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Russian 1103: Course Description

Taught by Raissa Krivitsky

Course Objectives:

Reinforcing vocabulary and grammar introduced in Russian 1121; developing fluency, accuracy, and authentic flair of speech by practicing conversation in Russian on a variety of topics; learning about life and customs in Russia through acting out various situations; improving Russian pronunciation and engaging in an important aspect of Russian culture through recital of short and simple Russian folk tales and song lyrics.


A. Lora's Dialogs. Part 1

This on-line resource with sound recordings contains hundreds of four-line dialogs that suggest useful conversation patterns with room for variation and improvisation. Both fun and practical, these dialogs are not only practiced and memorized, but also serve as models for students' creativity. Lora's Dialogs Web site does not require registration or log in. It can be used with all popular modern browsers (Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera) in Windows and MacOS as well as on some tablets. See the link under Online course materials. Each assignment in the Syllabus is also linked to the appropriate chapter. While using the site, click unfamiliar words for their translations. Click the buttons in the Почему? (Why?) section for grammatical explanations. (You will also see Lora's Dialogs in your Web Audio Lab home page menu, but you can ignore it: that is the version that allows you to make your own recordings, which is not a requirement for this course.)

B. Russian Folk Tales and Songs

Russian short folk tales and songs with glossaries/translations and comments will be introduced and recited in class as the course proceeds.


Click the links in the Syllabus and carefully read, listen to, practice (with substitutions), and memorize the three dialogs assigned for the class. Prepare to recite these dialogs in class with little or no prompting. Pay special attention to using correct grammatical forms of the substitution words.

In addition to memorizing the assigned dialogs, beginning on week 5, write and bring to class a two-line dialog of your own on a related topic. For the final class of the semester, students in groups of two or more will write and perform a skit, in which each participant should recite no less than four lines. The skit may or may not include a song for extra credit.

Students are encouraged to make an individual arrangement with the instructor for a single 15 minute "pronunciation clinic" session between 4th and 8th weeks of classes.

Grading and tests:

There are no tests and no written assignments in this course. Your course grade will depend on your performance in class throughout the entire semester The grading criteria and the roughly estimated value of each component of your performance are as follows:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and grammatically accurate presentation of the three assigned dialogs, 60%.
  • Quality of the two-line dialogs that you write for each class with regard to the use of new vocabulary and grammatical accuracy, 20%.
  • The final skit, 10%.
  • Participation rate; emerging fluency; ability to maintain an improvised conversation based on familiar material and situations, 10%.


This course is highly interactive, therefore regular attendance is mandatory. Missing more than 3 classes without a good reason will affect your grade. It is your responsibility to notify the instructor about the nature of your absence. Advance notice will be appreciated.

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Dept. of Comparative Literature • Russian Language Program • 240 Goldwin Smith Hall • Cornell University • Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
tel. 607/255-4155 • fax 607/255-8177 • email