On July 26, 2020, the XIII International Summer School of Ukrainian Studies «Step to Ukraine» has completed its work. For the first time, the Summer School of the International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations, Lviv Polytechnic National University, was held online. And this is not the only innovation of the School. New were the form, means, program, methodology, countries of participation and much more.
20 students from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Poland, Russia and Romania participated in the School. These are people of different ages, professions and interests, with different motivation to study and basic knowledge of the Ukrainian language. Among the participants of the School there were students who studied at the Summer School of IECDR not for the first, and not even for the second time.
Before training registered participants passed testing and an oral interview to determine the level of proficiency in the Ukrainian language. According to their results, students were divided into 7 small groups – up to 4 people in each. Students of the School could choose a convenient study schedule – from 10:00 or 16:00 (Kyiv time). The School also had an option – individual training.
The school program is two weeks of intensive Ukrainian as a foreign language (from July 13 to 26): daily Ukrainian language classes, daily conversations with native speakers, discussion clubs with celebrities on Saturday and Sunday, the opportunity to communicate in Ukrainian in a virtual environment with teachers, organizers and all students of the School 24 hours a day.
The Summer School of Ukrainian Studies Step to Ukraine is not only a school for learning the Ukrainian language, it is an opportunity to get to know modern and traditional Ukraine. The educational process included history, culture and traditions of ancient and realities of modern Ukraine, dialogues with famous contemporaries, review of Ukrainian innovations in the field of art, master classes by various artists in their studios etc.
This year, IECDR introduced a new form of training – discussion clubs with celebrities online. How did they take place? At first, the students of the School communicated with the invited guest, a well-known person, with the help of a moderator. During these meetings, students asked questions, exchanged views, thus overcoming the language barrier, practicing speaking, and receiving experience in public speaking in Ukrainian. After the dialogue, students went to their virtual classrooms and discussed what they had heard in groups with the teacher.
Thus, students of the XIII Summer School of Ukrainian Studies «Step to Ukraine» talked to Lesia Voroniuk, writer, journalist, screenwriter and director, founder of the Day of Embroidery, author of documentaries «Heritage of the Nation», «Nightingale Sings» and «Weaving Way»; Anastasiia Vasylyk, designer, founder of the Chycheri brand, winner of the International Young Designers Contest within Milan Fashion Days, participant of fashion shows in Ukraine, Poland, Montenegro and Barcelona; Nazar Savko, singer, musician, composer, finalist of the show «The Voice of the Country», co-author of the popular children’s YouTube channel «With love to children»; Mykola Stupinskyi, a Lviv-based graphic and painting artist, the author of six solo exhibitions and numerous art projects in Ukraine, Italy and China.
Another innovation of the School Step to Ukraine was live virtual tours to the artists’ studios, laboratories, showrooms and workshops, where their hosts showed their achievements and told about their work. The students of the School visited the studio of the artist Mykola Stupinskyi, where they saw his works, a place of creation, a unique technique of the artist, and a new piece he is painting.
Roman Korzh, Vice-Rector for Education and Social Development, Lviv Polytechnic National University, and Irina Liuba Horvat, Secretary General of the Union of Ukrainians of Romania, with the assistance of which a group of students from the Universities of Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Suceava took part in the School, participated in the online closing of the XIII International Summer School of Ukrainian Studies «Step to Ukraine».
At the closing of the School there was a virtual presentation of student certificates, the originals of which they would receive by post.
Teachers of the School: IECDR staff, doctors of philosophy, academic staff of Lviv Polytechnic, authors of textbooks on Ukrainian as a foreign language: Oksana Horda, Nazar Danchyshyn, Halyna Temnyk, Oksana Trumko, Nataliia Martynyshyn, Olha Soroka, Oksana Halaichuk and Olena Mytsko remotely presented students with certificates of training completion at the Summer School.