Goals and Objectives

Russian minors who complete all of their course work on campus can expect to reach an intermediate level of competence on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale, the B-1 level on the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR), or reach the survival level on the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TRKI). Students who complete part of their coursework in a semester or year abroad program in Russia can reach the advanced level (ACTFL), B-2 or C-1 (CEFR), and the first certificate level (TRKI). All minors acquire the language skills necessary to be considered independent speakers, and those with a semester or more of study abroad in Russia attain the level of functional speakers.

All language skills are covered in our courses with listening, reading, and speaking emphasized. Minors learn the language through original materials including literary texts, films, documentaries, speeches and interviews with contemporary Russian political leaders, news reports, and contemporary topics on Russian social media. We use a variety of course activities including portfolios, compositions (parodies), and recording radio dramatizations of Russian plays and films. In recent years, we have worked with texts such as Двенадцать стульев (The Twelve Chairs) by Ilf and Petrov, Юбилей (The Anniversary) by Chekhov, Мы (We) by Zamiatin, Двенадцать (The Twelve) by Blok, Формула любви (Formula of Love) by Gorin (Ofshtein), and speeches and reports by contemporary political figures including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Through a variety of communicative opportunities provided in class and extra-curricular activities, students increase their knowledge of Russian society, culture and the arts, and learn to appreciate the richness and diversity of the Russian-speaking world.