Russian Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Developing Cultural Literacy Through Social Media in the Russian Language Classroom

In this paper I identify strategies to help students explore authentic Russian language materials on social media platforms: Facebook and Vkontakte.  I present an overview of three modules that introduce the Russian language social media landscape and guide students through identifying and tracing political and cultural debates occurring in this space. This approach encourages lifelong learning…

Teaching Russian Verbs of Motion through Early Cinema

For the intermediate student of Russian, there is no topic more daunting than motion verbs. Verbs that denote motion further complicate the language’s aspect system (already difficult to master), and for non-native speakers, these verbs express surprisingly precise ideas. This project and paper aim to improve upon static, pictorial models of motion that textbooks offer…

Learning Russian through Art and Visual Culture

It is often assumed that foreign language students must reach a certain (usually advanced) level of linguistic proficiency before they can begin to engage meaningfully with authentic cultural materials and think critically about their own cultural position vis-à-vis that of the L2 culture. This presentation will show how art and visual culture can offer beginning-intermediate…

Two Revolutions: Teaching History in Fourth Semester Russian

In my talk, I will present some of the materials I have made for an interdisciplinary intermediate Russian cultural curriculum, intended to combine the study of literature and film with historical readings. I will discuss challenges of preparing intermediate Russian students to read complex non-fictional texts, focusing especially on the following three areas: the choice…

Russian Phonetics: Sound and Meaning in Russian Avant-Garde Poetry

A website curriculum for teaching Russian phonetics and avant-garde literary culture. Website address: https://sites.google.com/a/fulbrightmail.org/russian-phonetics-through-avant-garde-poetry/ The idea for this project emerged from of my experience teaching Russian at Berkeley and my own budding dissertation work on Russian avant-garde poetry. As a graduate student instructor of Russian—and a student in the throes of research—I became increasingly convinced…

Filmmaking and Foreign Language Instruction

Filmmaking is a powerful tool for literacy-based language instruction. Elaborating on the New London Group’s findings, Rick Kern shows that a well-rounded literacy-based program should incorporate four basic curricular components: Situated Practice, Overt Instruction, Critical Framing, and Transformed Practice. Situated Practice involves spontaneous communication without metalanguage. Overt Instruction develops metalanguage by introducing linguistic or social…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Gippius, Gender, and Textual Work in the L2 Classroom

These comments make a case for the value of careful philological work with literary texts in the language classroom. I propose that grammatically sensitive close reading of literature is a valuable way to introduce students to the generative relationship between rules and originality in language use, the way that each utterance draws on the available resources of a language to intervene into a concrete situation. In support of this claim, I offer an example from my own Russian teaching, in which the alternating grammatical gender in Zinaida Gippius' 1905 poem "Ты" ("You") opens up linguistic strategies used by present-day non-binary and gender non-conforming Russian speakers.