Mastering Russian through Global Debate
Mastering Russian through Global Debate brings together rhetorical traditions of the communications field and the best practices of edult second-language instruction to facilitate Superior-level proficiency in the Russian language. Each chapter addresses a rich topic of debate, providing students with a set of prereading activities, texts covering both sides of a debate topic, and postreading comprehension and lexical development exercises - all of which foster the language and critical thinking skills needed for successful debates. A rhetorical methods selection in each chapter integrates language and practice and prepares students for end-of-chapter debates. Using debate to develop advanced proficiency in a second language is a method that is finding increased interest among instructors and students alike, in both synchronous online teaching and the individual classroom. Students are prepared to participate fully in debates with their classmates - at home, abroad, or both.
In this article we report some new experiments in the area of words clustering for the Russian language. We introduce a new clustering method that distributes words into classes according to their syntactic relations. We used a large untagged corpus (about 7,2 bln of words) to collect a set of such relations. The corpus was processed using a set of finite state automata that extracts syntactically dependent combinations having explicit structure. These automata were used to process only unambiguous text fragments because of combination of these techniques increases the quality of sampled input data. The modification of group average agglomerative clustering was used to separate words between clusters. The sampled set of clusters was tested using one of the semantic dictionaries of the Russian language. The NMI score calculated in this article is equal to 0.457 and F1-score is 0.607.
The need to foster critical thinking has long been one of the key issues in education. It is essentially vital nowadays against the background of an increased volume of cross-cultural communications due to the present-day demand for collaboration to tackle pressing global issues through joint efforts of different nations. While the format of debates has been recognized by researchers as one of the most efficient tools of setting off critical thinking, it is up to the new technologies in education to make it possible to bring this platform to a cross-cultural level. Since a cross-cultural dialogue in most cases supposes the mastery of a foreign language, e-learning in the form of cross-border video-conference debates present an invaluable opportunity for educators to enhance the pedagogy of foreign language acquisition around the globe. The present paper focuses on a case-study of an on-going project of implementing the tool of synchronous cross-cultural video-conference debates.
«Bankruptcy» Concept Within the Legal Linguistics Coordinates: Russian–English–French Approximations
The article addresses the notion of bankruptcy as perceived by speakers of current Russian, English and French languages both lawyers and participants in professional communication from other trades. Semantic structure of the term is identified based on its lexicographic and regulatory definitions.
In response to a growing demand for highly proficient speakers of foreign languages, both from private and government sectors, an added emphasis has been placed on developing communicative skills in the foreign language classroom. While time in a target language culture certainly plays a valuable and needed role, this research demonstrates that innovative curricular design and development in the university foreign language classroom can equal if not exceed uptake that occurs in extended immersion environments. A thorough description of the research design is provided, including the application of lexical items (connectors), listening, reading, written exercises, and videoconference debates involving students from National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Assessment instruments used to measure language uptake among students included pre- and post-written proficiency testing and oral proficiency interviews in one’s respective target language as administered by certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) raters. In addition, students completed a background language questionnaire designed to elicit data relative to individual learner motivation.
This paper deals with the Semantics/Pragmatics distinction in a contrastive ethnolinguistic aspect. I argue for the validity of this distinction based on cross-linguistic data. My claim is that the specificity of the so-called language key words [Wierzbicka 1990:15-17] - linguospecific items particularly representative of a given language speakersђ mentality - is due to pragmatic rather than semantic peculiarities. These pragmatic peculiarities distinguish the key words both from their synonyms within the same language and their counterparts in other languages. The languages under discussion are Russian and English, analyzed within a combined frame of Integral Language Description model [Apresjan 1995:8-238] and Wierzbickaђs ethnolinguistic approach.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.