Cultural and Language Immersion Activities
The Russian Language Institute offers a variety of extracurricular activities designed to enhance the language skills being learned in the classroom. Activities may include a guest lecture series, screenings of Russian and Soviet films, folk singing and dancing, and field trips.
Guest Lecture Series
The guest lecture series covers a broad range of interests and enhances participants' cultural awareness. Past lectures have included topics on Russian politics, literature, music, folklore, history, and Russian Orthodoxy.
In the past, participants have had the opportunity to take field trips to Russian concerts, Russian Orthodox churches, the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, the Russian section in Northeast Philadelphia, and to Brighton Beach, N.Y. (a Russian immigrant community). Depending on costs, an additional fee may be charged for field trips. The program has not been able to sponsor field trips since Summer 2019. If possible, this programming will return in Summer 2023.
Films are shown regularly. Films are used as part of class assignments to strengthen listening skills, increase vocabulary, and promote cultural awareness.
Russian Folk Singing
This activity is for anyone interested in Russian folk, gypsy, bard and popular songs. Linguistically, Russian songs can expand vocabulary, improve pronunciation, increase speed in reading and increase recognition of and activate grammar learned in class. Russian songs also provide insight into many aspects of Russian culture and history.
At least once during the program, the program faculty and students cook a meal together. In the past, the menu has included blini, borshch, pelmeni, and pirozhki.
Russian 001/002 students and faculty gather daily during lunch to informally speak Russian outside the classroom.
Other Cultural Events
In addition other miscellaneous cultural events occur weekly at RLI such as painting, scavenger hunts, karaoke, board games, and tea socials. Some of these events are organized by the program, but other have been student-organized and led.