To improve reading, listening, written and spoken skills to an advanced level to communicate with confidence in spoken and written Russian in a broad range of contexts




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DEPARTMENT OF RUSSIAN

HONOURS LEVEL 2012-13

RU3101: Russian Integrated Year Abroad

60 credits





School of Modern Languages

2012-13


Module Coordinator: Dr Oliver Smith


1. Introduction

The module is designed to provide students with an experience of language learning in the country of their target language. The syllabus is designed in cooperation with a Russian university or affiliated institution. It is intended to develop skills in all aspects of Russian language through a period of extended residence and study, offering total immersion in the Russian cultural context. The project essay of 4000 words (in Russian) is to be received by the School Office by 5pm on Thursday 25 April 2013.


Study placements will be as students on academic programmes in various institutions of higher education in the Russian Federation. Students may choose to study at one institution (normally in Moscow or St Petersburg) for the entire year, or move to a different institution for the second semester. All study placements are arranged by the Russian Department in close cooperation with the School of Modern Languages and Russian Language Undergraduate Studies Ltd (RLUS). More information on the services, courses, rules and regulations that apply to study in Russia can be found on the RLUS website www.rlus.co.uk.


2. coordination

The course coordinator is Dr Oliver Smith (Room 42, e-mail olgs). He is also the departmental Travel Abroad Coordinator and RLUS Liaison Office. You should approach him in the first instance with problems relating to the course. While in Russia, it is very important that you keep in touch with him via e-mail on a regular basis.


For your project essay, you will be assigned a suitable supervisor from the department. You must contact the module coordinator to discuss your topic by 15 December 2012, after which date you will be allocated a supervisor who will answer all questions relating to your project. You can find detailed guidelines governing the composition of this essay in the appendix at the end of the handbook.


3. Objectives

The main objective of the module is to promote reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Russian through intensive and focussed study at an accredited institution(s) in a Russian-language environment.


4. Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of the module are to enable you:
  • to improve reading, listening, written and spoken skills to an advanced level.

  • to communicate with confidence in spoken and written Russian in a broad range of contexts.

  • to familiarize yourself with Russian history and culture, and to gain firsthand experience of life in contemporary Russia.

  • to acquire transferable skills by organising materials for oral and written presentation at an advanced level of language acquisition.

  • to develop research skills in preparation for continuing with honours at St Andrews.



5. Teaching and Learning

The module involves an intensive course lasting one academic year, or two separate courses across the two semesters (depending on your preference), in a pre-approved Russian higher education institution(s) organized in cooperation with RLUS. The courses will include 20 hours of classes each week in grammar, conversation, vocabulary, translation, reading, text analysis, phonetics, media studies and Russian culture. Many institutions also offer additional courses in subjects such as history, linguistics, cultural studies, literature, music, politics, economics and business. These additional subjects depend on the staff available in any given year, and students will be informed of these options only upon arrival at their chosen institution.


Students will reside with Russian families where little, if any, English is spoken. The university feels that this serves to enhance immersion in the Russian language and culture, and recommends every student to persist with this arrangement except in exceptional circumstances.


6. Assessment


Formal assessment is through a supervised project (100%) chosen in consultation with the module coordinator. The essay does not count towards your degree classification, but is a compulsory part of the WIYA degree. The Department must receive the project essay by 5pm on 25 April 2013. It must be sent by recorded delivery to Ms Tammy Gray, School Office, School of Modern Languages, Buchanan Building, Union Street, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9PH. An additional copy in Microsoft Word format should be uploaded to the associated MMS page for the module. Receipt of your essay will be acknowledged via e-mail. The school’s normal penalty scale will be imposed for late submissions without prior notification and permission. Failure to submit the project essay without adequate justification will result in a 0X and a letter notifying you of termination of studies.


More detailed guidelines are provided in the appendix at the end of the handbook.


7. Attendance

You must attend all classes, as well as complete all homework assignments (both assessed and non-assessed) set by your tutors. Failure to attend your classes without good cause or appropriate notification will put your studies at St Andrews under serious threat, and it is your responsibility to ensure that all legitimate absences are notified to your host institution(s), as well as to the module coordinator at St Andrews.


8. Academic Misconduct

Academic integrity is fundamental to the values promoted by the University.

Information relevant to Academic Misconduct can be found at:


http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/rules/academicmisconduct/

10. Appendix: Project Essay

(a) Language and Length

The essay must be written in Russian and total between 3,600 and 4,400 words in length. Any variation in word limit in either direction will incur a penalty.


(b) Topic

The topic is chosen by the student in consultation with the course coordinator and/or project supervisor. It is your responsibility to contact the course coordinator, by e-mail (olgs@st-andrews.ac.uk) before Thursday 15 December 2012 to discuss your choice. The only set criterion is that your essay must relate to Russia in some way.

Some tips on choosing a topic

• Choose something in which you have a personal interest, or something which you hope to study in an honours module at St Andrews.

• Ensure that materials are available for you to research your chosen topic. You don’t, for instance, want to be studying the history of Smolensk in Vladivostok. If you choose to write on a topic of contemporary relevance, make sure that you collect your information methodically and systematically. If, for example, you design a questionnaire or survey, check that the questions you include broadly correspond to the categories around which you want to base your project, and that you pick a representative cross-section of the population (not only, say, 18-25 year-olds, unless this is your stated focus).

• Pick a topic that enables you to probe, question and develop a given area. In order to facilitate this, it is vital that you pick an appropriate essay title. A good title is one that leaves you room for critical discussion, argument, and the presentation of opposing viewpoints before arriving at a final, balanced conclusion. Questions that already contain a hint at their answer should be avoided. The purpose of the essay is not to present your reader with facts and interesting trivia, but rather for us to see how your mind grapples with a particular set of data in order to arrive at an original conclusion. An argument should be present from the beginning of your essay to the end, guiding its structure and content. The more focussed the question you are seeking to answer, the better the essay will be.


Two examples

Example 1

Let’s suppose you want to write on the experience of the Leningrad Blockade. You come up with the following title for your essay:

Блокада Ленинграда: 1941-44

This title adequately reflects the topic on which you want to write but will not enable you to develop an independent argument. Your reader does not want to hear what happened in the Leningrad Blockade (your department knows about it already) but rather wants to see how you use language to present your own point of view. So you decide to focus on a particular aspect of the Blockade and pick the so-called ‘Road of Life’ across Lake Ladoga. Your title now reads:

Роль «Дороги жизни» в истории блокадного Ленинграда

Your title is now more focussed but still isn’t doing much to discourage the simple narration of facts. Most people know that the Road of Life saved many lives, and stating its history will represent nothing new. You then find out that, because almost all Russian men were serving in the army, the role of women in carrying heavy goods from place to place, operating transport, building infrastructure, and so on, was especially important. So you come up with the title:

Как ленинградские женщины сопротивлялись Блокаде Ленинграда, и их роль в строительстве «Дороги жизни»

You now have a title that is focussed, and which will allow you to bring in different sources and arguments in an original and interesting way. You might track down a female diarist’s account of events and use that; or perhaps ask elderly Russian women what they remember of the period. Once you have your title, define which questions you want to answer in the course of your essay.

  • Why was the position of women unique at the time of the Leningrad Blockade?

  • What evidence is there of the emotional and physical condition of women during this time?

  • What were the particular challenges facing women in the Blockade, and what methods did they use to overcome them?

  • Have historians downplayed the role of women in the construction of the Road of Life and, if so, why?

Build your argument up gradually: introduce your main points; give your reader the evidence to support them; and then sum up in your conclusion.

Example 2

You want to write an essay on the condition of Russian prisons, and think up the following title:

Современное состояние тюрем в России

Since this is a recent topic, your reader may not be aware of some of the things you’ll be discussing, but you still want to make it more focussed so you can present a particular point of view. You read in a magazine that Mickey Rourke, on a recent trip to Russia to research Iron Man ii, declared that Russian prisons were better than American ones. So you decide to make a comparison.

Лучше ли русские тюрьмы американских? Опыт сопоставления

You now have a title that allows you to compare and contrast two different systems, and present your own conclusions based on the evidence you supply.

Some more examples of good and bad titles

Good: ‘Взять Бога за бороду?’ Продолжающееся влияние антирелигиозной политики Хрущёва на современную русскую религиозность.

Bad: Как Хрущёв взял Бога за бороду и уничтожил мифологию христианства

Good: Англия глазами русских: преподавание англиийских писателей в русских школах, и реакция на них русских школьников

Bad: Чем занимаются школьники в России?

Good: Как развивалась русская кухня вместе с расширением русского пространства, и как она изменяется в глобализированном мире

Bad: Русская кухня: главные блюда

(c) Written Russian

Written Russian differs from the spoken form in a number of respects, despite the grammar and vocabulary being much the same. The main principles that should guide your essay-writing are given below, although please note that these guidelines are far from exhaustive!


(d) Orthography


There are significant differences in the use of capital letters between English and Russian. Apart from days of the week, months and nationalities, Russian uses lowercase letters for adjectives formed from place names:

на парижских улицах

в московском метро


If the adjective is a part of a proper name, however, it will take a capital letter, while the noun which it qualifies is spelt in lowercase:

В Лондонском университете

С Новым годом!

Московский государственный университет


The first word of proper nouns such as titles of books or films will capitalized, while the words that follow it will be in lowercase:

роман «Война и мир»

в фильме «Унесённые ветром»


(e) Punctuation


Russian punctuation is fussier than English, particularly in its use of commas:

  1. subordinate clauses are separated from the main clause of the sentence by commas: «Правительство не знало, что делать»; «Он не знает, почему он опоздал»; «Человек, с которым она училась, стал банкиром».

  2. Comparisons with «чем» are introduced by a comma: «Их история интереснее, чем наша» [compare with (no comma): «Их история интереснее нашей»]; «Это задание труднее, чем предыдущее».

  3. Phrases with gerunds or participles are separated from the main clause of the sentence by a comma: «Работая над проектом, инженер уже думал о новой работе». «Инженер, работающий над проектом, учился в Казани» (compare with the use of the so-called extended adjectival phrase, also common in essay writing: работающий над проектом инженер учился в Казани).

  4. Parenthetic words and phrases are always separated from the clause in which they occur by a comma: «Жители этого города, кажется, не знали о проекте»; «Конечно, всё зависело от директора школы».


Common parenthetic words and phrases include:

Может быть, maybe; например, for example; без сомнения, without doubt; к сожалению, unfortunately; наверно, probably; очевидно, obviously; словом, in a word; говорят, it is said; разумеется, of course; следовательно, consequently; таким образом, in this way; во-первых, firstly; во-вторых, secondly; наконец, finally.


Word order in Russian is more flexible than in English and may be varied for effect, though generally it follows the same progression from subject to verb as in English.


Чехов написал пьесу в 1895 году.

В 1895 году пьесу написал Чехов.

(f) i. Introduction/Вступление

Depending on the approach you are taking, you will need words and phrases expressing your intentions. Unless you are relating personal experience, try to avoid the use of the first person. Instead, use impersonal constructions such as these:

- В этой работе будут рассмотрены вопросы о...

- Цель этой работы рассмотреть вопрос о...

- В работе будут обсуждаться... (here impf. is used since emphasis is on the process)


So you might begin:

В этом сочинении/в этой работе/в данной работе будет раcсмотрен вопрос утечки мозгов за границу.


Note the use of the perfective infinitive: рассмотреть and not рассматривать, to denote that you are aiming to achieve a certain result.

Likewise:

For “describe” not «описывать» but «описать»

For “discuss” not «обсуждать» but «обсудить»

For “define” not «определять» but «определить»

For “stress, emphasise” not «подчёркивать» but «подчеркнуть»

For “note” not «отмечать» but «отметить»

For “clarify” not «выяснять» but «выяснить»

For “characterise” not «характеризовать» but «охарактеризовать»


ii. Phrases conveying opinion/ Точка зрения.

To have any weight, expressions of opinion must be supported by argument and illustrated by examples.

Точка зрения point of view

Мнение opinion

Взгляд view


Cуществует точка зрения (мнение, взгляд), что... there is a point of view that…

Существуют разные точки зрения various points of view exist on the subject

по этому вопросу

Существуют разные взгляды на этот вопрос

Разделять точку зрения to share an opinion

Придерживаться (противоположной) точки зрения to hold the (opposite) opinion

С точки зрения (кого?) from the point of view (of)

По мнению/согласно мнению + Gen. in the opinion of

But: На мой взгляд in my view


Words for introducing other people’s opinions or views can be: одни, другие, третьи ...

Одни считают, что ...

Другие полагают, что ...

Третьи не согласны с ...


iii. Parenthetic words/ Вводные слова

If you want to express complete confidence in what you are saying/writing use:

Конечно, of course; бесспорно, indisputably; несомненно, undoubtedly; без сомнения, without doubt; безусловно, it goes without saying; действительно, indeed, in fact; разумеется, obviously.


If you are less sure of your conclusions use:

Кажется, it seems; вероятно, probably; очевидно, obviously; возможно, possibly; может быть, may be, perhaps; вообще, in general; вообще говоря, generally speaking.


iv. Conclusion/Заключение


В заключении можно сказать in conclusion it is possible to say

Можно сделать вывод one may draw the conclusion

Можно обобщить we can generalise

Можно уточнить we can make it more precise

Можно подвести итоги it is possible to sum up

Таким образом, можно сказать, что thus, we can say that

Итак, мы видим, что we thus can see

Как мы уже говорили выше as was mentioned earlier

Как говорилось выше as was mentioned earlier

Из вышесказанного можно заключить, что ___..___

На основании приведенных примеров можнo сказать on the basis of the examples

given, it is possible to ..

(g) References


All references to Russian-language items should be in Cyrillic. Where English-language items have been consulted, these should be given in the original language with references to page numbers, editors, and so on given in Russian (e.g. “Newton, O. (ред.)” / “c. 15” etc.). Sources in other common European languages should be given in the original. Less common languages should be transliterated into Russian. No particular referencing system is prescribed, however it is important that you are consistent. Footnotes should be in 10pt font. We recommend the SEER house style, which you can consult at the address below:


http://www.mhra.org.uk/Downloads/SEER_SubmissionGuide_July08.pdf


Please note that underlined items in this style guide should instead be rendered by italics. Here are four examples of this style:


Pleysier, A.J., Frozen Tears: The Blockade and Battle of Leningrad, Lanham, Plymouth, 2008, с. 122.


Волковский, Н. Л., ‘Введение’, в Блокада Ленинграда в документах рассекреченных архивов, Н. Л. Волковский (ред.), М/СПб, 2005, сс. 3-8 (с. 5).


Данилов, П. П., ‘Продовольственные ресурсы блокадного Ленинграда’, Вопросы Истории, 2005, 2, сc. 42-56.


Reference Russian online sources as follows:

Моисеенко, А., ‘Тайна «Дороги Жизни»’ [электронный ресурс], Комсомольская правда, июнь 2006, Режим доступа: (абзац 4 из 14)


Handy phrases for referencing

p. / pp. = c. / сс. e.g. Борисова, В.Е., Оборотень, сс. 56-79.

Ibid. = Там же e.g., Там же, с. 125.

See = См. e.g. Для дальнейших подробностей см. Моисенко, ‘Тайна’, cc. 102-44.

cf. (compare ) = ср. e.g. …пророк хочет указать на тяжесть бедствия, постигшего страну (ср. Исх Х:1, 2, 6)

i.e. = т.е. (то есть)

e.g. = напр. (например)

etc. = и.т.д. (и так далее)


(h) Assessment



The following five criteria will be used to assess the essay, and a mark profile with comments will be drawn up and given to you. Please note that quality of language will carry the majority of the marks. Your essay will normally be first- or second-marked by your supervisor.


  1. Language (50%)

    1. Credit will be given to relatively error-free language, with no elementary mistakes.

    2. The style must be clear and appropriate to essay writing.

    3. The essay must use terminology accurately, and where necessary explain technical terms (if there are a large number, then provide a glossary).

    4. Particular credit will be given for a coherent and fluent written style in idiomatic Russian.




  1. Originality / personal work (25%)

    1. The essay must show evidence of sustained personal investigation of the topic. This may be through use of secondary or primary sources, interviews, or personal contact. Credit will be given for library/archive work. You must acknowledge all sources which you have used for research on the essay either in footnotes or the bibliography.

    2. The essay must demonstrate your ability to synthesize secondary material and express your own point of view on it.

    3. In the case of a topic on a literary or philosophical theme, you may be given credit for independent thought, the ability to synthesize material, or an original approach.


Content (15%)
The topic must be clearly defined and the material efficiently structured. It must contain three parts:

  1. The introduction, which must outline clearly the purpose of your research and the goal that you are trying to achieve. If the topic that you have chosen is a broad one, you must explain which aspects you are going to cover, giving clear and explicit reasons for so doing.

  2. The body of the essay. In the main body of the essay you must develop and analyse in detail your principal ideas, always presenting evidence and counter-evidence for your point of view.

  3. The conclusion. The conclusion should sum up your main points without repeating material covered previously in a way that highlights the importance of your essay, as well as pointing forward to connections it might have with related topics or points of interest.


Your essay project must be accompanied by a bibliography. All quotes or additional comments must be referenced in the footnotes.


For more information on the general recommendations for writing an academic essay, please visit St. Andrews website and see notes on essay writing in the School handbook:


http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/modlangs/Currentstudents/Undergraduatehandbook/


Presentation (5%)

  1. The essay must have a table of contents, clearly marked sections, numbered pages and a bibliography.

  2. The essay must be bound (a plastic binder is sufficient) and word-processed.

  3. Credit is given for tidy and originally presented work. Illustrations may be used, provided they support your analysis.


All work must be presented clearly and in a readable condition. Therefore, the use of a word processor is preferred. However, handwritten work is accepted as long as it meets the criteria given above. If you use a word processor, use 1.5 line spacing and a minimum of 12pt font. Leave at least 1.25 inches in the left and right margins, and 1 inch in header and footer to allow room for corrections. Do not use plastic pocket envelopes for individual pages.


  1. Documentation (5%)

Credit is given to students who carefully accredit their sources. You must cite all sources in the body of your text as well as providing a full reference in the bibliography. If you do not do so, you leave yourself open to the charge of plagiarism, which carries high penalties. You must also make sure that the work is entirely your own, and be particularly careful not to seek help from native speakers. Please be aware that it is very clear to markers when students have done this, even when every attempt has been made to disguise the fact.

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