Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language and Section: Russian Advanced 13 

Date: September 4, 2014

Class theme/topics discussed:


Goal of the class:

Talk about stereotypes about Russia, practice listening comprehension, revise vocabulary, develop synonymy

Structure of the class (unless you attach your lesson plan below):

Activity 1 – Video 1 – poem (I have learned that I have a big big family) – 5 minutes

Discussion – where is this from? What is it about (listening comprehension without the text)

Activity 2 – Poem HANDOUT 1 – 5 minutes

Compare the video to the original poem (there are some textual differences), recite it together

Activity 3 – Video 1 “You have something to be proud of” Commercial – 15 minutes

Stop for listening comprehension of Russian, discuss stereotypes about Russia: banya, hiking, icebreakers, ballet, space, music.

Activity 3Vocabulary building – HANDOUT 215 minutes

Explain vocabulary from Activities 1 and 2, talk about etymology and word-building. Based on my experience last year, this semester I keep a Google spreadsheet with vocabulary we stumble upon in class. Regular vocabulary revision with a strong focus on word-building (morphology is crucial in Russian) was one of the most efficient elements last year and it got great feedback from students. I update the spreadsheet after every class and share it with the students. They understand it is not homework, but they can consult it at their leisure (they can also edit the file, adding translations, examples, etc.)

Activity 4 – Video 4 – Interview with the director of the commercial – 15 minutes

Listening comprehension (watch once without stopping, watch again with pauses). Listen for specific information: What is the main concept of the video? Who else did they have in mind for the role? What is the budget of the commercial? What were David Duchovny’s impressions?

Activity 5 – Discussion – 5 minutes

Is the commercial rhetorically effective? What is makes good or bad?

What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.) 

Video, Internet

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

The class went very well, the students had fun watching the commercial and reading the poem. Just like with Intermediate, David Duchovny is not a big name, but the discussion was still very interesting. The interview was quite hard to understand, but these students seem to really like a challenge, so we are going to watch more videos like that in the future.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

Please attach your lesson plan and handouts for this class below – if you used any.


Владимир Орлов “Родное”

Я узнал, что у меня

Есть огромная родня:

И тропинка, И лесок,

В поле – каждый Колосок,

Речка, Небо надо мною –

Это все мое, родное!


4 сентября 2014

Вам есть, чем гордиться


ледокол, колоть лёд, колоть дрова







колос, колосок

родной, родня

взаимность, взаимные чувства


Крещение, крестить

купаться в проруби, прорубь (рубить)

средство передвижения