Russian Keys

Course: Russian Language and Culture: Post-beginners

Starting 5 February 2015 8 weeks: Thu 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Victoria University of Wellington
Presenter: Olga Suvorova
Victoria Staff 20% Discount Fee $160.00 incl GST
Early Bird Discount available until 2 weeks prior to the course start date $180.00 incl GST
$200.00 incl GST

Overview: Russian is best learnt when both written and oral language skills are taught together within the context of the Russian way of life. Russian culture is, therefore, an essential part of this eight-week intermediate course designed to reinforce novice-level proficiency and to develop intermediate-level skills necessary for deepening communication in Russian. In addition to the sessions we shall also have some free cultural fieldtrips, master classes and Russian movie nights incl a Karori cemetery tour where I shall tell you many fascinating stories connected with Russia, making a Slavic traditional magic doll that brings luck and safety to the loved ones and your house, learning how to cook the Russian meal and make toasts and having a great time with a Guest of Honour…


Target audience: This course is for those with basic knowledge of Russia and the Russian language who would like to develop intermediate-level language skills and:
- are interested in Russia and the language and culture
- have a Russian-speaking partner or adopted children from Russia
- are planning to visit Russia or its neighbouring states where Russian is spoken
- are interested in international science, maths, history, national security, foreign service, film and cultural studies, and the arts.
Learning objectives: By the end of the course, participants will have:
- enhanced their reading and writing skills in Russian gained a further understanding of Russian grammar
- learnt more vocabulary and the linguistic and cultural competence to handle situations such as:
- meeting people, talking about hobbies and professions,
- visiting people or inviting someone to their home
- making enquiries, requesting things, asking the time, visiting places (shops, restaurants, airports, stations)
- talking about future plans and holidays
- gained further knowledge of the Russian culture and way of life and about New Zealand–Russia connections.
Course format: Two-hour classes are held on Thursday evenings over eight weeks. There is a short break half-way through each session, and you are welcome to bring your own refreshments if you wish.
Course outline:
Session 1: Enhancing reading, writing and conversational skills; nouns, pronouns, adjectives, gender, number, nominative case; simple questions and statements in Russian Introducing yourself (name, age, hobbies) Mysterious Russian soul (video and discussion)
Session 2: Verbs, present tense; imperatives; accusative nouns, pronouns Talking about your study, profession or job; Russia’s system of classes Peculiarities of the Russian state; Russian history – milestones: Russian Ark (excerpts from the film with commentary)
Session 3: Nouns in the genitive – the case of nouns after numbers At the shop, exchange office or bank Russia – window to Europe and the Iron Curtain; prominent Russians; inventions and discoveries of Russian origin; knowledge and understanding of “history” – understanding cognitive dissonance: Admiral (excerpts from the film with commentary)
Session 4: Ordinal numbers; reflexive verbs Asking the time; concepts of time; days of the week; at the airport and the station (, am and pm) Urban versus rural relations: city life and the Russian province and the Russian village (video and discussion)
Session 5: Prepositional singular of nouns Counties and nationalities; documents; visa application forms Russian mentality through folklore and national songs, fairy tales, sayings, proverbs; Russian superstitions (video and discussion)
Session 6: Prepositional singular of adjectives and pronouns; comparatives; superlatives Visiting someone at home; inviting someone to your house; accepting or declining hospitality What Russians eat and drink; Russian cuisine and traditional dishes (video and discussion)
Session 7: Imperfective and perfective verbs; future tense Talk about future plans; patterns and rhythm of life in the course of a year; the months of the year; school and university holidays; the business year Russian literature, music and art – the annual pattern of shows and entertainment; reading Pushkin in the original: Evgeniy Onegin (excerpts from the film with commentary)
Session 8: Summary and discussion; presentation of certificates of achievement
Teacher: Olga Suvorova has an MA Hon in Linguistics and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Lomonosov Moscow State University. She has extensive experience in working with international leaders in both the private and public sectors in New Zealand and Russia on cultural intelligence questions. Olga is married to a New Zealander and works in both New Zealand and Moscow.
Class limit: This course is limited to a maximum of 16 participants, so please enrol early.
For further information: Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140. Phone 04 463 6556, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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