Bilingual Education Alliance
Maria Gavrilova, Headteacher of Azbuka Russian-English International School

The MA TESOL pre-service students at University College London on Dina’s module:

‘Working with bi/multilingual learners in international schools’ had the opportunity to benefit from engaging in person with one of the lead educators in bilingual education in London:

Maria Gavrilova, the founder and headteacher of Azbuka Russian-English International School (www.azbukafoundation.org) and one of the founders of the Bilingual Education Alliance Network (www.beaschools.com) was the guest speaker on Wed, 10th May. Maria shared with the students her own insights into establishing, developing and leading one of the first bilingual schools in London. The students found Maria’s session of great interest and relevance to this module and their assignments. They asked excellent questions about bilingual ethos, curriculum and multilingual diversity of the learners.


Maria responded to Dina’s invite to deliver this session with great enthusiasm and Dina is very grateful to Maria for finding the time to share her great experience and expertise. Dina looks forward to continuing her partnership with Maria and the Bilingual Alliance.


Maria Gavrilova

Russian Estonian/British, in UK since 1990. Background in Russian Philology and Applied Linguistics MA (Birkbeck, London). From 2000, founder of AZBUKA, UK’s first Ofsted registered Russian immersion Nursery, Saturday School and Russian Cultural Centre/Bilingual education resource for wider community. After a 2-year debate with the Department for Education (DfES) AZBUKA Pre-school became the first “language immersion” pre-schools to be working within the English legislation for pre-school education.

Founding member and chairman of AZBUKA Foundation (UK registered charity, 143048).   Founder and head teacher of the UK’s first and the only independent school running a Russian-English bilingual curriculum (2013).

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