Growing a Russian-Language Community at a Mid-Western Liberal Arts College by Maria Hristova

created on Jun 30, 2016 modified on Jun 30, 2016 02:26



DePauw students of Russian investigate why the Russian-speaking community at the university has dwindled to the point of virtually disappearing. There are no international students who speak Russian as their first or second language; in addition, the Russian program is having problems with low enrollments. What this means for current students of Russian is that they have no conversation partners or a community to turn to outside of the classroom. This is a big problem for learners of a foreign language.


This project will investigate why there is no Russian-language community on and around campus and will attempt to rectify the situation in two ways. First, we will attempt to recruit more students to take Russian language or Russian Studies classes; second, we will reach out to Russian students in Russian-speaking countries and advertise DePauw as a great option for pursuing a B.A. or for study abroad.

Final product:

The final product will be a bilingual website connected to the DePauw Modern Languages and Russian Studies parent websites. The English version will be geared towards incoming American and English-speaking students and the Russian version will target potential international Russian (or Slavic)-speaking students.



National Foreign Language Resource Center
July 1, 2016
Maria Hristova

Language: Russian

Subject Area(s): lifestyles, communities, creativity, design, education, history, national identity, social networks, technology, values, visual arts

Instructional Context

Audience Location:
US and Russophone countries

Heritage Learners:

Product Description:
A bilingual webpage that in addition to the common content will have unique content targeting each audience group.

Product Target Culture:
American and Russian

Target Audience Description:
There are two distinct audiences. The first group are non-Russian speaking incoming (or enrolled) students who will be informed as to why taking Russian is a great idea. The second group are Russian speaking international students who will be convinced that coming to study at DePauw is an excellent step for their academic development.

Audience Role:

Language Proficiency

ACTFL Scale:
4 3

World Readiness Standards

Cultural comparisons

Making Connections
Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives

Language comparisons

School and Global

Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives
Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives


21st Century Skills

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Technology Literacy

Life and Career Skills
Initiative and Self-Direction
Social and Cross Cultural Skills
Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and responsibility

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Creativity and Innovation
Information Literacy
Media Literacy

Interdisciplinary Themes
Global Awareness
Civic Literacy

Life and Career Skills
Flexibility and adaptability

Project Sequence Overview

Preparing for the Project

1. Pre-launching - Watch and discuss several YouTube videos made by Russian students who came to the US. more detail

Launching the Project

1. Launching - A video conference call with a classroom in Russia. more detail

Managing the Project

1. Managing - 1) Investigate 2) Come up with explanations 3) Verify 4) Brainstorm strategies to solve the problems 5) Choose a limited number of actions 6) Implement 7) Come up with final products to be added to the webpage more detail


1. Assessment - Assessing the students' progress more detail