Oxana Allen is a new professor at Colorado Mesa University, starting her first class this upcoming fall semester. Allen was born and raised in Moldova, formerly Soviet Union. After finishing high school she wanted to continue her education and went to Ukraine and earned her master’s degree in education.
Allen taught English and Russian as a foreign language in Moldova and Ukraine, and can speak four languages: Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and English. Allen immigrated to the U.S. in 2000. She moved to California and then to Grand Junction four years ago to take classes at CMU. Allen taught Algebra at Caprock Academy last year and decided to become a professor because she likes working with older students.
Allen’s first class is Russian Beginning I and will begin in the upcoming fall semester. Spring semester will hopefully bring Russian Beginning II. Allen is a big believer in interactive learning. She wants to focus more on in class activities such as repetition, games and dialogues and less on take home work. She wants the majority of what her students learn to be learned in class.
As well as learning the language, Allen plans to introduce students to different aspects of the culture, traditions and foods of Russia. Allen is planning to make crepes with the class as a fun in class activity.
While Allen is not promising fluency in two semesters, she does say that students should be able to travel to Russian speaking countries or read documents in Russian, and be able to understand enough of what is going on to get by. While many people think more of Spanish or French when they think of taking a foreign language, Russian is a lot more common than many assume.
Russian is a Slavic language and falls sixth on the list of the languages that are most used, following Chinese, Hindi, English and Spanish. The Russian Beginning I class will take place Monday, Wednesday Friday from 1-1:50 p.m. in Houston Hall.
Outside of teaching, Allen loves to do activities with her four children such as playing tennis, volleyball and basketball. She has learned a lot about construction and likes doing projects around her house. She takes her children on many outdoor adventures. Anything with a beach and ocean are their favorite. Hunting, fishing, hiking and mushroom picking are also enjoyed. Allen hopes to learn how to play guitar and speak Spanish and French someday.