Resources for Russian Language Teachers

St Basil's CathedralTwo Russian dollsSTARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland which supports teacher professional development, student language learning, and instructional resource development for critical less commonly taught languages in the United States.

For over a decade, STARTALK has developed a robust collection of resources to support language teachers across the United States. On this page, you will find different categories of resources specifically for Russian language teachers and programs. Whether you are teaching now, preparing to become a world language teacher, or training and mentoring teachers, we feel certain that you will find these resources beneficial to your work in the field of world language education.

Model Curricula

STARTALK has created model curricula to provide support for Russian language programs in the curriculum development process. These model curricula are intended as examples. Teachers will have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of their students. The model curricula available for download below provide include each stage of the backward design process (Learning Outcomes, Assessment Tasks, Learning Experiences) and may be adapted to any language.

Each of the model curricula here identify and describe Key Learning Experiences for teachers and learners. Defining the Key Learning Experiences for a language curriculum allows instructors to take large program (course) learning goals and key performance assessments and use them to develop lesson plans and episodes—further unpacking each learning goal into daily lesson can-do statements, identifying the check(s) for learning that will take place, and outlining the vocabulary and language chunks that correspond to each lesson can-do statement.

Personal Identity
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Students will work with the theme of Identity. They will work with appropriate texts that portray young Russian teenagers who take on responsibilities while learning life lessons and/or with biographical texts about heroes or important people both at home and within the culture of Russia. Students will explore who they are, where they live, their nationalities, and their heritages. Students will also be able to introduce themselves by giving biographical details and will be able to talk about their interests and activities before discussing the people, places, and things that really matter to them. They will comment on the actions of Russian fictional and historical figures and will make comments about their personalities and characters. They will work together to tell the story of a modern-day hero from a Russian region of their choice. They will take part in a field trip to meet individuals involved in the local community and identify how various individuals are working to create a better community.
Grade Range: 6-12
Performance Target: NM- NH

Sample Curricula

STARTALK has collected curricula utilized by STARTALK programs to serve as samples and provide support to other educators in their curriculum development process. These samples were provided to STARTALK Central by programs serving a variety of age groups and proficiency levels and were recommended for sharing by STARTALK team leaders. These curricula are intended as examples only. They have been collected over the course of several years and may not utilize current STARTALK curricula formats or models.

Russian in the Sky and in Outer Space
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This curriculum is designed for heritage language learners of Russian with Intermediate High level proficiency in the language. The program will develop in these heritage language learner participants’ academic language skills and social stylistic registers available to educated native speakers by combining knowledge of the most important events of space exploration with that of aircraft design and the language of science and technology. Grade Range:
Performance Target:
Contact Hours:
University of Washington

Lesson Plans

Sample Learning Plans
These sample lesson plans include multiple learning targets from the beginning, middle and end of various thematic units. Many activities outlined in the learning plans are accompanied by sample authentic resources and teaching materials. Each learning plan also contains videos of one or more activities being delivered in a real classroom. STARTALK thanks Kent State University for developing these materials.

Secondary - Business Cards

Secondary - Resumes

Learning Plan Development
To help teachers understand and use the STARTALK lesson plan templates, we have also developed a detailed learning plan guide outlining each step in the planning process, as well as a learning plan checklist designed for teachers to self-assess the lesson plans they develop.

Learning Plan Guide

Learning Plan Checklist

Learning Plan Template(s)
STARTALK has developed a Learning Plan (lesson plan) template which guides teachers to plan their daily lessons connecting each activity and assessment to their curriculum using backward design. These templates are available for download in Word format in both color and black and white.

Template (color)

Template (b/w)

Additional Resources

These additional resources have been developed by various STARTALK projects and initiatives over many years and are potentially of interest to Russian language instructors, language program administrators, instructional coaches, methods instructors, and others involved in Russian language teaching and/or the training of Russian language teachers.

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Discover Russia

This project provides three online Learning Modules for Russian language study aligned with the World-Readiness Standards for learning languages and based on the STARTALK Model Curricula. The Modules will target the intermediate-low proficiency level.
Russian Curriculum Modules

Each of these Chinese language learning modules is based in thematic cultural topics and is comprised of 3 lesson plans providing three or more hours of lessons and activities. Each module is augmented with a video of native speakers addressing one of the cultural topics, or being interviewed about the cultural topic being taught. In addition, each module is accompanied by hand-produced art illustrations for classroom use.

These Russian modules and supporting materials are focused on a homestay in Russia. On the website for downloading teachers will find introduction to the project, an overview of all materials, 30 lesson plans, 10 art illustrations, 10 videos and several video documents. The intended level is Novice High.

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Russian Language Resources

This is a non-comprehensive compilation of resources and materials potentially of interest to Russian language teachers and learners. This list should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular product, resource, service, or content developer, but we hope it provides a valuable resource for the diverse needs of Russian teachers and learners.

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  • Russian