Kaliningrad – City of Talents
Immanuel Kant State University of Russia hosted the First Talent Show, organized by the Kaliningrad Association of Teachers of English (KATE) on December 12, 2009. Participants were asked to choose one category, that is: to sing a song, recite a poem, or to show a sketch in English. Due to the great number of the participants they were divided into two large groups and evaluated by two different jury panels, each comprised a school teacher of English, a university lecturer and an exchange foreign student.
Despite the great will of the contesters to win the first prize, the Talent Show was conducted in a very friendly and warm atmosphere. The shining eyes of the little participants resolved any questions about the necessity of the contest; whereas, pupils’ and students’ desire to speak English and their fluent language impressed both the audience and the judges.
After the contest the participants, their teachers and parents shared opinions on the Talent Show:
V. A. Ryzhalo, teacher of the Secondary School No. 2 in Gvardeisk (Kaliningrad region): “I was amazed by our talented students. I think such contests and shows should be organized.”
Olga Grebenkina, Industrial-Pedagogical College in Chernyakhovsk (Kaliningrad region): “It is a fine idea and real pleasure to participate and watch young talents.”
Irina Moroz whose two daughters participated in the Talent Show: “I am sure that participation in such contests stimulates pupils to study languages!”
Andrea Alvisi, Erasmus Mundus student from the University of Bologna, member of the jury panel: “When I was asked to take part in the jury of the First Talent Show I could not be but honoured. I have to say I was really impressed by the number of participants the talent show had, and it was completely unexpected to me. It was a big event. There were people from different age levels. And, although there were some flaws in the presentations, the overall level of the participants was very good. I would like to thank the Kaliningrad Association of Teachers of English for having given me the possibility to take part in such an ambitious project.”
Most of the participants hoped that the Talent Show would become an annual event. Luckily enough, the organizers do share these hopes!
Photos by the author