Elective Courses

          A wide range of elective courses is offered to foreign students from the beginner’s level onward. Some elective courses focus primarily on improving the students’ level of proficiency in Russian language and culture, while others approach language training through the study of Russian society, history, politics or within the context of the student’s particular profession. Listed below are examples of elective courses that have been offered at the RL Center in recent years.


This course covers Russian pronunciation using a mixture of theory and practice. In addition to correcting mistakes in pronunciation and intonation, students will gain an understanding of the conventions of Russian speech. Students will leave this course better able to understand spoken Russian, including variations in meaning that come with different inflection and intonation. Through extensive in-class practice of different speech patterns, students will also learn to use variations in delivery in order to express themselves more clearly.

This course is designed for students of all levels.

Society and the Individual

Using a multi-disciplinary approach that includes elements of psychology, history, and philosophy, this practical course examines the features and peculiarities of the Russian national psyche. The aim of the course is to introduce students to the particularities of Russian linguistic identity and to provide the linguistic foundation necessary to discuss moral and ethical issues.

This course is recommended for intermediate and advanced students.

The Language of Mass Media

This course is dedicated to the study of the register and style of language used in Russian mass media. Using newspaper, magazine, television and radio sources, students gain the linguistic skills needed to read, watch and listen to the news, express their opinions and engage in discussions about current events. This course addresses topical issues at the time of study and familiarizes students with key developments in Russian current affairs.

This course is designed for students of all levels.

Russia and the World

In addition to familiarizing students with the language of mass media, this elective course helps students form the skills needed to take part in discussions and debates about contemporary issues. The course also provides students with the necessary skills to conduct research and present the results at international student conferences. Student research from these conferences is usually published.

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced students.

Literary Analysis

In this course, students examine works of Russian literature and learn to analyze the grammar and structure of unfamiliar texts. Students also develop the intuitive and conjectural skills necessary for analyzing literature.

This course is recommended for beginner and intermediate students.

History of Russian Literature

This cycle of courses introduces students to the life and work of authors spanning the history of Russian literature. Throughout the course, students gain the skills needed to independently analyze literary texts, write essays and make conference presentations in Russian.

This course is recommended for intermediate and advanced students.

Russian Vocal Culture

In this course, students are introduced to different genres of Russian music, while gaining an understanding of the way these pieces reflect the life and character of the Russian people. This course contains phonetic instruction, approached through music. Through the study of song lyrics, students improve their vocabulary as well as their ability to discuss music and poetry. The final project generally takes the form of a student performance.

This course can be adapted for students of all levels.

Russian Fine Arts

Using a variety of audiovisual and digital materials, this course introduces students to some of the masterpieces in Russian visual arts, architecture, music and theatre throughout the History of Fine Arts in Russia.The aim of this course is to master the lexical and phraseological skills needed to discuss and better understand art and its role in the contemporary world.

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced students.

Russian History and Civilization

Using historical and contemporary materials, this course addresses key issues, events and figures that have shaped Russia throughout history, while simultaneously using the past as a prism for understanding current events. Particular attention is paid to developing a level of Russian language competency that will enable students to analyze information and documents in the socio-political sphere.

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced students.

Business Russian

This course examines the linguistic and cultural nuances of doing business in Russia. These topics include conducting meetings, participating in professional discussions, and preparing documents and business correspondence.

This course can be adapted for students of all levels.

Russian for the Humanities

This course is designed to provide students with the language preparation necessary to pursue an education in the humanities in Russia. Particular attention is paid to developing presentation, comprehension and analytical skills needed to carry out academic research.

This course is designed for intermediate students.

Pedagogical Methods of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language

This course provides preparation for future teachers of Russian as a foreign language by examining current pedagogical questions, issues and trends relating to the instruction of RFL.

This course is for advanced students.

In addition to the aforementioned courses, the RL center at RGGU can develop a variety of elective courses designed to meet the specific needs of both partner institutions and individual students.