Marina Sheveleva’s Internship at Montclair State University
Marina Sheveleva shared her experience of participating in the Fulbright programme in a teaching and learning methods workshop at the Department of Foreign Languages at HSE in Perm, and spoke about the six months when she lived and worked in New Jersey, USA.
Marina Sheveleva, Associate Professor at the School of Foreign Languages, HSE in Perm, made it to the finals in the Fulbright Faculty Development Program competition, and worked at Montclair Public Research University from August 2015 to January 2016. As part of the grant, she developed her course on Speaking in an Academic Context. She spoke about the theoretical principles of this course at her teaching and learning methods workshop.
In addition to this, Marina Sheveleva shared the valuable experience she received during her internship, such as the rules for preparing papers for publication in international peer-reviewed journals: ‘As part of the Methods of Educational Research course, we were taught how to make a literature review. This pattern helped me in my research. First, you have to demonstrate why the research is important and innovative, then review the theory in general, and then narrow the focus down to your study’.
Prof. Sheveleva outlined the criteria that can increase the paper’s chances of being published: ‘First, the study should be interdisciplinary; second, the team should be international; and third, the problem should be theoretical’. For example, during her internship, Marina Sheveleva published a joint paper with Tatiana Permyakova and K. Wang, ‘Personality and Individual Differences’, in an international journal.
Marina Sheveleva also told the audience about some teaching methods at Montclair Public Research University that differ from those usually used in Russia (Teaching for Equity and Diversity course). ‘First, a student always reads something before a lecture, a workshop, or any other event. The professor sends out a list of literature and controls the process. Second, the students always have a choice, such as a choice of the type of exam: a project, oral examination, etc. Third, there is always connection to real life. For example, students from Mexico were preparing a handbook for immigrants. Fourth, students always know what project they will be working on before the course starts. And each project has detailed evaluation criteria, which can’t be changed.’
Marina Sheveleva mentioned that she also participated in a roundtable discussion, ‘Different Cultures, Similar Challenges’, and delivered a lecture on Russian culture. In addition to that, students of HSE in Perm took part in a video conference with students of Montclair State University. ‘It was exciting. We are looking forward to repeating this experience,’ Marina Sheveleva emphasized.
At the end of the meeting, the workshop participants asked their questions to Prof. Sheveleva. They were interested in how to be selected for the programme, whether it’s possible to choose the university, and other related issues.
The Fulbright programme is the largest American state programme of academic exchange. It is running in 160 countries, and in Russia, it has been successfully working since 1973. The programme offers grants for trips to the USA for various purposes as part of a competition. The competition lasts one year and involves several stages: application and review of the application, interview with a Russian-American academic committee, and an English exam.