About "Reading Russian Short Stories"


This collection contains stories written in Russian by different authors in the 20th and 21st centuries, each accompanied by questions and assignments. The diverse stories offer a myriad of themes (both Russian and universal), topics, literary styles, and snapshots of Russian culture and history. The compilation focuses on text as a means and an object of learning Russian. The resource’s primary purpose is two-fold: first, to improve students’ reading abilities; second, to offer students a wealth of linguistic and cultural materials that can be used as a basis for further speaking and writing practice, reinforcing grammar, and vocabulary building. Additionally, the anthology gives students an insightful and poignant lesson in modern Russian literature.

The collection is designed for learners of Russian, including heritage learners. There are numerous texts that are suitable for novice-high or intermediate-low learners. However, the majority of these texts are more suitable for learners who have reached or are about to enter higher levels of language competence, i.e. students at intermediate and advanced levels. As the author of this book believes that working with any text is rather defined by the difficulty of assignments than by a “linguistic difficulty” of the text itself, the specific choice of which text to use, in what order, at what level of students’ competency, with what types of exercises, and so on.

The collection consists of short texts (the vast majority are short stories) and each of these stories is followed by questions and assignments. In general, the questions are designed to facilitate students’ comprehension of the text, to make inference with the text, or to hypothesize. The interpretative and analytical questions are not designed to help students reach any definitive interpretation, but rather to encourage them to use the texts as the basis for generating discussions, controversy, and critical thinking in the classroom. While the assignments contain topics for group discussions, oral presentations and written essays. The questions and assignments are intended not only to help students comprehend the stories, but are also designed to help develop their abilities in narration, argumentation, supposition, making connections between details stated in the text, and forming one’s own response to the text.


About the Author


I have a passion for creating meaningful and active learning solutions. Over the course of my career as an educator I have enthusiastically taught all levels of Russian, Czech, and English to a diverse group of students, not only university undergraduates in Austin, Ames, St. Petersburg, and Prague but also government officials, museum directors, librarians, and military personnel. My research interests are: L2 reading, Project-based Learning, and Russian literature and culture of the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries.

I have always enjoyed both reading literature and learning languages so I’m excited that this project brings these two together. READING & LEARNING = ♡.

In my opinion, language learning is a personal and intellectual journey that continues throughout a lifetime. I enjoy the dynamic aspects of teaching languages, from leading students through language mechanics, to allowing them to discover their own voices in the new language through conversation, discussion and games, to fostering insightful analyses of songs, essays, and stories. As a language instructor, I introduce students to new worlds of languages, literatures, and cultures and invite them to allow these discoveries to impact their lives outside of the classroom.

I hope this resource will provide hours of enjoyable reading to students of Russian.