Recently, it has become a lucrative option for teaching professionals from different countries to teach English in Russia. In order to understand why it is so, it is necessary to learn about the country and the most significant aspects that define its position in the contemporary global scenario.
Overview of the Russian Economy
Russia is officially known as the Russian Federation and is the largest country in the world. Located in Eurasia, Russia is famous for many reasons. The natural beauty of Russia attracts many tourists, and its biodiversity too is amazing. In recent times, Russia has become a favorite destination among corporate and business executives due fast-paced economic development. The resource-rich country has huge reserves of oil and natural gas which make it a top-ranking exporter and a strong player in the international trade arena. Russia also exports timber and metals. However, the country has been observed to have high levels of domestic demand and consumption due to rapid industrial development.
Due to these reasons, the export volume of Russia has reduced recently; however, these have in turn enhanced the nation’s economic growth. The developments have been taking place steadily and sustainably due to the fact that the political scenario in Russia is highly stable. Thanks to all these socio-political and socio-economic aspect of modern Russia, it attracts professionals from the oil and gas, and construction sectors. Legal and accounting professionals too look forward to getting job opportunities in Russia. Upon getting jobs, it is easier for these expatriates to relocate to Russia because in most cases the relocation process is fully-funded and the compensation packages are also attractive. However, if one lacks skills in these areas, there is still a chance for him to migrate to this country if he is interested to teach English in Russia.
There is a high demand for individuals who are professionally qualified to teach English in Russia. This is because the national economic development fueled by intense industrialization and scientific as well as technological developments calls for an educated workforce who can interact with global peers. Before going into a detailed discussion about the factors that need to be considered when you plan to teach English in Russia, it would be helpful if we provide you with an idea about the country’s demography and education system. We, at On The Mark TEFL, feel that this initiative would help you conceive an idea about what a student might expect from you when you begin to teach English in Russia.
Demographical Trends in Russia
Once you decide to migrate from your home country in order to teach English in Russia, it would make a lot of sense if you make serious efforts to learn about the people of Russia and the education system that are accustomed to. It is interesting to note that despite having a large population; Russia’s population density is considerably lower than that of many other developed countries. This is attributed to the enormously large area of Russia. Given the fact that Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of surface area, this is not too surprising. Maximum population densities are recorded in European Russia and South West Siberia. The impact of industrialization and economic development can be better understood from the fact that almost 75% of Russia’s population inhabits its cities. This leaves a meager 25% of the Russians to populate the rural areas.
Also, you shall need to know that the population of Russia had started to decline very fast in the mid-1990s. The declining trend has recently stabilized, owing to decreasing death rates and increasing birth rates. In addition to these, continuous immigration has also played a significant role in stabilizing a declining population. The fact that Russia has been traditionally a nation that gives utmost importance to education is especially vital in this context. A rising population, in the midst of sustainable industrial as well as economic developments supported by benevolent government policies, and an effective education system, would mean that Russia will have a large number of young educated people in the near future. Cognizance of this projection should encourage many people from all over the world to teach English in Russia.
Education System in Russia
Russia has always been observed to have considered education as highly significant. Almost inherently, Russia has been extremely strong in the fields of science and technology, and industry. Russians being supremely talented in mathematics and science, the country has gifted numerous inventors and innovators to the world. It is worthwhile to mention that, among all Eurasian nations, Russia boasts of the maximum number of postgraduates. Owing to all these factors, it is quite obvious that Russia is a favorite destination for students, educationists, scientists, industrialists, and technocrats. If we calculate the number of graduates and postgraduates as a percentage of the total population of a country, a staggering 54% of Russians have attained tertiary education. This is undoubtedly a commendable feat. Another vital fact about the Russian education system is that as per the Constitution of Russia, the government guarantees free education up to secondary school level to all through the public school system. Russia has an eleven-year school education system.
Education in universities is also provided for free, although with certain reservations. While planning to teach English in Russia, you would be amazed to know that the country has an extremely high literacy rate of almost 100%. Among the most prestigious accolades received by the Russian education system, the most significant ones during recent years include the following:
- In a 2014 ranking, the Russian education system bagged the 8th best position among all European nations and the 13th best position in the whole world. During this year, Russia had also achieved the 21st position globally in terms of highest education attainment rate. The cognitive skills possessed by Russian students ranked 9th highest. In addition to all these, Russia was the sixth most preferred destination among foreign students.
- During the year 2015, the science and mathematics skills of Russian students were given the 34th rank by the OECD.
- In 2016, the US based firm Bloomberg gave the third best rank to the Russian higher education system.
General Concept of English Teaching
For any person who intends to teach English in Russia, it is important to recognize the significance of Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL). This is also known as Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and is popular mainly due to the traveling advantages that are provided. You would be fascinated to know that TESOL/ TEFL is a huge industry that spread worldwide. There are countless employment websites and other institutions that provide certification pertaining to these. These certifications are especially necessary for non-native English speakers who wish to teach English in Russia. While in Russia, a TESOL/ TEFL certification serves as a proof of thorough knowledge in grammatically correct English. This, again, is very crucial in order to teach English in Russia because Russian students are very particular about grammar.
How to Teach English in Russia
Despite the fact that Russia has the highest percentage of graduates and postgraduates in the entire world, English is a foreign language for Russians. Owing to this fact, the level at which English is taught in Russian schools is poor in comparison to that in English-speaking countries. Many Russians feel the urgency to learn English at that stage in their lives when they start looking for jobs, or when they come across better prospects in Multinational Corporations (MNCs). This is where the process of adult education comes into the picture, and students, as well as professionals, start looking for people who can teach English in Russia. Thanks to the enhanced awareness about the importance of English as a vital medium of communication in today’s globalized world, Russians have started recognizing the fact that their children should learn English from an early age. So, it can be easily understood that the overall demand for individuals who can teach English in Russia is immensely high.
From the above discussion, it is evident that an assignment to teach English in Russia can be challenging and, at the same time, quite interesting. A TESOL/ TEFL certified teacher can opt for various types of English-teaching assignments in Russia – he can teach English to school goers, to college and university students, and to business professionals. He can even teach English in schools. The remunerations shall vary with the type of assignment. While teaching English to students in their homes or private facilities, the general approach is quite informal; however, in corporate setups, it is important to wear business attire and adopt a more formal approach. Russians are a cordial people; hence you can expect a lot of bonding and interactions once they get properly acquainted with you and, of course, feel satisfied with the way you teach English to them. Owing to fact that the country is developing further each day, it is safe to say that you shall have a long-term prospect if you choose to teach English in Russia.