Faculty of Foreign Languages

Professor Svetlana Grigor'evna Ter-Minasova

Professor Svetlana Grigor'evna Ter-Minasova

Professor Svetlana Grigor’evna Ter-Minasova is one of the leading foreign language specialists and teachers, who has built up a formidable international reputation. She has made a great contribution to the development of international understanding through her indefatigable and enthusiastic promotion of the teaching of foreign languages in both its practical and scholarly aspects.
Svetlana Ter-Minasova was born in Moscow on 25, August 1938.
At present professor Svetlana Ter-Minasova is President of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia, and Professor Emeritus in the University. She holds a Doctorate of Philology from the University, and has published more than 200 books and papers on Foreign Language Teaching, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, and has lectured widely throughout the world.
She is chairperson of the FLT Council (Ministry of Education, Russia) since 1987. She has been the founding President of both National Association of Applied Linguistics (NAAL, Russia) an affiliate of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) since 1989 and the founding President of National Association of Teachers of English (NATE, Russia), a collective member of the International Associations TESOL (the USA) and IATEFL (the UK); since 1995 the chairperson of the FLT Council (Ministry of Education and Science, Russia). She holds the Lomonosov Award, Fulbrights 50th Anniversary Award, and was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Birmingham in the UK, the State University of New York in the USA, the Russian-Armenian University, in Armenia and the Visiting Professor by the National Research Tomsk State University. She is a member of IAFOR International Advisory Board.
In 1970 Svetlana Grigor'evna defended her candidate dissertation on the subject: “The Synthesis of Productive and Semi-Productive Collocations and the Problem of the Logic of Language”, in 1982 – a doctorate thesis The Syntagmatics of Functional Styles.

In 1983 by the order of MSU rector, she was appointed head of the Foreign Languages Department of the History Faculty.

From 1988 to 2012 Professor Ter-Minasova was the founding dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages created on her initiative. In 2001 Area Studies were introduced into the curriculum of FFL, and in 2004 it was renamed into the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies.

Since 1991 she has been heading the Department of FLT Theory. In 2012 Professor Ter-Minasova was promoted to the honorary position of President of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies.

Her academic interests embrace syntax, morphology, lexicology, lexicography, stylistics, linguopoetics, theories and methods of FLT, Russian studies, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, intercultural communication.

Svetlana Grigor'evna gave general courses on English syntax and special courses: The Fundamentals of the Theory of Word-combinations, Syntagmatics of Functional Styles at the English department, Philological Faculty; a special course Language and Society at the department of Ethnology, History Faculty; The World of the Language under Study, The Textology of Scientific Discourse, Language and Intercultural Communication, The Sociocultural Component of Speech Production and its Part in Language Teaching at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies.

At present Professor Ter-Minasova pays special attention to ELT theory and methods and to problems of interlingual and intercultural communication, participates actively in conferences and gives lectures on the subject in Russia and abroad.

Svetlana Grigor'evna Ter-Minasova has published more than 200 academic papers in this country and abroad which include 10 scholar monographs and 7 textbooks. Most important include:

• "Word - Combination. Theory and Method" (1974),

" : " (1980),

" - " (1981),

" " (1986),

"Language, Linguistics and Life" (1996, 2009),

" " (1998 ),

" " (2000, 2005, 2008, 2012),

" " (2007, 2008).

Svetlana Grigor'evna Ter-Minasova teaches the following courses:

From 1963 to 1993 she supervised the Students English Theatre which won prizes at Students Festivals and Competitions and toured the country very successfully.

She has supervised more than 60 candidate and doctorate dissertations. She has been the chairperson of the specialized Academic Council for defending candidate and doctorate dissertations on Romance-Germanic philology and foreign language teaching theory and methods since its foundation in 1991.

In 2014 parts of Svetlana Grigor'evna Ter-Minasovas book Notes by a Dinosaur were published in The Youth () magazine. It is a book about her life that she has spent mostly (from 1956) in Moscow State University. The book is published by SLOVO in 2015.

Micheal Swan


Talking to a gentleman
at the Evergreens' garden party
in the Village Hall,
I discovered
that he knew Svetlana
- whom I had last seen in Moscow.
This came as no surprise.
In a Bangkok temple,
at a New York soiree,
on a Cairo tram,
in a Newcastle transport cafe,
you will inevitably meet several people
who know Svetlana.
There are Mongolian yak-herders
whose children
are named after Svetlana.
The folksongs
of Arnhem land
make constant reference to her.
According to several legends
Prince Oramov of Baluchistan,
the dragon-slayer,
shot himself
for love of Svetlana.
(It was fortunate
that he missed.
disapproves of violence).
When Sorensen first decoded
the hieroglyphs of Bal-Shamek,
he found, as he expected,
in the royal cartouche
the signs for S,V,T,L...
Scholars differ, however,
as to the exact reason
why 'Svetlana' is carved in runes
upside down
on a pillar
in Hagia Sophia.
In the battle of Isla de Ventura
two ships, both called 'Svetlana',
exchanged broadsides
for several hours.
When the rebel vessel was finally sunk
the victors rescued the defeated crew,
none of whom was hurt
(Svetlana hates violence).
when hostilities were over,
many of the sailors
married each other's sisters.
Svetlana is godmother
to all of their babies.
There is a well-documented report
(never published
for security reasons)
that Armstrong and Aldrin,
when they set foot on the moon,
found 'Svetlana'
traced in the dust
in letters eight feet high.
So you and I,
dear reader,
now have two things to bind us.
Not only are you reading my poem
(if you have stopped
you are, manifestly,
not the reader I am addressing)
but you are also shouting
- as if I could hear you
so far upstream -
'But listen!
I know Svetlana, too!'
Of course you do, dear reader.
Of course you do.

Do you know great Michael Swan?

A poem
To Michael Swan
from Svetlana Ter-Minasova
in reply to his poem
I know Svetlana

Do you know great Michael Swan?
Ill tell you what hes like.
He knows me so closely
I dare call him Mike.

Hes big and strong and handsome
But great not for his looks
The whole world of foreigners
Learn English through his books.
And English spreads so rapidly
Each week a languages gone*
So English learners** desperately
Cry: Help us, Michael Swan.
And Michael saves all sufferers
Like a King Arthurs knight
Providing them with textbooks
That say whats wrong, whats right.
And millions studying English
Cry: gut, khoroshy, bon,
Merci, spasibo, danke
And thank you,*** Michael Swan!

* See D. Chrystal.

** Especially enthusiastic Russian ladies.

*** Often pronounced as sank you by Russian learners.

About Us

Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies
Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, Moscow, Leninskie gory 1, Bldg. 13-14.

E-mail: dean@ffl.msu.ru