The history of the Department of Germanic Languages at the Belarusian State University began in 2001. Its predecessor, the Department of Romano-Germanic Languages, was initiated in 1996 at the newly founded Faculty of International Relations. Till its restructuring in September 2001 the Department focused on teaching and researching four languages – German, French, Spanish, and Italian. The reorganization resulted in the appearance of the Department of Germanic Languages as a separate division aimed at providing training in German, Swedish and Polish at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for the students of five specialties existing at the Faculty of International Relations.
The scope of academic disciplines read by the staff of the Department includes: Foreign Language (First), Foreign Language (Second), Foreign Language for Professional Purposes, Theory and Practice of Translation (first foreign language), as well as Business and Diplomatic Correspondence. The Department of Germanic languages also administers the State examination and the Candidate examination in German.
Various events, both for teachers and students, are held every year under the auspices of the Department. In 2017 and 2018 the teachers of the Department and our lecturers from Germany organized the German Language Olympiad for the students of the Faculty of International Relations, and in 2019 this initiative developed into the annual Inter-University German Language Olympiad. Likewise, since 2017 our Swedish language teachers conduct the Inter-University Olympiad in the Swedish language.
Throughout its relatively short history the Department has been headed by several prominent scholars. Its first head was Nina Ivanovna Khmelnitskaya, Candidate of Philological Sciences, who was replaced by Dmitry Henrikovich Klechko, Candidate of Philological Sciences, in 2004. Since February 2007 the department has been headed by Maria Fedorovna Arsenieva, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, and Associate Professor.
At the moment the staff of the department consists of 20 people. Four of them are candidates of science, two have a master's degree, and three have completed postgraduate studies without defending their thesis.
Our team of highly qualified faculty members constantly masters their language skills and practice innovative trends of teaching methods. At the same time, we believe that it is not only the use of best didactic practices which makes good specialists, but mostly the ability to create one’s own methods and techniques of language teaching. The evidence for such ability of each faculty member at the Department of Germanic Languages is the lists of internships, standard and advanced training courses that our staff take regularly (see staff’s individual pages), as well as a number of scientific and methodological studies, educational programs, course programs, and textbooks that they create every year (see Electronic library of the BSU). Among the teachers of our Department there are practicing translators and interpreters who permanently cooperate with state, commercial, public, and charitable organizations and foundations.