In May 2020, Russkiy Mir Foundation announced an international competition "Russian Speech-2020" under the auspices of Rossotrudnichestvo (Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation). The competition is aimed at stimulating the scientific, methodical and creative potential of teachers, as well as at popularizing and disseminating the best modern approaches, technologies and methods in teaching Russian as a Foreign Language.
The results of the competition were announced on October 30, 2020, where winners from different countries of the world were selected.
The first place in the nomination "Best online program in the field of Russian Language as a Foreign Language" was awarded to the Russian language dialogue simulator "Tom’s Adventures in Russia" which was created under the guidance of Deputy Head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication for Scientific Work Nina Kozlovtseva.
The jury of the competition consisted of experts from the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow Region State University and many other higher educational institutions, as well as representatives from the Rossotrudnichestvo Agency. More than 200 applications were presented in three categories:
1. “Best class of Russian as a Foreign Language”;
2. “Best online program in the field of Russian as a Foreign Language”;
3. “Best textbook of Russian as a Foreign Language”.
The use of the simulator in the educational process contributes to:
1. The improvement of the level of communication competence of foreign students;
2. The development of skills to structure one’s own speech according to the social status of the interlocutor and the situation of communication;
3. The development of pragmatic skills in the main ways of starting, continuing and finishing a conversation in basic communication situations;
4. Obtaining and learning linguocultural information about Russia;
5. Creating conditions for effective sociocultural adaptation of foreign students to the Russian educational environment.
The authors express their gratitude to the management of the Department of Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication, in particular Deputy Head of the Department Elena Ganina, who provided organisational assistance to the authors throughout the whole process of creating the simulator.
The team is grateful to the management of the Financial University for their assistance in the development of the simulator, which has been highly appreciated by the professional community. The authors hope to develop a series of simulators in Russian for foreigners.