Schools book fresh Russian hopes

A RUSSIAN textbook could be created for schools after a charity promoting the language agreed to donate £17,500.

Russkiy Mir, a Russian-based foundation dedicated to promoting the language at home and abroad, is providing the cash for the Scotland-Russia Institute.

Jenny Carr, chair of the institute, said the donation was still to be confirmed but hoped it would help expand teaching of the language in Scotland.

Currently, no school in the country has the language on the curriculum, but some have lunchtime or after-school classes.

Ms Carr said Russian was an important language to learn for business, political and cultural reasons.

She said: "Russia has a wonderful literature, and it is a very learnable language.

"It's about as difficult, according to figures from the Foreign Office, in terms of teaching hours, as German."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Modern languages are key to creating a more successful Scotland with opportunities for all to flourish."

The textbook would be a basic introduction for primary children up to Standard grade level.

The institute eventually hopes to set up resource centres for teaching the language akin to the government-backed Confucius classrooms for Mandarin.