Mastering Russian through Global Debate

cover art
216 pp., 7 x 10
ISBN: 9781626160880 (1626160880)

December 2014


Audio Companion [Zip File]

Mastering Russian through Global Debate
Tony Brown, Tatiana Balykhina, Ekaterina Talalakina, Jennifer Bown, and Viktoria Kurilenko
Foreword by Vitali Grigorevich Kostomarov

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Mastering Russian through Global Debate
brings together the rhetorical traditions of the communications field and the best practices of adult second-language instruction to facilitate Superior-level proficiency in the Russian language. Each chapter addresses a rich topic of debate, providing students with a set of prereading activities, texts covering both sides of a debate topic, and continues with postreading comprehension and lexical development exercises—all of which foster the language and critical thinking skills needed for successful debates. A rhetorical methods section in each chapter integrates language and practice and prepares students for end-of-chapter debates. Using debate to develop advanced competency in a second language is a method that is finding increased interest among instructors and students alike, in both synchronous online teaching and the individual classroom. Students are prepared to participate fully in debates with their classmates—at home, abroad, or both.

Tony Brown is a professor in the Department of German and Russian at Brigham Young University. He has published articles in the Foreign Language Annals, Modern Language Journal, Russian Language Journal, and Language Policy.

Tatiana M. Balykhina is head of the dissertation committee at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia in Moscow and a member of several academies, including the New York Academy of Science. She is a winner of several national awards and honorary titles granted by the government of the Russian Federation.

Ekaterina Talalakina is an associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. She is a certified ACTFL OPI tester in English. In addition to publishing articles in Russian and English on TESOL, lexicology, and e-learning, she is actively involved in collaborative learning projects that connect classrooms in Russia and the US via technology.

Jennifer Bown is a professor in the Department of German and Russian at Brigham Young University. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Language Teaching, Foreign Language Annals, Modern Language Journal, and Innovation in Language Teaching and Learning.

Viktoria Kurilenko is head of the Russian Language Department at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia in Moscow. She has numerous publications on curriculum standards and testing in the field of Russian as a foreign language, as well as on the theory of textbook writing, discourse analysis, and cognitive science. In 2003, Dr. Kurilenko received the Prize of the Moscow Government and in 2005, a Gold Medal from the Russian Central Exhibition Center.

"I highly recommend Mastering Russian through Global Debate. The materials are methodologically sound and designed to facilitate both language gain and the development of critical thinking skills. The themes that form the core of the six chapters are important for our contemporary world and are presented in engaging and thought-provoking ways. This volume fills a serious void in terms of upper-level materials for serious learners of Russian."—Cynthia Martin, associate professor of Russian, University of Maryland, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

"This textbook is an extraordinary contribution to the teaching of superior-level discourse, as defined in the Proficiency Guidelines, in the Russian-language curriculum because it compels students to engage in argument on abstract topics. The authors deftly present 'hot topics' about which students will most certainly have their own opinions. Students using this textbook will enhance their speaking skills not only in Russian, but also in their native language, precisely because they will learn to structure their arguments logically, using rhetorical devices to select and emphasize evidence and point listeners to their conclusions. This textbook is outstanding because it teaches language skills in the context of the greater liberal arts enterprise of critical thinking and analysis."—Benjamin Rifkin, professor of Russian and dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, The College of New Jersey