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Name Graeme Fox
Graduation year 2014
Major Russian and English Literature
Minor certificate in Russian and East European Studies
What's your current job?
Graeme Fox began studying Russian in summer of 2011 at the Critical Language Institute (CLI) and the following summer studied third-year Russian through CLI in Kiev, Ukraine. Fox was awarded a highly competitive Gilman scholarship and was a runner-up for the even more prestigious Boren scholarship to study in St. Petersburg, Russia on CIEE (2013-14). Upon returning to Arizona, he became a Russian Instructional Support Specialist at the Scottsdale Unified School District and began a teaching certificate program, and in 2015, was hired as a Russian teacher at SUSD, where two public schools are the only ones to offer Russian language class in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. In 2016, Fox was one of 12 finalists from U.S. teachers and professors of Russian selected to participate in the American Councils Abroad Summer Teachers Program, an in-depth language practicum and methodology program at Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia. Full funding was provided through the U.S. Department of Education (Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad). He continues to teach high school Russian language classes in the Scottsdale district and is completing his permanent high school teaching certification.
What was your favorite thing about learning a language?
Favorite thing about learning a language (Russian): I loved those first moments when I could freely listen and answer other speakers of Russian without trying to translate my words from English. I finally felt like I was speaking a language and not just repeating learned phrases!
Any advice for current language studies students?
Sometimes learning languages can be frustrating as well as satisfying. Even if some grammar, lexicology, tenses, or vocabulary keep giving you trouble, do not give up on studying or continuing to learn the language. It took me a few years AFTER learning all of the Russian cases to finally feel more comfortable using them when writing and speaking.