My name is Irina Zaykovskaya, I have a Ph.D. in Second Language Studies and a deep interest in language ideologies and language variation and change.
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. It was at MSU that I developed a particular interest in variationist sociolinguistics as well as beliefs about and attitudes towards language.
I spent the 2020-2021 academic year teaching three levels of Russian at IMSA and redesigning Russian language syllabi in order to further decolonize them and develop tools to promote reflective and autonomous language learning strategies among my students.