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Regular version of the site

Modern Russia: Language and Culture

Session 1: July 6 – 17, 2020 | Session 2: July 20 – 31, 2020

3 ECTS, 20 contact hours | 6 ECTS, 40 contact hours


A Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev claimed you can’t grasp Russia with your mind, but we believe our classes on language and culture will definitely help you get there!

 

Course Description

The course ‘Modern Russia: Language and culture is geared towards those who would like to go on an exciting journey into the world of the language of Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky — an intensive study of the language comprising the constant communication with native speakers, authentic teaching materials and a unique method of language learning that allows not only to improve the skills of the Russian language in a short period of time, but also to discover the mysteries of the Russian soul, as well as the culture and history of the Russians. The course caters for students who have just begun learning Russian, as well as for those who have already studied it before. The course is delivered under academic supervision of Irina Shchemeleva, the Dean of St. Petersburg School of Arts and Humanities

The most effective and attractive way to learn the language, as it is reasonably believed, is not just to study it but to dive into the its world in the country where it has the status of national language – in Russia. Choosing to study Russian in St. Petersburg, you become a hero of Pushkin’s poetry and Dostoevsky’s novels, walking along Nevsky Prospect and discovering the unique spirit of the city full of mysticism and adventure on the banks of the Neva

Why Choose This Course?

The Russian language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world by the number of speakers and in terms of countries where it is represented. Russian is one of the UN official working languages along with some other international organisations. The first words ever pronounced outside of the planet Earth were in Russian, and these days all astronauts who work on the International Space Station learn conversational Russian.

The number of students who choose Russian as a second foreign language is growing year by year, which makes the language some sort of intellectual cachet taken into consideration when young professionals from different fields get their job.

The course ‘Modern Russia: Language and Сulture’ offers to get a feel for speech material to be able to converse in Russian in a short time. Language classes are held in such a way that lets students learn new lexical and grammatical structures and speech models in a large volume every day without getting exhausted. That’s why classes alternate between discussions, watching videos, reading texts, listening to dialogues, poetry, musical compositions, and working with grammatical material and writing tasks. All this is done in order to achieve the goal students set for themselves – to learn how to speak Russian as quickly and effectively as possible.

Content 

Depending on language proficiency level, students get a comprehensive Russian language course (levels A1 and A2) which contains elements of conversational practice, listening, grammar, reading and writing, or aspectual training (levels B1-C1) which contains communicative grammar, conversational discussion classes, practical skills of reading and listening to authentic texts of various genres (media texts, fiction), as well as creating own written texts.

Skills and Competence

If students start learning Russian from scratch, they get the hang of basic verbal skills for day-to-day communication. Those who have studied the Russian Language before will be able to improve previously acquired skills and proficiency in using it in social and professional spheres.

Teaching Methods

Accomplished teachers of Russian as a foreign language carefully select learning material. Using the communicative method as a major focus, they simulate different situations with the aid of lexical and grammatical means of the modern Russian language. As a concomitant, they offer functional grammar and language exercises developed to train the skill of using grammar in speech. With the help of authentic texts, audio and video materials, as well as creative tasks, students are introduced to a unique national and cultural context which helps to reach the main goal of training – fluent communication in Russian.

Prerequisites

The course has no formal prerequisites. Students get to complete in-person placement test in order to be assign to a particular group of Russian language proficiency (A1-A2, B1-B2, C1).

Final Assessment 

In order to assess progress, students get to complete a written test (grammar, reading, writing) and deliver an oral presentation in Russian.

Final Grade Background

To complete the course students are expected to attend no less than 70% of classes. The final grade is based on a final test score (70%) and in-class participation (30%).

Recommended Reading List

Level A1

Л.Г. Беликова, Т.А. Шутова, И.Н. Ерофеева Русский язык: первые шаги. Часть 1., СПб, 2016.

Level A2

А.А. Ягодова, Класс! (А2.1 и А2.2), СПб, 2017.

Level В1

 А.А. Ягодова, Н.В. Новак Высший класс! (В1), СПб, 2019.

Level B2

N. Volkova, D. Phillips Let’s improve our Russian, St. Petersburg, 2012.

М.Н. Макова, О.А. Ускова В мире людей. Аудирование. Говорение., СПб, 2016.

Level C1

А.Ф. Егорова Трудные случаи русской грамматики, СПб, 2017.

Е.В. Косарева, А.В. Хруненкова Время обсуждать, М, 2018.

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US-Russia Relations: Past and Present (2 ECTS)