Professor overcomes double challenge
As a child, Yvegeniy Tetyukhin was a victim of polio and lost the use of one of his legs. His crutches and wheelchair have become a part of his life. Unfortunately, in the former Soviet Union individuals with disabilities were banned from international travel. At a young age he decided to study the English language. He says, "I always thought that one culture was good but not enough to learn about the world. What other language can compete with English in its global embrace and influence?" For a man ready to learn about the world, not having the ability to travel was a harsh discrimination.
Despite this, Tetyukhin trained in wheelchair racing. "I like any challenge. And this is a double challenge: spiritual and physical. It keeps me in a good shape and on the go." When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, and his country became independent, he had the opportunity to travel and compete internationally in wheelchair races. From 1993 to 1998, he visited the US, Great Britain, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Germany, and Australia, giving him world experiences he could not previously have.
Tetyukhin brings his unique experiences into the classrooms of his native Kazachstan. He is an accomplished English teacher at the Petropavlosck Pedagogical Liseum in Kazachstan. Winner of several teaching awards sponsored by the American Council for International Education and a colleague of several members of the USC community, he has many friends in our city.
He is a proponent of the "global village" and remarks with pride and delight that "a new cultural phenomenon known as a person of the world is very much popular in my classroom, where the atmosphere of freedom, of life enjoyment reigns. I do not teach English. I make my students feel like they are in the world of English, being tightly connected with the reality of Kazachstani life."
Recently, Tetyukhin was in Columbia to present a seminar sponsored by the English Programs for Internationals and the Research Communications Studio of the Department of Chemical Engineering entitled, "Teaching English as a Second Language in Different Cultures: Fostering Communication in a Multi-Cultural Classroom."
During his visit to Columbia he met with Kazach students studying at EPI on Boloshak scholarships also sponsored by the American Councils for International Education.