Academic Program: 8-Week Session

The 8-week session offers instruction at a variety of levels, from introductory through fourth-year Russian, and is designed to cover approximately an academic year of material. The program enrolls a diverse mix of undergraduates, graduate students, recent graduates, and professionals.

For planning purposes, we ask 8-week applicants to apply to a level. Select the level that you will have reached by June. The level number refers to the semester of study: 1 = first semester (introductory), 2 = second semester (one semester of study completed), 3 = third semester (one year of study completed), and so on. Final placement in a level is determined by the results of placement testing prior to the beginning of classes. In applying for admission, you indicate your willingness to accept the placement deemed appropriate by the Russian School. At the end of the session, all students participate in exit testing to evaluate their progress.

Classes normally meet four hours per day, five days per week, for a total of 160 contact hours. Daily work outside of class usually requires four to eight hours, and students are encouraged to spend four to five hours per week in cocurricular activities of their choice. Middlebury College awards four units of undergraduate academic credit for successful completion of the 8-week program. (One unit equals three semester hours of credit, so the four units are usually treated as equivalent to 12 credit hours.)

All courses in the 8-week program provide proficiency-oriented instruction in listening, reading, speaking, writing, and grammar, with an emphasis on contemporary Russian culture in its historical context.

Our phonetics program is a unique and consistently popular component of our curriculum. Classroom activities emphasize careful pronunciation, and students of all levels work with professional phonetics specialists in a small-group format. Additional one-on-one appointments are available for students seeking extra help with pronunciation, and we have hired additional phonetics specialists to meet student demand.

All language skill levels are determined on an advisory basis in accordance with the proficiency guidelines of the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Note to Level 1 (Introductory Russian) Applicants:

In order to help beginning students adapt to the intensive environment at Middlebury and be better prepared for the Language Pledge, Level 1 Russian will start online approximately three weeks before students arrive in Middlebury. Participation in the pre-arrival program, which will include a group webinar and online exercises focused on alphabet learning and survival Russian phrases, is mandatory for Level 1 students. That is, students who apply to Level 1 Russian and enroll agree to complete all of the online exercises prior to their arrival at Middlebury as an academic requirement of the 8-week program. The group webinar will take place in June; dates and times will be announced in the spring.