Startalk Institute for Teachers of Russian: Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy

This 2-week session for current and prospective teachers of Russian was hosted by the Davis School of Russian in 2013 and 2014. We hope to offer this program again in 2016.  Please check this page in March 2016 for an update.

Program Description: The principles of second language acquisition and pedagogy and the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century serve as foundation for this intensive pedagogy program. The program’s target audience includes graduate students who are starting to teach Russian, as well as teachers at middle and high schools.

Participants will learn how to choose appropriate pedagogical strategies and develop effective teaching and assessment practices that will bring their students to linguistic and cultural proficiency in Russian. The program curriculum will focus on communicative learner-centered instruction, which uses interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes of communication and integrates the five standards (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities).

Participants will also be exposed to the teaching and linguistic expertise of the Middlebury Russian faculty, who will open their classrooms for observations and, as guest lecturers, will lead a series of workshops and seminars. Participants will demonstrate mastery of the material by designing and implementing a number of classroom activities and a final lesson. Participants additionally will benefit from the Russian School’s intensive environment by interacting with students and teachers at cultural events and meals.

In 2014, tuition, lodging expenses, meals, textbooks, and classroom materials were covered by grant funding, and each participant was eligible to receive a travel reimbursement of up to $250. Participants receive one unit of graduate credit.

This program is led by Dr. Evgeny Dengub, Lecturer in Russian at Amherst College, and Dr. Irina Dubinina, Associate Professor of Russian at Brandeis University.

Eligibility requirements: Candidates must be currently teaching or planning to teach Russian in the United States. Russian language proficiency must be at the graduate level.

For more information about last summer's Startalk Institute at the Davis School of Russian, please consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact Dr. Evgeny Dengub at