK university. It’s designed for people already familiar with a Slavonic language - whether through their native tongue or education - who would like to learn Ukrainian at a faster, more advanced pace than the typical beginners level, together with developing a deeper understanding of Ukrainian culture.
The new programme could help to provide the UK with the experts it needs in the language and cultures of Eastern Europe - a skills gap that has opened up and could become crucial over the coming years as the UK and Europe respond to the impact of the war in Ukraine.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the UK invested in training specialists in the languages and cultures of Central and Eastern Europe, which resulted in the growth of Russian and Slavonic Studies as a discipline in British higher education throughout the 1990s. However, as global foreign policy shifted in the 2000s, the number of Slavonic experts in the UK declined.
Professor Bermel added: “Ukrainian is part of the Slavonic family of languages, which include Czech, Polish, Russian and other languages from the Central and Eastern European region. Due to their similarities, it can be easier for someone who is already familiar with a Slavonic language to learn another from the same family.
"With the war in Ukraine ongoing, there is a need for the UK to have not only Ukrainian specialists but specialists in the languages and cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. We need people who understand how and why each of these countries - who are vitally important for peace and stability in Europe - respond to the conflict and its impact over the coming years.”
Register your interest in taking either the beginners Ukrainian course or the language conversion course
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