For several months now older preschoolers of a daycare centre №313 have been studying French. The children are taught by a student of Siberian Federal University Kondé Abubakhir Sidiki from Guinea.
The daycare teachers have lived with the idea of implementing a form of multilingual education, when children study languages and also learn about the history and culture of different countries directly from teachers who are native speakers, for about a year before finally introducing it in 2020.
Last summer, one of the teachers invited the SibFU student to speak with the children some as an experiment. Kondé was invited to visit, introduced to the children and given a tour of the place. The kindergarteners began to ask questions: where was Kondé born, whether he ever saw snow, and thus a conversation ensued. The children were happy to repeat unfamiliar words, and by the time of the next visit they could easily say 'hello' and 'goodbye' in French. Kondé Sidiki has become a new friend of a large daycare family; now not a single important event for the centre takes place without him.
Konde is 23 years old, his father once studied mining in Krasnoyarsk. The son followed father's footsteps and in 2018 entered the Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals of Siberian Federal University, where he is studying to this day.
Konde visits the daycare centre three times a week. He does not teach French in the usual sense, but moreso plays a lot and communicates with preschool children. He speaks mainly French, sometimes switching to English and variations of Creole. During the first lessons, he was primarily focused on communicating through gestures and facial expressions, but nowadays cards and various objects are being used as well. The goal of multilingual education is to create an environment in which children who do not know the language find ways to interact with those who speak another language.
«Our children get to know the language through games and exercises, during lunch and walks. They easily and quickly memorize words, individual phrases, songs and poems. It is important that both the kids and Konde have a mutual interest. Starting from the new year, we plan on introducing French to three more groups,» - said the centre's principal Viktoria Malaya.