Australian teacher writes a book about Kalmykia

Unicorn Chess, Buddhism and saigas are what brought a teacher from Australia to Kalmykia. Justin Corfield is not the first time in the steppe republic. And each of his visits is a celebration of the soul for him, the foreigner admits.

Justin Corfield in Kalmykia:

History teacher Justin Corfield from Australia came to our republic for the third time. And according to the established tradition, he held an informative lesson for schoolchildren of the Elista Lyceum. Children caught on the fly every word of a foreigner and even kept up the conversation, asking questions on a particular topic. 10-grader Aldar Emirov communicated with a native English speaker for the first time, and most importantly, the young man says, he understood almost everything the teacher said. The guys were interested in everything, especially the life of schoolchildren in distant Australia.

According to Justin, he learned about Kalmykia in 2007 when he wanted to organize a chess club with his students. Then, on the Internet, they learned a lot about the republic, where chess is included in the educational program.

And as it turned out, Kalmykia is not only chess, it is also Buddhism, amazing khurul, tulips, saigas and much more, says Justin Corfield.


In 2009 he visited Kalmykia for the first time, and later in 2011 he came here with his students. Then they had a chance to meet Kalmyk chess players and share their experience. Pupils from Australia also visited the Elista Lyceum, made friends with the guys.

And as Justin says, the level of knowledge of the English language of the lyceum students pleasantly surprised them. Amulanga Badmayeva also had a chance to attend that meeting with foreign guests. By the way, the high school student recently returned from America, where she lived for a year under the student exchange program.

Valentina Ulyumdzhieva, a teacher with 30 years of experience, traveled to England and the USA more than once. Communication with native speakers is a very good practice, says an experienced teacher.

Justin has a hobby, he writes stories. And the Australian school history teacher also decided to leave all his visits to Kalmykia on paper. By the end of the year, he is completing work on a book about the steppe republic and hopes to come here again.

Baira Petrova, Anatoly Khaptakhanov
Vesti Kalmykia

Leave a Reply