Skip to main content

Study information

Advanced Russian Language Skills

Module titleAdvanced Russian Language Skills
Module codeMLR3111
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Ben Phillips (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Module description

In this module you will engage with the spoken and written language, using materials on a range of topics, both in text form, and in the form of video and/or audio recordings, both to improve your comprehension of Russian, and to guide you towards producing your own written texts in Russian, as well as making contributions to oral discussion, conversation, and class presentations in Russian. The emphasis will be on achieving a high level of grammatical accuracy as well as command of idiomatic structures, and on broadening your knowledge of vocabulary across different thematic areas. You will also develop your abilities in translating Russian into accurate and idiomatic English.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • Refine your Russian language skills, building on what you have learned at previous stages, and, in many cases, during your third year of study abroad
  • Develop your abilities in both producing Russian (orally and in writing) and in understanding Russian (aurally and in writing)
  • Develop your use of the syntax and lexis of the language by engaging with texts which cover a wide range of topics and styles

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Apply a knowledge of a broad range of grammatical features of Russian
  • 2. Tackle complex translation passages into and out of Russian, based on a wide range of topics and written in a variety of styles
  • 3. Use bilingual and standard monolingual dictionaries to research conventions of usage, find synonyms and explore nuances of meaning
  • 4. Discuss complex topical and abstract issues in spoken Russian, using a broad range of vocabulary and idiom
  • 5. Give a structured oral presentation in Russian, addressed to a small group of listeners, and to engage in debate on the issues raised by the presentation
  • 6. Demonstrate understanding of spoken Russian from a range of sources, including audio/video recordings

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Understand and use a broad range of linguistic terminology, using this terminology to a certain extent to conceptualise mistakes in the target language and to identify strategies for improving linguistic accuracy
  • 8. Engage critically with the Russian-language media (printed and electronic, including internet, television and radio), using it as a resource for independent study

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Communicate information and arguments of some complexity in the target language
  • 10. Express and defend opinions on a wide range of current and abstract issues

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • One hour per week of prose translation into Russian/guided writing in Russian
  • One hour per week of translation from Russian into English
  • One hour per week of oral/aural work
  • Weekly independent audio-visual comprehension task

Learning and teaching methods: For both translation elements, students are provided with passages for translation, which are either written or prepared for the following class. The work handed in is corrected and marked, and study of the passages is used as a method of improving the linguistic skills. For spoken Russian, students are required to prepare topics, which are then presented to a small group of students for further discussion in Russian under the guidance of the teacher. Aural classes are conducted every three weeks; in the previous week students complete a set independent audio-visual/listening comprehension task. In the following class this task will be discussed in depth by a member of staff who is a native speaker of Russian, and further listening comprehension and/or transcription tasks will be undertaken in class.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Translating written Russian text into English
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Activities to develop skills in producing written Russian independently
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Oral and aural work, developing skills in producing and understanding spoken Russian
Guided Independent Study234Preparation of set material for classes, completion of formative language work, reading in Russian, listening to Russian

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Writing tasks200-300 words1-3, 8-10Written and oral
Audio visual tasks20 minutes1, 6Written and oral
Translations200-350 words2Written and oral
Oral presentations10-15 minutes4-5, 7, 9-10Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Listening comprehension exam1590 minutes1, 6, 8Written feedback
Oral examination2520 minutes4-5, 7, 9-10Written feedback
Examination – translation from Russian to English, with commentary252 hours2-3Written feedback
Examination – translation from English to Russian, with commentary101 hour1-3Written feedback
Examination – writing in Russian251 hour1, 3, 8-10Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Listening comprehension examListening comprehension exam1, 6, 8Referral/Deferral period
Oral examinationOral examination4-5, 7, 9-10Referral/Deferral period
Examination – translation from Russian to English, with commentaryExamination2-3 Referral/Deferral period
Examination – translation from English to Russian, with commentaryExamination1-3Referral/Deferral period
Examination – writing in RussianExamination1, 3, 8-10Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Borras, F. M. and R. F. Christian, Russian Syntax: Aspects of Modern Russian Syntax and Vocabulary (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1971)
  • Daum, E. and W. Schenk, A Dictionary of Russian Verbs: Bases of Inflection, Aspects, Regimen, Stressing, Meanings (Leipzig: VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie, 1974)
  • Falla, Paul, Boris Unbegaun, and Marcus Wheeler, eds., The Oxford Russian Dictionary, Revised Edition, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • Offord, Derek, Using Russian: a Guide to Contemporary Usage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)
  • Ozhegov, S. I., Slovar' russkogo iazyka (Moscow: Russkii iazyk, 1991)
  • Wade, Terence A Comprehensive Russian Grammar (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992)
  • Wade, Terence, A Russian Grammar Workbook (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Russian, Language, Oral

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

MLR2001, MLR2030

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date