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Russian Language

About the program

Students will be given a diagnostic test on the first day of class to determine their level of proficiency and to ensure that they have registered for an appropriate course. Placement is determined by diagnostic tests, interviews and consultations.

The following Russian language courses are offered to international students (except CIS):

Course Code Course Title Number of credits Prerequisite
RUS1301 Beginning Russian 3 credits None
RUS1302 Elementary Russian 3 credits RUS1301 Beginning Russian or equivalent
RUS1304 Pre-Intermediate Russian 3 credits RUS1302 Elementary Russian  or equivalent
RUS 1306 Intermediate Russian 3 credits RUS 1305 Pre-Intermediate Russian  or equivalent
RUS 2101 Professional Russian 1 2 credits RUS1302 Elementary Russian or RUS 1307 Intermediate Russian

The following courses are offered to graduates of Kazakh medium schools and students from the CIS countries:

Course Code Course Title Number of credits Prerequisite
RUS1308 Upper Intermediate Russian 3 credits RUS 1307 Intermediate Russian
RUS2001 Advanced Russian 3 credits RUS 1308 Upper-Intermediate Russian, or equivalent
RUS3302 Business Communication in Russian 3 credits RUS2001 Advanced Russian
RUS 2102 Professional Russian 2 2 credits RUS2001 Advanced Russian or RUS3302Business Communication in Russian


Ariya azamatova (11)

Ariya Azamatova

Assitant Professor


Doctor of Philology
al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan (2008)

Yuliya Kulichenko (1)

Yuliya Kulichenko

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. in Linguistics
al-Farabi Kazakh National University (2009)

Course Descriptions


RUS1301 Beginning Russian (3 credits; 5credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: none

This Beginning Russian course introduces the basic elements of the Russian language in such a way as to enable students to engage in simple communication. It also provides a good foundation for further study of the language.  Practice is given in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Basic vocabulary and elementary grammatical structures are introduced. The course focuses on writing short compositions, dictations, delivering monologues, intensive and extensive reading of graded books. Speaking and listening skills will be self-study assignments.

RUS1302 Elementary Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1301 Beginning Russian

The course assumes the knowledge of all the materials covered in RUS 1301.  This course is designed to provide students with a solid background in the four language learning skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. A special focus of this course is given to developing speaking skills as an integral part of the learning process.  Students will learn to communicate in simple terms about their house/flat and their immediate needs, and to describe and comment on their living situations and daily and leisure-time activities. Reading and listening activities will focus on a variety of topics from everyday life in Russian-speaking countries. Students will also have an opportunity to learn about Russian culture and traditions.

RUS1304 Pre-Intermediate Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1303 Elementary Russian

This course is a continuation of RUS1303 Elementary Russian and is aimed at students who possess sufficient basic knowledge of phonetics, morphology and syntax of the Russian language and have experience in everyday speech in Russian. The course will help to improve students’ accents, to provide proper intonation, to improve their knowledge of Russian grammar, and to introduce the basic features of functional styles of the Russian language. This course will greatly expand the vocabulary and common lexicon, and will form a reserve of “background knowledge” of Russian culture. Students will learn not only to participate in educational discussions, but also to lead them. The course involves watching television and listening to lectures and recorded guides to historical Russian cities. These auditory and visual materials will help improve skills in monologues of oral and written texts on cultural material. Tasks will include a need to describe, narrate, explain and reason about the given cultural information.

RUS1306 Intermediate Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: RUS1305 Pre-Intermediate Russian

This course is intended to motivate students in their Russian language learning, develop communication skills in real situations, and improve knowledge and appreciation of Russian culture. The course is intended to be communicative, with a focus on active student participation and the use of many different learning resources (textbooks, recordings, computers, etc.). Cultural and literary readings are used to expand vocabulary, stimulate discussion, and broaden understanding of the Russian world.  Constant review and acquisition of new knowledge are fundamental requirements for the study of this course.

RUS1308 Upper Intermediate Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1307 Intermediate Russian 2 or equivalent or any Kazakh Language Course

This is an upper intermediate level 1 course aimed at enhancing the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  The course is taught in Russian by native-speakers.  Vocabulary, and oral communication skills, as well as comprehension and production of written Russian, will be taught through a combination of class discussion and focused individual and group exercises, using tutor-recommended texts and multimedia resources.  The course will encourage students to read and comprehend news and journals in the original language; provide students an opportunity to bolster vocabulary for both literary and Kazakhstani contextual needs; conduct research and compose coherent written or recorded texts on various topics.  The communicative component will cover both everyday situations and formal presentations related to students’ research interests, focusing on vocabularies for specific needs, such as travel, business, socializing, or tourism.

RUS2001 Advanced Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1308 Upper Intermediate 1, RUS1309 Upper Intermediate Russian 2 or equivalent

This course provides lower advanced students of Russian with an opportunity to continue their study of the language, concentrating on the development of the four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. To strengthen their writing, students will be required to write several essays during the course of the semester. Work for the course will involve regular study of new vocabulary, reading a variety of texts, and writing essays. A main focus of this course is communication within a variety of contexts while trying to enhance listening, reading comprehension, and oral proficiency.

RUS2201 Conversational Russian 1 (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: RUS1303 Pre-Intermediate Russian

In addition to further vocabulary development, grammar review, and reading of contemporary prose essays, skills in conversation, translation, and composition are also stressed. It conducted mainly in Russian and supplemented by laboratory drills. The course deals with lengthy conversations as well as narrative and descriptive texts in both simplified and traditional characters. It helps students to express themselves in speaking and writing on a range of topics and raises their awareness of the connection between language and culture to foster the development of communicative competence.

RUS2202 Conversational Russian 2 (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: RUS1306 Intermediate Russian

This course continues to develop students’ conversational abilities through daily use of the target language. Students will engage in real-life situational role plays and engage in discussions of and make formal oral presentations of cultural and literary readings. This course promotes cultural awareness and communicative proficiency. This course will provide students with active command of both oral and written Russian stressed; it emphasizes the development of conversational skills and vocabulary building with readings on everyday topics.

RUS2203 Linguistics of Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: LING1101 Fundamentals of Linguistics

An introductory linguistic course designed to order and supplement students’ knowledge of the sound system and the inflectional system of the verb.  A practical component on reading skills also focuses on the verb and methods of developing vocabulary. The course is conducted in Russian/English.

RUS3301 Survey to Russian Literature (4 credits; 6 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: ENG2101 Introduction to Literary Studies

Introduction to the classics of Russian literature in translation, beginning with Pushkin in the early nineteenth century and concluding with the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in the later part of that century. This course provides a survey of Russian literature of the newly-concluded and wildly eventful 20th-century. The course is conducted in Russian/English.

RUS3302 Business Communication in Russian (3 credits; 5 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: Advanced-level proficiency in Russian

This course is designed for native speakers of Russian and for students with advanced knowledge of Russian as a second language. It is meant to provide students with a comprehensive view of Russian business communication, and its scope and importance in business. The course also aims to expand students’ awareness of certain important aspects of business life such as corporate culture, guiding principles of business ethics, cross-cultural relations in business, business communications by e-mail, Russian standards of office management and so forth. This course offers opportunities to develop communication skills through speaking and writing assignments and presentations based on research of real business cases.

RUS3303 Applied Russian Phonetics (2 credits; 3 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1302 Elementary Russian

This is a practical, hands-on course, which focuses primarily on conscious work on the pronunciation of difficult sounds and sound sequences in Russian. It places strong emphasis on teaching Russian intonation based on the standard system of seven Intonational Constructions. The work on difficult sounds and sound sequences progresses in two parallel directions, which correspond to two main sources of pronunciation errors. The first source of errors involves the new sounds, which do not have direct counterparts in English. The second source of errors is associated with discrepancies between spelling and pronunciation in Russian, and consequently, the course pays special attention to the reading rules. The course makes use of various types of authentic and culturally significant materials, such as proverbs, sayings, tongue-twisters, riddles, and poems. Not open to native speakers of Russian.

RUS3304 Russian through Films (2 credits; 3 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisites: RUS1306 Intermediate Russian

This course offers an overview of Russian films. During the course students will examine movies by video clips, selected dialogues, extensive reading, speaking, and writing exercises in Russian. Students will also develop an appreciation of the aesthetic and cultural values of Russian society and an understanding of 20th century Russian history on people’s lives, thinking, and expression.

RUS3305 Russian Language: Language of Mass Media and Newspaper (2 credits; 3 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1306 Intermediate Russian

This course covers introduction to the language of Russian media, including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the internet. It includes deep understanding of both the content of the selected materials and the linguistic characteristics of the language: its structures, vocabulary and style. The emphasis of the course is on improved reading comprehension through the study, analysis and discussion of a wide range of topics in the Russian media.  The course is designed to develop Russian language skills in conversation, reading, writing, and critical thinking in both practical and cultural situations through contemporary films, television programs, newspapers, magazines, and literary works.

RUS3306 Selected Topics in Russian Linguistics (3 credits; 6 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1306 Intermediate Russian

This course deals with advanced topics in Russian language linguistics. Subject emphasis varies from year to year.

RUS3307 Selected Topics in Russian Literature (3 credits; 6 credits of ECTS)

Prerequisite: RUS1306 Intermediate Russian

This course deals with advanced topics in Russian literature. Subject emphasis varies from year to year.