Pfenninger Evgeniya

Pfenninger Evgeniya
maîtresse d'enseignement HEP
026 305 71 61

Activités à la HEP-PH FR


  • 2-905 English Language Competence (B2 level)
  • 3-607 English Intensive Week : English and the World, Diversity and Global Issues
  • 3-608 & 4-608 English Didactics & Methodology
  • 6-608 Didactics of Multilingualism and L3
  • Linguistic Coaching (English)
  • Mentorship
  • BA Tutor
  • responsible for the online English Placement Test

Recherche et développement: 

Three main axes of research:

  1. critical sociolinguistics, linguistic inequalities, language management
  2. foreign languages didactics, communicative language teaching, task-based and content-based approach, CLIL
  3. technology in language teaching, interractive boards and interractive classrooms, blended learning



  • PhD candidate in Langugae Sciences: University of Fribourg, Switzerland, started in 2019
  • Master of Arts in Didactics of Foreign Languages and English: University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 2012-2018
  • Mobility Postgraduate Programme in Applied Linguistics: University of Southampton, UK, 2014
  • Diploma in Secondary School Education, DAES I: University of Fribourg, CERF, Switzerland, 2012-2013
  • In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching: University of Cambridge, St. Giles International, Brighton, UK, 2009-2010
  • Diploma in Pedagogics and TEFL: Moscow State Teacher Training University, Russia, 2000-2005

Expériences professionnelles: 

Lecturer in English Didactics and Multilingualism 

  • University of Teacher Education Fribourg (HEP FR), since 2017
  • University of Teacher Education Vaud (HEP VD), 2018
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education & Training (IFFP), 2015 - 2019

Teacher of English (sec 1, sec 2, primary, ESP)

  • in Switzerland, 2011-2018
  • in Moscow, Russia, 2001-2011

Head of Foreign Languages Department, 2007

Compétences particulières: 

  • Strong teaching ability, enthusiasm and dynamism
  • Creativity in courses design and delivery
  • Proactive in professional self-development, reflexive teaching practice
  • Strong communication and presentational skills
  • Project management, leadership and team work

Autres publications

Languages (Mis?)Management. A Case Study of a Swiss Private Secondary Boarding School and a Russian-Speaking Niche Market

Functional Aspects of Cross-Cultural Communication and translation Problems : Proceedings of the V International Interdiscipèlinary Science Conference. Moscow, 2018 : PFUR, 2018. - 105-113

Quel paradoxe constate-t-on dans l'enseignement du russe comme branche de Maturité fédéral en Suisse?

ADLES-Beilage. Babylonia 2 /2019. Apprentissage des langues étrangères pour tous. Perspectives didactiques et questions méthodologiques. - 11

Conférences, communications, colloques

“Pretend Russian is your Foreign Language!” The Paradox of the Swiss Federal Maturity Exam in Russian.

ADLES International Conference “Foreign Language Learning for All”; September 2018, Lausanne


Swiss Federal Maturity exam is very high stakes selective procedure, providing access to Swiss state higher education for all students, that are not attending state high schools. Russian is the only distant language that may be chosen as an optional branch: as a third foreign language, of an advanced level and as a specific option. The exam is organised in the same way as other foreign languages, but the students that are taking it are either Russian speakers or Russian bilinguals.

During my seven-years’ experience of exam preparation in one of the French speaking private schools, I have noticed a bias created by the exam and its organisation. In my research I analysed two State Guidelines ( Directives pour l’examen suisse de maturité, 2003, 2012), all written exam papers from 2005 to 2017 (14 versions), two oral exam observations (in 2012 and 2015) and exam results of 5 students in years 2012-2017; aiming to understand what linguistic and socio-cultural competences are expected from the students; and what hidden curriculum is implied in exam preparation.

On the one hand, the exam has a form of other Federal Maturity foreign language exams, for example, testing comprehension, on the other hand, the examiners’ questions and texts details require a deep cultural understanding, so called “authentic native speaker” competence. I believe there is tension between the official exam policy, the expectations of examiners and exam creators, and exam preparation within the programme of private high schools, that becomes an artificial drilling to pass for a non-native speaker.

To TED or not to TED? Using TED Talks in English Language Teaching.

AUPTIC. education; Colloque International "Les technologies au service du pédagogique"; November 2018, Bienne


Using video clips is a part of many modern language learning curricula. TED talks are not just video clips, they are authentic, motivating, inspirational and enthusiastic. Authenticity of the input engages learners and confronts them with different language varieties and up-to-date language.

In my talk, I will analyse the use of TED talks in Business English Classes based on the framework of 21st century skills. I will give examples of how I use the authentic recourses of TED in class to develop language competence, job-specific competency, creativity and critical thinking of my learners. After working with the language of the clip, I encourage future entrepreneurs to create, film and video-edit their own TED talks. Authenticity of the situation allows to integrate presentation skills and collaboration as core skills of higher business education.

Languages (Mis?)Management. A Case Study of a Swiss Private Secondary Boarding School and a Russian-Speaking Niche Market

5th International Interdisciplinary Science Conference "Functional Aspects of Cross-Cultural Communication and Translation Problems"; Institute of Foreign Languages RUDN University; November 2018, Moscoww, Russia


This paper questions the role of language management and embracing cross-cultural differences in a changing neoliberal and global economy. The research uses critical discourse analysis to study multimodal promotional documents of a Swiss private boarding School, ethnography to conduct a case study of the same School, and qualitative interviews with the Russian-speaking customers of the Schools. If promotional discourse of the school contributes to the stereotypical image of Switzerland and is aimed at local customers, language management of the School changes as a reaction to the Swiss economic situation: facing bankruptcy, the School manages languages differently, constructing its promotional discourse around languages and cross-cultural communication. Finally, the qualitative interviews with the Russian-speaking parents reveal power relations and linguistic discrimination of the customers, based on cultural misunderstanding, that are considered normal.