Outside of the classroom, the Russian Language Institute offers a variety of extracurricular activities designed to enhance the language skills being learned in the classroom. Activities may include guest lecturers speaking on a variety of topics related to Russian studies and culture, screenings of Russian and Soviet films, Russian and Slavic choirs, and international folk dancing, 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, Russian literature, Russian music, Russian folklore Russian Orthodoxy, and Russian history.
In the past, participants have had the opportunity to take field trips to Russian concerts, Russian Orthodox churches, the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, the Russian section in Northeast Philadelphia, and to Brighton Beach, NY (a Russian immigrant community). Depending on costs, an additional fee may be charged for field trips.
Films are shown at least once a week, and if possible, twice a week. 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, help develop a feeling for the rhythm of the language, and increase recognition of and activate grammar learned in class. Russian songs also provide insight into many aspects of Russian culture and history.
Russian Food Night
Students learn about Russian food from cooking and eating different menu items. In the past, the menu has included blini, borshch, pelmeni, and pirozhki.
Students and faculty gather daily during lunch for students to informally speak Russian outside the classroom.
Russian Night of Culture
In the Russian Tradition, each year at the close of the program students have a chance to showcase their talents at the Russian Night of Culture. For the RLI Closing Ceremony, students have sang, read poetry, and produced plays such as Pushkin's The Stone Guest
Other Cultural Events
In addition other miscellaneous cultural events occur weekly at RLI such as: painting Russian nesting dolls, scavenger hunts, karaoke, board game playing, and tea drinking.