Tuesday, April 7, 2009

English Club: A Missionary Technique

I came across an interesting description of how Russian missionaries in the Russia Yekaterinburg Mission legally teach Russians in English without incorporating themselves as a private school.

Elder and Sister McElvoy explain the fine points:

At English "Club," the missionaries respect the rules that forbid us from conducting "classes" since we're not a licensed school. We are permitted to sit for an hour and converse in English on a chosen topic--"fast food, vacation destinations, housing, etc." After the discussion, the missionaries offer a five-minute spiritual thought in Russian to anyone who cares to stay. Most do stay. Some want English alone. Others like the spiritual thoughts and want to hear more.
Many different missions in non-English countries have variations of ways to teach English to people interested in learning. This is a very standard way they do it although they might call it something different in other missions.


Ardis Parshall said...

Thanks for this. I didn't realize there were possible legal ramifications to this in Russia. There didn't seem to be in France, where we held regular English instructions -- your post brings back some fun memories. English practice was always popular in France, and I suppose in most other places in the world, and it's one of those activities where missionaries and local people could really get to know each other as people, talking about natural subjects, sometimes joking, always encouraging ... and sometimes able to share a little bit of gospel, too.

Thanks for this report on the twist to this in Russia.

BruceCrow said...

This is really interesting. In Hong Kong we had no legal issues, but did run into conflicts between British vs American English.