Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures
University of Notre Dame
Intermediate Russian RU 202
MWF 12:50-1:40 DeBartolo 349
Professor of Russian Language and Literature
Office: 302 Decio Hall
Office Hours: MW 11:30-12:30, F 10:30-11:30
I. Olga Kagan and Frank Miller, Â Ïóòè: Russian Grammar in Context.
II. Olga Kagan and Frank Miller, Lab Manual/Workbook for Â ïóòè.
The first goal of this course is to reinforce the rules of Russian grammar that you learned in Beginning Russian. Having already acquired an understanding of the basics of Russian, you should be familiar with almost all of the concepts contained in the textbook. Your task, therefore, will be to come to know Russian grammar, especially the declension of nouns and the conjugation of verbs, backwards and forwards and to achieve a greater command of the "fine points" of Russian. Under the last category I have in mind the mastery of a large number of exceptions, idioms, and stylistic nuances.
Second, the textbook stresses the rapid acquisition of a large vocabulary. In some chapters you will be asked to learn the meaning of 100 words. While this task is frequently simplified by the grouping of vocabulary entries according to topic or part of speech, you must study vocabulary diligently and consistently. Organization is most important here: I strongly suggest that you use flash cards to make the job easier. For each chapter test you will be responsible for the vocabulary in the Ñëîâàðü located at the end of the chapter. I will inform you of any other words you will be expected to know for a test when we begin our study of a lesson.
Third, this course places particular emphasis on helping you to improve your oral ability in Russian. To this end I will conduct class almost exclusively in Russian and will ask that you adhere to a Russian-only policy in the classroom. One of the strengths of Â ïóòè is that it contains a wealth of readings on subjects ranging from student life to Russian culture and history. These materials will provide us with a wide range of subject matter to discuss and, as an added benefit, will also introduce you to various aspects of Russian civilization.
As you can see from this introduction, Intermediate Russian is a demanding course. We will work hard to improve your abilities in each of the four areas of foreign-language competence: comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing. Russian grammar must become second nature to you, and you will need to expand your active vocabulary if you are to become proficient in the language. Our goal is to read authentic Russian texts and discuss them and write about them in Russian in a sophisticated manner. Achieving these goals will keep you quite busy. If you make the effort, however, I have no doubt that you will be greatly rewarded. With one year of hard work you can go from the level of a novice to the level of a fairly accomplished student of the language, who is ready to take on the best works of Russian literature in the original.