When students start learning any foreign language, and Russian in particular, they experience an avalanche of new language system features: pronunciation and intonation, letters and case endings, verb conjugation and vocabulary, etc. Most of the students’ goal is to speak Russian fluently, to read Russian texts, to understand and to write in Russian. It is a lot to master to achieve these goals, not to mention anxiety. How to build their confidence and an ability to communicate in Russian from the start?
There are multiple approaches to this task. One of the successful ways of doing it is to engage the learners in group presentations: working in groups of 3-4 students, they manage to present their opinion on something that is in their textbook or a video that accompanies the textbook. True, there is not much vocabulary or grammar during their first year of learning Russian. Yet it is sufficient to express their plans for the weekend, for visiting a museum, for ordering their food, etc. After they feel comfortable working with 3-4 classmates for a time, working in pairs will become an everyday activity for them. In the end of each term they can do short presentations on an assigned topic, for example: “What the World Eats”, “Where People Live (their houses, cities, kitchens, bedrooms, etc.) in the World”, etc. They may present their stories, pictures, videos in Russian with an expectation that everyone in the classroom will get interested and ask them questions in Russian. The course site (canvas) is accessible to all students and open for viewing or comments.
Second-year students of Russian are even more eager to do presentations and there are several presentations during the year. The most popular is something resembling show and tell, but it is in Russian and they need to show the object and tell the story behind it. Their presentations are based on the vocabulary and grammar of the course.
In my article I describe different ways of teaching students to make presentations in Russian at all levels, from the Introductory to Advanced.
Keywords: oral skills development, grammar and vocabulary accuracy, language and culture, overcoming anxiety of presenting in public
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Information about the author: Alfia Rakova (Dartmouth, USA) – Research Assistant Professor, Candidate of Philological Sciences Director of the Language Program Department of Russian Language and Literature Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 03755 USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For citation: Alfia Rakova, (2019). Student Presentations in the Russian Language Classroom. Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science. Vol.4, Issue 1 (2019), pp.129-134(in USA)
Manuscript received: 23/01/ 2019
Accepted for publication: 03/17/2019
The authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
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