| by Sierra Abukins

News Stories

Alexander Baunov
Alexander Baunov is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center.

If you’re a beginner learning a new language, there are countless resources. 

But that is not the case for many intermediate or advanced students.

That’s why the Middlebury Institute of International Studies has launched a new self-paced, short course: “The Russian Political Mindset in the Context of War: An Exploration with Alexander Baunov.”

The five-hour course is delivered entirely in Russian and features an exclusive in-depth interview with the editor in chief of Carnegie Politika, Alexander Baunov, as he looks for the factors that led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the interview, Baunov provides analysis on Russia’s national heroes.

“It’s unique,” said Professor Anna Vassilieva, head of the Russian Studies Program at the Middlebury Institute and founding director of the Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies. “It’s a different way to bring the language in.”

The course for intermediate learners has language exercises designed by Dr. Svetlana Titkova, an associate professor at Moscow State University, as well as a visiting professor and lead for the summer Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian at Middlebury. 

“Content-based instruction introduces and activates sociopolitical vocabulary and helps students  to put it into practice,” said Titkova. “All of the language exercises and instructions are based on the authentic speech of an educated native Russian; contain real historical facts; and provoke follow-up reflections, arguments, and discussions.”

The Institute plans to continue expanding its short course offerings, providing timely and accessible trainings drawing on the deep expertise of Institute faculty in language and in intercultural communication, development, language services, education, sustainability, and global security.

“Successful professionals never stop learning,” said Patricia Szasz, dean of academic innovation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. “These short courses allow more people to tap into the incredible expertise of our faculty.”

The new noncredit course was developed by the Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies, which is a comprehensive, content-based program for graduate students with advanced Russian language proficiency.

The course is currently available at a discounted price of $15. Learn more and register.