Review Article

Searching for “the golden key” (problems of modern Russian as a foreign language textbooks)

Pashkovskaya S.S.


The article generalizes and gives critical analysis of the problems of a modern Russian as foreign language (RFL) textbook. Its essential characteristics and functions are revealed. A textbook on Russian as a foreign language reflects the features of Russian language teaching at a certain stage of science development. The important characteristic of all RFL textbooks is the ability to simulate pedagogical process, simplified and at the same time idealized, and to ensure the interaction between the teacher and students. A textbook on Russian as a foreign language structures foreign language material presentation, organizes gradual formation of speech skills and abilities. The textbook realizes the informational function as well. The motivating function of the textbook can be realized in the unity of its external and internal structure. The interrelation of “visual appeal” (paper, font, colourful illustrations, etc.) and clearly structured material presentation with the necessarily generalized and systematized information is presented in a textbook. Practical (communicative) orientation is the essential characteristic of RFL textbook. RFL textbooks realizes a differentiated approach to control and training, i.e. performs the controlling function. A brief description of different generations of textbooks is given. The analysis of scientific and educational literature allows to confirm methodological necessity of creating an encyclopedia for the authors of RFL textbooks. The encyclopedia could sum up fundamental research in teaching foreign languages and Russian as a foreign language.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):7-28
pages 7-28 views

Methods of teaching russian as a foreign language

Professional vocabulary in Russian as a foreign language textbooks: on the experience of teaching foreign military men

Govorukhina Y.A., Mongina F.M.


Teachers of Russian as a foreign language are increasingly taking into account modern international experience of teaching foreign languages. In this regard, it seems relevant to revise methodological approaches and methods of teaching new vocabulary, which are used mechanically in domestic textbooks. The purpose of the article is to give a comprehensive analysis of existing approaches in working out methodological support for teaching vocabulary, in creating teaching aids, which reflect the authors’ system of presenting and teaching new vocabulary. The article analyzes manuals written by the teachers of the Russian language department of the Military Science and Training Center branch of the Navy “Naval Academy” in Kaliningrad. The analysis has revealed the most effective methods of teaching vocabulary: practising grammar skills in everyday speech situations and common vocabulary followed by learning the same grammar models in specialty texts, incorporating new vocabulary into a broader context, not only memorizing new vocabulary and grammar rules, but forming typical cognitive and grammar models, increasing the amount of tasks on text producing.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):29-41
pages 29-41 views

Russian as a foreign language textbook: at the crossroads of ways, opinions and interests

Kozhevnikova E.V., Vyazovskaya V.V., Trubchaninova M.E.


The paper discusses the issues of creating textbooks on Russian as a foreign language (RFL) for pre-university students. Nowadays a lot of Russian universities use study packs with course components developed by teams of teachers who work at these universities. The urgence of the study is stipulated by the necessity to analyze a rather chaotic process of creating and implementing varied course components at a specific university. The study is based on the analysis of RFL textbooks published by the Institute of International Education at Voronezh State University (hereinafter referred to as IIE VSU) from 2000 to 2017. The aim of the study is to substantiate the need for a multifaceted approach to creating textbooks and other course components. This aim suggests performing a number of specific tasks: analyzing course materials published by IIE VSU and defining a preferable structure of the study pack on Russian as a foreign language for pre-university students, determining the principles of dividing learning materials into units within the textbook and describing potential solutions in creating textbooks and online courses (which can accompany a textbook or used autonomously). As the result the study demonstrates the prospective structure of the RFL study packs of second generation and specific principles of data distribution in the main textbook and in accompanying course materials. The paper concludes with the idea of the necessity of combining traditional instructional principles (e. g., convergence and minimization) with relatively new principles, such as “the dialogue of cultures”, gradation of the data according to their informative value and frequency.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):42-62
pages 42-62 views

Principles of teaching Russian as a foreign language in MARSTU (MADI) textbooks

Kozhevnikova M.N., Saenko L.P.


The article describes the history and the modern period of Russian as a foreign language teaching scientific and methodical school at the preparatory faculty for foreign students in Moscow Automobile and Roads State Technical University (MADI), which was founded in 1960s. The main principles of the school are adherence to activity-communicative and nationally-oriented approaches, teaching scientific speech style and the language of future profession, necessity of inter-subject coordination in creating study-books of the scientific speech style, using self-written manuals in teaching process, ensuring the conditions for integrating foreign students to sociocultural, linguistic and educational environment of the Russian university. The article presents a short historical review containing information about the main representatives of the scientific school and description of their most important methodical and scientific papers. The study pack “Russian for future engineers” is particularly analyzed. Its effectiveness is confirmed by such criteria as self-sufficiency and irredundancy of teaching material, developing communicative skills, successful students’ motivation, effective functional scheme of learning actions. One of the most important perspectives of MADI scientific school is developing electronic teaching means.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):63-77
pages 63-77 views

What a textbook on Russian as a foreign language for adult students should be

Kozdra M.


The aim of the paper is to set out the principles of writing a modern effective textbook on Russian as a foreign language (RFL) for adult learners from the position of Adult Learning Theory (ALT). The relevance of this topic is related to the fact that there is no modern, effective textbook of Russian as a foreign language for adults on the market of teaching and learning aids. Existing textbooks are focused primarily on students and young people. They often do not correspond to the real needs of adult learners. The introduction of the article examines the main elements of a textbook for teaching RFL: its function, content, methodology and structure, as well as the main statements of the theory of ALT. In the second part, the main shortcomings and drawbacks of the existing textbooks for teaching RFL are highlighted, and specific examples are shown as well. In the third part, the principles of writing a modern textbook for adults are revealed: the functions of such a manual are outlined, the content is described, the method is defined, and its structure is sketched out.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):78-89
pages 78-89 views

Modern Russian textbooks for schools in Czech Republic: advantages and disadvantages

Rozboudova L., Konecny J., Markova E.M.


The article analyses the current state of the Russian language teaching materials in the Czech secondary and high school. The Russian language is taught at Czech schools as the second and third foreign language. This naturally influences aims, contents and methodological concept of study packs used in the foreign language teaching. The authors point out the requirements for modern Russian language school textbooks, fundamental criteria for assessing them, the particularities of learning Russian in a closely-related language environment. Among the so-called coursebooks of a “new type” the authors determine electronic and interactive versions of textbooks which started to appear in classrooms recently. However, not all of them meet modern requirements. The article analyses the study packs used in Czech Republic in order to reveal their advantages and disadvantages. The conclusions are proved by the results of the survey carried out among Russian language teachers at Czech schools.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):90-102
pages 90-102 views

Page of a young scientist

Textbooks on Russian as a foreign language: from the experience of work at the preparatory faculty in M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University

Antonova L.N., Tolstyakova K.P.


This article deals with the textbooks used in teaching Russian as a foreign language (RFL) at preparatory faculty in M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University: Esmantova T.L. Russian: 5 elements: A1 level (elementary); Chernyshev S.I. Let’s go! Russian for adults. Elementary course; Evseeva K.S., Dmitrieva E.N., Nikiforova E.P., Samsonova L.N. The Russian language. Oral course for foreign students. Tutorial. The authors use A.A. Akishina, O.E. Kagan’s classification for assessing the textbooks. The classification includes the following parametres: clearly defined goals; a set of training texts, adequacy and effectiveness of the exercises; the number of communication exercises; balance between training and communication exercises; the variety of functions; authentic texts; vocabulary that reflects the communicative needs and interests of students; grammar according to communicative needs; availability of audio and video applications. The analysis shows advantages and disadvantages of the textbooks according to modern requirements to educational activity in a foreign audience. The article reveals the problems arising in direct pupil-teacher interaction during fulfilling the tasks in different organizational forms: at the lessons, at home and in out-of-class events. Special attention is paid to the only textbook on RFL written by the group of teachers of the Yakut State University (1996) which can serve as a basis of a textbook with a national and regional component.

Russian Language Studies. 2019;17(1):103-114
pages 103-114 views


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