“Russian as we speak it” (about Serafima A. Khavronina and the book of her life)

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The article analyzes one of the most famous textbooks by S.A. Khavronina for studying Russian as a foreign language “Russian as we speak it”. The book has become a hallmark of the Russian methodology and culture of teaching a non-native language abroad. The author examines the structure of the book, emphasizes the innovative findings of S.A. Khavronina, speaks about the features of presenting and explaining the material. Special attention is paid to the communicative orientation of the textbook, which for the first time offered a clear, simple and at the same time methodologically based strategy for teaching Russian as a foreign language. According to the author of the article, the book by S.A. Khavronina is an example of a balanced approach to the analysis of how the live speech influences on foreigners. It solves the key tasks of modern methodology of Russian as a foreign language: grammar-translated, personal-practical and audio-linguistic. The article draws readers’ attention to the problem of creating a modern textbook on Russian and intercultural communication, taking into account the best achievements in the history of these disciplines, using traditional approaches proven over the years and the latest methods of studying language as a cultural phenomenon.

About the authors

Oleg V. Nikitin

Moscow Region State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: olnikitin@yandex.ru

Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Department of History of Russian and General Linguistics

24 Very Voloshinoy St, Mytishchi, 141014, Russian Federation


  1. Khavronina, S.A., & Shirochenskaya, A.I. (2003). Russkii yazyk v uprazhneniyakh: Uchebnoe posobie dlya govoryashchikh na angliiskom yazyke [Russian in exercises: A textbook for English speakers]. Moscow: Rus. yaz. Publ. (In Russ.)
  2. Khavronina, S.A. (2005). Pis'mennaya rech' studentov-inostrantsev s tochki zreniya norm russkogo slovoraspolozheniya [Written speech of foreign students in terms of the norms of Russian word placement]. Bulletin of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Series: Russian and foreign languages. Methods of its teaching, (1), 126–132. (In Russ.)
  3. Khavronina, S.A. (2007a). Govorite po-russki [Russian as we speak it]. Moscow: Rus. yaz. Publ. (In Russ.)
  4. Khavronina, S.A. (2007b). Psikhologo-pedagogicheskie aspekty adaptatsii inostrannykh studentov k usloviyam obucheniya v rossiiskikh vuzakh [Psychological and pedagogical aspects of adaptation of foreign students to the conditions of study in Russian universities]. Bulletin of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Series: Problems of Education: Languages and speciality, (2), 84–88. (In Russ.)
  5. Khavronina, S.A. (2017). How a classic was born that did not know what would become a classic (From the history of the book “Russian language in exercises”). Russian language abroad, 2(261), 6–9. (In Russ.)

Copyright (c) 2020 Nikitin O.V.

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