For students with very little or no previous classroom instruction in Russian. Starting from scratch, with online and weekend "survival Russian" courses before taking the Language Pledge, students learn the alphabet and learn to read and understand spoken Russian, learn to write and speak Russian in basic and predictable contexts (ordering a meal in a restaurant, asking directions on the street). Students master the basic grammatical structures of the language and acquire a beginning vocabulary, practiced in weekly compositions. Students completing this course typically have novice high or intermediate low language skills.
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 one month before students arrive in Middlebury. Participation in the pre-arrival program, which will include two group webinars 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 two group webinars will take place in June 2013; dates and times will be announced in the spring.