BA English Language and Russian

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Russian Language 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code RUSS51011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Introduction to Russian language for beginners. The course unit consists of intensive language tuition in spoken and written Russian at ab-initio standard. The course unit introduces students to the grammatical foundations of Russian. Oral practice classes are designed to develop students’ ability to understand and speak Russian. This course unit is also intended to develop writing skills (including joined-up handwriting).

Please note that this is a Beginners’ language semester 1 compulsory unit and as such requires a pass mark of 40% or above at the first sitting in order to progress to the next level in semester 2.  Students who fail to meet this requirement will be able to discuss their options with the Programme Director and may have the option to move on to the non-language degree award of Cultures and Societies.  Students who move on to the non-language degree award will still need to reach the pass mark for the unit in the resit assessment in order to achieve the credit for progression in to the next year of study, but the pass mark (which can be compensated) will only be used for progression purposes and will not result in the student being moved back on to the language degree award.  Students who fail the resit can carry the credit into the following year, provided they have met all the other requirements for progression, and will be required to choose an alternative unit to core language.   Students who do not meet the required pass mark at the first sitting and do not move on to the non-language degree award will not be able to progress into semester 2 of the degree programme and will therefore be excluded.


Single Honours and all Joint Honours programs with Russian. 


•    To attract students who will benefit from studying a modern foreign language.
•    To focus on the basic principles of the Russian language.
•    To widen participation within the body of students studying Russian.
•    To contribute to society through the development of knowledge about different cultural customs and traditions and multiculturalism.



 Oral Topics:

  • My family.
  • My house, my flat/room.
  • My day.
  • Free time.
  • Food, restaurants.
Grammar Topics:
  • Spelling rules.
  • Hard and soft consonants.
  • Gender and Number.
  • Nominative, Accusative and Prepositional Singular of nouns, modifiers, personal and possessive pronouns.
  • Verbs (Present, Past and Future tense, regular/irregular conjugation). Numerals.

Teaching and learning methods

Four hours of grammar and two hours of oral practice per week supplemented by independent study in the Language Centre, peer-assisted study (PASS) and a range of exercises delivered via Blackboard.

Extensive resources will be available on Blackboard. These will include copies of slides and handouts used in classes; required homework translation exercises; supplementary materials and on-line tests to aid students in preparing for assessment.

For each topic covered in class there are useful internet resources available for independent e-learning (on-line programs helping to develop oral/aural skills, grammar tests, reference grammar books, quizzes and games).

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:
•    Write in Russian in block letters and in cursive (joined-up writing).
•    Handle basic grammatical structures (genders of nouns and adjectives; Nominative, Accusative and Prepositional cases of nouns, adjectives, possessive and personal pronouns; present and past tense of verbs; basic numerals and adverbs).
•    Demonstrate oral proficiency and aural comprehension skills in Russian (pronunciation, palatalization, rhythm of Russian words [stressed and unstressed vowels and syllables]).
•    Recognize and use different intonation patterns in their speech.
•    Communicate orally (to understand questions and to provide short answers in Russian on the topics covered during the course).
•    Read selected short texts in Russian.

Intellectual skills

During this course students will deal with:
•    Problem solving.
•    Synthesis and analysis of data and information.
•    Critical reflection and evaluation.
•    Translation.

Practical skills

During this course students will be able to:
•    Use library, electronic and online resources.
•    Improve communication and negotiation skills.
•    Speak, read and write in Russian.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to improve their: 
•    Computer Literacy.
•    Teamwork.
•    Time Management.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Capacity to analyse and make critical judgements.
Ability to maintain independence of thought.
Oral communication
Ability to speak a modern foreign language. Ability to express ideas clearly and confidently in public.
Written communication
Ability to express oneself clearly in writing.
Ability to use discipline specific knowledge (language, culture, traditions and customs) in everyday situations and to become a valuable member of multicultural team/society. Capacity for self-appraisal, reflection and time management.

Assessment methods

Assessment TastFormative or SummativeWeighting within unit (if summative)
Continuous assessment, consisting of two progress tests (one grammar, one vocabulary). Summative40% (20% each) 
An oral examination, held at the end of Semester.  Summative20%
A written examination, held at the end of Semester. Summative40%
Weekly grammar tests delivered via Blackboard FormativeThis coursework is formative and it does not count towards the final course result. However, it is essential to do it consistently in order to gradually get the necessary preparation for the final exam
A number of vocabulary tests delivered via Blackboard FormativeThis coursework is formative and it does not count towards the final course result. However, it is essential to do it consistently in order to gradually get the necessary preparation for the final exam

Resit Assessment:

Oral Exam

Written Exam


Feedback methods

Feedback method Formative or Summative

In-class tests will be marked within a week. All individual comments and feedback will be written on a special feedback form; if required, guidance on how to improve performance in further assessments will also be provided on this form. Generic feedback to the whole class will be also given during the lesson following the in-class test.


Oral classes: students will receive oral feedback during oral sessions as well as written comments on their prepared written topics.


After the final oral exam at the end of the year, special feedback forms will be available for all students upon request.



Recommended reading

  • Anna Kudyma, Frank Miller, Olga Kagan Beginner's Russian with Interactive Online Workbook
  • James Levine, Schaum’s Outline of Russian Grammar (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009)
  • Terence Wade, A Comprehensive Russian Grammar (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000)
  • The Oxford Russian-English, English-Russian Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 66
Independent study hours
Independent study 134

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Elizaveta Langley Unit coordinator
Elena Simms Unit coordinator

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