Learning Russian not only opens the doors to a new language but also to an exciting and varied culture, one with a proud history and heritage. This course follows the pattern of many university languages degrees by offering an introduction to the Russian language and alphabet combined with a discussion of Russian literature, focusing on famous writers such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky.
The course starts with the Russian language, introducing students to the Cyrillic alphabet, its similarities with and differences to the Roman alphabet, and how the letters are pronounced. Some basic words and phrases are introduced along with some simple conjugation, and students are encouraged to learn how to read these out loud with correct pronunciation, which can be a challenge task for the novice! Our goal is to equip students with the confidence they need to apply to study the Russian language at university. The second part of the course looks at 19th and 20th-century literature in turn, exploring some of the great authors of these periods and their works. Students will also be encouraged to consider the differences between the two centuries – which were considerable given the social and political upheaval of the early 20th century following the Russian Revolution.
The overall aim of the course is to provide a flavour of Russia – its culture, language, literature, politics, and more – to students who may not be acquainted with this vast and varied nation, and to set them on the path for further study at university and beyond.
Quizzes and Exams
Why Take this Course?
This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying Russian at university and who may never have studied it at school, providing a flavour of Russian language, literature, and culture.
Aims and Objectives
- To get to grips with the Cyrilic alphabet and a number of basic Russian phrases and vocabulary
- To gain key knowledge of Russian society and culture, and the historical roots of this culture
- To obtain an appreciation of the works of some of the great Russian authors of the 19th and 20th centuries
Key Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- Discuss the major works of some of the most important writers and poets of Russian literature
- Place the literature of 19th and 20th century Russia in its historical context