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Road to Russia. Textbook for Beginners:

Russian Language Textbook for Beginners. North American Edition.
iLearnRussian Publishers, an imprint of Russia Online, Inc. Maryland, 2013.
Authors: V. Antonova, M. Nakhabina, M. Safronova, A. Tolstykh (Russia), and V. Bessonoff (editor, USA)

This introductory course is intended for students with no prior knowledge of the Russian language. The textbook itself is a completely revised and updated edition of «Дорога в Россию», and written specifically for North American students. It is ideally suited for use in undergraduate courses, high schools, and adult education courses.

The course consists of 15 chapters, each requiring eight to ten hours of classroom instruction (about 150 academic hours total). All chapters contain clear, concise grammatical and cultural explanations, along with a comprehensive vocabulary. High quality audio recordings will improve students’ listening and pronunciation skills, and translation exercises at the end of each chapter will strengthen their writing abilities.

Towards the end of the course, the students are expected to have progressed to the Low-Intermediate level of proficiency, based on the ACTFL scale. They should also be prepared to meet the standards of the beginner level (A1) certificate of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation.
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Road to Russia: Publisher's Announcement - full text.

Table of contents, pdf

Textbook review:

This edition of the textbook Road to Russia has been thoroughly revised and adjusted to the needs of North American students of Russian. It is uniquely designed to bring together two formerly divergent methodologies – one used in American and Canadian schools and colleges and the other used for second language acquisition in Russia. The current edition bridges this pedagogical gap: it will be certain to facilitate the transition from one learning environment to the other whenever an American student goes to Russia to continue his or her study of the language. The textbook will also be helpful in the process of cultural readjustment because it provides a gradual and adequate introduction to modern Russia in step with the introduction of Russian vocabulary and grammar.

All of the content materials related to Russia have been adequately updated. Various graphic schemes and colorful diagrams have been added to the exposition of grammar and vocabulary in order to assist the beginners of Russian in their learning process as well as the teachers in their instruction of the language. Many useful and lively illustrations provide visual support throughout the book.

New students of Russian, as well as teachers of elementary Russian, will not fail to notice and appreciate how gradually and systematically the book introduces fundamental grammar concepts and how carefully it correlates them with the explanations of Russian phonetics and vocabulary. Every new chapter builds on the previous material: everything introduced in the earlier units is organically incorporated into the subsequent units so that neither grammar gaps nor unwarranted vocabulary leaps interrupt the book’s continuity. All of its material is meticulous correlated to encourage the students’ advance through the basics of Russian.

With an eye to practicality, the authors succeeded in finding the optimal mix of essential phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary without overloading the beginner with only marginally relevant concepts. They also found a sensible way to avoid certain intimidating notions of Russian grammar without, however, compromising the material’s authenticity. If carefully studied and followed, the course will bring the student to a low-intermediate level upon completion. More ambitious students and teachers can easily supplement the textbook with additional readings and exercises while still relying on the book’s overall structure.

Constantine Muravnik, Ph.D.
Senior Lector in Russian
Slavic Languages and Literatures
Yale University


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