My name is Irina Zaykovskaya, I have a Ph.D. in Second Language Studies and am currently teaching Russian at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
I am originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. Fortunate to have been born into a family with a particularly high number of post-graduate degrees per capita, I had little choice but follow suit. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and English languages, a Master’s in Philological Education with a concentration in Linguistics and Russian, and then yet another degree in the Russian Language, a Russian equivalent of a Ph.D. called Candidate of Sciences, all from the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. After that (and eight years of teaching English at the Petersburg State Transport University), of course, I thought that one Ph.D. was not enough, so I moved to the United States and spent five years at Michigan State University, getting my degree and teaching courses in Russian, Language Learning and Teaching, and Pedagogical Grammar.
I am currently enjoying teaching three levels of Russian at IMSA . I am working on decolonizing Russian language syllabi and developing tools to promote reflective and autonomous language learning strategies among my students.