About Foreign Language Teaching Department
Verbal behaviour is your business card in society. The knowledge of foreign languages facilitates communication, removes national borders and cultural differences and spreads human knowledge globally. The acquisition and use of language is becoming more and more important. In the dynamics of modern society, all areas of activity require knowledge of one or more foreign languages.
Department of "Foreign Language Teaching" offers training in 7 foreign languages for all specialities in educational-and-qualification degrees "Bachelor" and "Master", which is in compliance with the levels of language proficiency described by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The lecturers at the Foreign Language Teaching Department are highly qualified professionals, convinced in the benefits of the modern language training methods. They implement the current requirements for training students, thus guaranteeing high levels of language proficiency in accordance with the European standards.
Department of "Foreign Language Teaching" was established with a resolution of the General Assembly of the university adopted on 24.01.2001. It unites the former Foreign Language Departments at the faculties of Economics and Art. The first Director of the Department, Senior Lecturer Sonia Monova, was elected on 09.02.2001 at a Constituent Assembly of the Department. Since 2005 the Director of the Department has been Assoc. Prof. Galina Shamonina, PhD.
The Department is located on the third floor of the university with the Director’s and secretary’s offices, all lecturers’ offices and the Boardroom situated there. All offices are equipped with computers and there is access to the Internet, photocopiers, printers and scanners. Foreign language training takes place in specialized language rooms, equipped with computers and multimedia. All offices are specially equipped and furnished for the purposes of language training.
24 highly qualified full-time lecturers-philologists work at the Department. They take part in the scientific forums in Bulgaria and abroad and have publications in the field of language training and linguodidactics. The lecturers constantly upgrade their qualifications attending linguistic and scientific internships: at the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Moscow (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010), the Saint Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics (2007); academic mobility has been carried out in Great Britain (2001, 2004), Germany (2001, 2003, 2005, 2006), Belgium (2006, 2007), France (2007) and Turkey (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006).
The system of training at the Department:
- is clearly structured and comprehensive, providing continuity and adaptability to the needs of the students;
- has leading concepts, principles and approaches;
- has clearly defined curriculum;
- is with strict organization and clear procedures;
- has its own mechanism for the maintenance of standards and identifying achievements - both students’ and lecturers’.
- The Department offers courses in 7 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Latin and Bulgarian for foreign students.
- The foreign language courses are in compliance with the levels of language proficiency described by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, developed by the Council of Europe.
The Department offers training for the following levels:
- Foreign Language – level 1st (level A1 of the European Framework)
- Foreign Language – level 2nd (level A2 of the European Framework)
- Foreign Language – level 3rd (level B1 of the European Framework)
- Foreign Language – level 4th (level B2 of the European Framework)
The Department offers specialized language courses in the following areas:
- Cultural Studies
- Law Enforcement
- Architecture And Construction
- Public Administration
- Social Activities
- Business Correspondence: Business Correspondence, Diplomatic Correspondence
The Department conducts intensive admission training courses in foreign language and organizes language placements in European countries.
European Quality Assurance
VFU students receive European Language Passport as part of the European Language Portfolio.
The European Language Portfolio is put together on the basis of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, developed by the Council of Europe. It contains criteria that apply to the entire continent.
The aim is to facilitate understanding and mobility in an integrated multilingual Europe, encouraging lifelong language learning and fluency in at least two foreign languages which is becoming a norm for the European citizens.
The European Language Passport documents the history of the study of all languages which the holder has learnt, including his/ her linguistic experience in a multicultural environment.
The Department conducts certification sessions to ascertain the level of proficiency in a foreign language and awards a university certificate and European Language Portfolio. The Department is the only Bulgarian Authorized Testing Centre for the internationally recognized certificates "Русский Экзамен-Туризм" and all levels in general Russian.
The Foreign Language Teaching Department allows you to receive a university certificate. It certifies your knowledge and skills in a foreign language at a certain level.
- The courses in general foreign language included in the curricula of the students from all specilities of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" guarantee your good preparation for sitting the certificate examination.
- To hold a certificate of proficiency in a foreign language, which meets the Common European Framework requirements, will increase your competitiveness in the labour market and will be a prerequisite for finding a well-paid job in Bulgarian and foreign companies.
- The certificates holders are exempt from foreign language examinations. The certificate is also important upon applying to the next educational – and – qualification degree.
- You may need the certificate before you graduate.
- The certificate guarantees to every employer in Bulgaria and abroad the possession of the required knowledge and skills in the respective foreign language.
- The university certificate is given with the European Language Portfolio. Your Language Passport is in it.
The certificate examinations are held in two examination sessions: spring - April and autumn - November.
We offer the opportunity to sit the certificate examination for English for specific purposes for the following specialities: Psychology, National Security Protection and business English for all specialities of the Faculty of International Economics and Administration.
- The enrollment for the certificate examination is done by submitting an APPLICATION FORM, accompanied by an invoice for paid fee.
- The application is to be filed in the office of the Foreign Language Teaching Department (Room A 343) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day.
- The information for the certificatе sessions is announced in due course on the website of the University.
Description of the examination procedure
The examination consists of a written test and an oral part.
A. WRITTEN TEST.
It consists of three subtests that take place within the specified time. For each of them the candidates receive from the invigilators written materials with test tasks and an answer sheet, on which personal data and the task answers chosen by them are filled in. The materials and the answer sheet are collected by the invigilators after the expiry of time.
1. SUBTEST FOR LISTENING COMPREHENSION.
Duration: 10 - 30 minutes
The candidates are given instructions in Bulgarian for the tasks. All candidates simultaneously listen to an audio recording of a text (dialogue, part of a dialogue, monologue speech) of 5 to 8 minutes duration. Upon listening to the recordings, the candidates must capture the maximum information about the topic of the text, the personalities of the speakers, their possible relationship, opinions expressed, time and place of the event, specific data (numbers, dates, names). The recording is listened twice more to check the answers, and then the invigilators collect the answer sheets.
2. SUBTEST FOR READING COMPREHENSION.
Duration: 30 - 60 minutes
This part consists of test tasks on texts, checkup of the knowledge of vocabulary and grammar through work on texts.
3. SUBTEST FOR WRITING SKILLS CHECKUP
Duration: 30 - 45 minutes
This part consists of drawing up a written text on a given topic with difficulty, consistent with the level of the examination.
B. ORAL TEST
1. SUBTEST FOR SPEAKING SKILLS CHECKUP
Duration 10 - 15 minutes
The candidate presents a 3 to 4 minutes statement prepared in advance on one of the previously announced topics whose number the candidate has drawn. Within each of the topics, everyone can choose only a single aspect, a separate problem and develop his/ her whole statement on it. The examiner asks brief clarifying questions specifically to the thesis presented by the applicant.
Your statement will be assessed according to:
- the structure and coherence of the text;
- the language used in your statement;
- diversity and proper use of vocabulary appropriate for the topic and language structures;
- comprehensible pronunciation and normal pace;
The assessment is based on a number of scored points (correct answers of the test tasks and level of performance of the written and oral part).
The candidate has passed the examination if he/ she displays at least 60% skills and habits.
What is the quality assurance of the certificate?
- The examinations are conducted according to the European standards for assessing linguistic competence.
- As a member of OPTIMA, the Bulgarian Association of Quality Language Services, the Foreign Language Teaching Department is the Quality Mark holder for language training and has the right to give the successful candidates the European Language Portfolio with the logo of the European centres for language testing, personal photo and identification number of the successful candidate. The Department is entitled to put a seal in the Language Passport to certify for passed training courses and received certificates.
What is the European Language Portfolio?
- The European Portfolio was introduced to stimulate language learning. It helps you demonstrate your knowledge of foreign languages and cultures. It is based on the language levels described in the Common European Framework, developed by the Council of Europe.
- The Portfolio is private property. It is a tool that accompanies you in lifelong language learning, thus documenting it.
- It consists of three parts: Language Passport, Language Biography and the Dossier.
Overview (with possibility for updating) of your experience and competence regarding different languages. Both the officially received qualifications and diplomas, and the self-assessment are recorded in it.
Archive of your personal history of language learning that helps you to assess your learning goals, as well as to reflect on your experiences in learning foreign languages and cultures.
Collection of works and certificates chosen by you to document and illustrate your language skills, achievements and experience.
- British Council
- French Cultural Institute
- Russian Cultural and Information Centre, Sofia
- Cervantes Institute
- Russkiy Mir Foundation
- Pearson Longman Publishing
- BookHouse Publishing
- OPTIMA, the Bulgarian Association of Quality Language Services
- Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Moscow
- Saint Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics
- Saint Petersburg State University
- Samara State University