By the completion of the fourth semester or its equivalent in Russian (Intermediate II), students are expected to have attained the following proficiency level:
Students transition from responding to prompts with one or two sentences to expressing themselves in short paragraphs on familiar—generally concrete—topics, such as their biography, home and school life, interests and hobbies, and personal experiences.
Students write short compositions (one-three full paragraphs) on familiar—generally concrete—topics, such as their biography, home and school life, interests and hobbies, and personal experiences. In their compositions, students are able to use all three tenses, the subjunctive mood, complex syntax, and sophisticated grammatical structures, such as participles and verbal adverbs (gerunds).
Students are adept at following the give-and-take of classroom conversation, and can understand the essence of short lectures and native speech on familiar topics.
Students complete their introduction to the system of Russian grammar and can read a variety of texts written with a vocabulary that is suitable to their level, from brief notes, newspaper articles, and diary entries to poems and short non-fiction pieces on history and culture. In Intermediate Russian II, students also begin reading glossed excerpts from the classics of Russian literature.
Students read and discuss authentic texts on a variety of topics, including geography, historic events and places, and the contributions of various figures (authors, composers, artists, and scientists) to the rich fabric of Russian civilization. Over the course of both semesters of Intermediate Russian I and II, students are able to identify many of the major contours of Russian cultural history as well as some of the enduring contributions Russians have made to the advancement of world culture.
Students gain the tools and confidence to explore and create with the language beyond the classroom setting. For example, they develop the capability to use the Russian Internet and Russian social media, as well as participate in events such as the weekly Russian Conversation Table.
- Students develop an appreciation for a type of learning that requires time. They understand that knowledge and proficiency in any subject (as exemplified by the study of a foreign language) requires years of work.
- Students appreciate that learning is not only cumulative or linear but can also be cyclical and adversative (requiring one to look backward to understand the present and future).
- Students become aware of the ways in which they learn—for example, aurally or through writing—and develop skills to maximize their learning potential.
- Students develop a self-awareness of how their own backgrounds and cultural biases shape their view of the world.