Courses

The department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures typically offers Russian language courses from the list below.

First-Year Russian: Russian 1, 2, 3

First-Year Russian consists of three sequential courses – Russian 1, 2, and 3 – beginning in the Fall and ending in the Spring. First Year Russian classes meet three times a week for 80 minutes each time.

The first year’s goal is to teach you to communicate in Russian, both orally and in writing. That means being able to hold simple conversations with native speakers, learning how to ask and answer questions, and acquiring a range of basic vocabulary. You will be able to write an e-mail and produce a simple online blog. Reading and listening to authentic texts (websites, cartoons, movies, videos) are part and parcel of the course. At the end of the first year, you will reach Novice-High or Intermediate-Low proficiency.

When you conclude the course, you can take Russian 20 during the summer. Russian 20 is a second-year intensive course that will get you to the Intermediate level of proficiency.

If you travel to Russia after the first year of instruction, you will find that you are able to read signs, ask for directions, order food at a restaurant, and participate in other simple but important activities.

Textbook(s):

Beginner’s Russian by A. Kudyma, F. Miller, O. Kagan

Textbook/Workbook website

Second-Year Russian: Russian 4, 5, 6

Second-Year Russian consists of three sequential courses – Russian 4, 5, and 6 – beginning in the Fall and ending in the Spring. Second-Year Russian classes meet three times a week for 80 minutes each time. Your class time is devoted to speaking Russian. Interaction and active participation is vital to your success in the language.

Speaking: The goal of the course is to develop your speaking skills to a point where you would be comfortable carrying on a conversation about yourself, your everyday life and classes, books you like to read, movies you like to watch, etc.

Reading: You will be reading longer texts than you did in the first year, in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction.

Listening: In order to speak to people, you need to understand them. Your instructor will speak Russian in class. But you also need to work on the language yourself. Listen carefully to the other students in class. Listen to the tapes that accompany the textbook, and make an effort to hear and view a variety of materials available online.

Writing: You will write letters and small essays. Writing is a skill, but it’s also a way to learn: when you write, you practice what you’ve learned and get vital feedback from your instructor.

At the end of the course we expect you to reach a solid Intermediate level proficiency and get the skills you need to start on the path toward the Intermediate-High level.

Textbook(s):

V Puti by O. Kagan, F. Miller, A. Kudyma

Textbook website

Интервью с Татьяной Вершининой

Third-Year Russian: Russian 101 A-B-C

Third-Year Russian consists of three sequential courses – Russian 101A-B-C – offered Fall, Winter, and Spring. Students are encouraged to take the full year’s sequence, though they may also sign up for individual quarters.

The Russian 101A-B-C series is designed for students at an Intermediate-High level. Most students achieve this level after the end of the third-year. We also welcome graduate students who need Russian language abilities for their research, and others who may be returning to Russian after a gap in their studies.

Throughout the year, we will focus on consolidating your knowledge of Russian grammar and on developing your vocabulary, expanding the range of topics that you can discuss freely in Russian. At the same time, we will work on extending your Russian beyond the level of individual sentences to paragraph-length, connected discourse.

Using a variety of sources, both print and multimedia, we will develop your speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. To develop your speaking ability, you will work primarily in pairs and in small groups, present informal reports, and do voice recordings, with paragraph-length discourse and individualized feedback. Practice in reading and listening comprehension will be based on both Russian literature and the contemporary media. Writing practice and grammar study will include work on translation – both Russian-to-English and English-to-Russian – as a bridge to developing idiomatic speech patterns in Russian and understanding structural differences between Russian and English.

Fourth-Year Russian: Russian 102 A-B-C

Fourth-Year Russian consists of three sequential courses – Russian 102A-B-C – offered in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Fourth-Year Russian classes meet two times a week for 80 minutes each time.

The goal of this series is to improve your ability to function at a high/professional level of language proficiency in Russian. The class focuses on the language of contemporary Russian media, and explores the vocabulary, discourse, and cultural references of today’s press and television. All fourth-year work will be done in Russian.

This series is for students who can speak and read Russian with ease, but who want to improve their understanding of contemporary Russian language, as well as of the social and political issues currently discussed in Russian media. If you are motivated to do high-level work in Russian, but are concerned about your language ability, this class may still be for you: motivation is an important part of language learning.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COURSES BEING OFFERED DURING ANY GIVEN QUARTER/SESSION, PLEASE CHECK THE SCHEDULE OF CLASSES.