“Matryoshka” says the European way!


Russian-speaking community of parents and teachers in Berlin "MITRA" initiated the weekly forum "We speak European" in the framework of the European Grundtvig program. As a partner, the CET "Matryoshka" was invited to the forum. Participation of the CET "Matryoshka" in this project was funded by the National agency on European programs in Germany.

The European forum was attended by representatives of 13 countries - more than 20 teachers from schools and universities, which are engaged in research on bilingualism. Meetings on Education and Multilingualism were held in the Russian House of Science and Culture in Berlin, whereas meetings with the officials, dealing with education in Germany, took place in the Parliament. Berlin officials were impressed by experience of work with bilingual children acquired during the past ten years. Officials expressed their appreciation of the socio-political activities, performed by NGOs in Germany - "Through bilingualism to integration."

Part of the program was devoted to exploring the Berlin International School and the school of the "Mitra" community. German-Russian school and kindergarten of the "Mitra" Society are well known not only in the capital but in other states of Germany as well.

Russian-speaking community "MITRA"

As for now, it is the only European organization, which practically demonstrates advantages of bilingual education in secondary school. The concept of bilingual education in schools and kindergartens of the "Mitra" society is built so that one language complements the other, and both are in the perfect balance. In the end of the seminar was raised a question about the necessity to create an international community of bilingual organizations. Creation of community, capable to produce common expert and experimental mechanisms, is important not only for scientists, heads of schools and teachers, but also for civil society organizations. Work towards this end has begun in Europe and in Switzerland in particular.

In November 2011, participation of CET “Matryoshka” in the Forum of European Parliament led to the establishment of the “International Mother Tongue Association”. The Russian School "Matryoshka" in the Netherlands became a partner of Association. Initiative was supported by professors from numerous European universities.

Forum’s closing ceremony was held in the Family Center of Berlin, which is also run by the "MITRA" society. The Family Center was provided by the city authorities in a state of neglect. The "MITRA" society, using its own funds, has brought the building into a luxury villa, where you can, as it seemed to delegates, arrange Pushkin Ball.

Representative of the CET “Matryoshka” and International Mother Tongue Association Olga Alexandre shared her successful experience in organizing projects and activities for bilingual children and their parents in Switzerland. The next event, planned by the "International Mother Tongue Association", is timed to celebrate the Teacher's Day. The program of the event and information about application process will be published later. We hope that taking part in a common effort, aimed to scrutinize regional and cantonal issues related to the status of the Russian language in Switzerland, will bear fruits.