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First Trip to Russia for Jolly Phonics

Marj NewburyMarj Newbury – June 2014

Being a Jolly Phonics trainer often means that you get to explore the world and meet passionate teachers while giving training in different countries. One of our trainers, Marj Newbury, recently went to Russia to introduce Jolly Phonics to local teachers.

Marj: ‘An invitation from Russia for Jolly Phonics training is exciting enough but the reality was even better. My Russian contact was Svetlana Golubeva, who along with her husband and a wonderful band of Jolly workers, have set up Jolly English ( in St Petersburg. They arranged 2 days of free training, one in St Peterburg and one in Moscow, and approximately 50 teachers attended each day.

Although Jolly Phonics is at a very early stage in Russia, there was an enormous amount of enthusiasm. The training was a huge success and the teachers were not only so open to understanding the main principles behind synthetic phonics, but also hugely enthusiastic about trialling it in their very different settings.’

DSCN0391Svetlana, the founder of Jolly English, said: ‘Once we decided to run training in Russia, I thought that we would have to start by explaining to teachers what Jolly Phonics is all about. However, I was very surprised to find out that some schools had already been using the programme. Although there were some supporters of the synthetic phonics method, many teachers were hard to persuade to give the methodology a try as they were used to their own teaching methods. At the start of the training those teachers kept asking Marj about the alphabet. In the end, everyone was enthusiastically participating in all activities.’

Marj: ‘I have definitely learnt something about Jolly phonics and that is, behind a request like this, there is always someone whose passion for Jolly Phonics teaching outweighs any obstacles in their way. Here’s one quote from the end of the day in Moscow, ‘I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow!’  You don’t often hear that from all teachers around the world – just Jolly Phonics ones!’

Click here to view pictures from the training events.