Russnet: Online Resources for Teaching a Russian AP Course

Ken Petersen, ACTR

This presentation will provide an overview of Russnet's online Russian-language modules and demonstrate a number of the critical tools developed to assist teachers in integrating the modules into their own curricula. Russnet is a Web-based resource that has been created to supplement and extend traditional approaches to teaching Russian. Teachers participating in the Russian AP project are encouraged to utilize the tools and materials provided on Russnet to help students prepare for the proficiency-based assessment that is conducted at the end of the course. Russnet offers a wealth of authentic, multimedia language resources that may be used for teaching Russian history, literature and culture and for promoting greater structural competence and language proficiency.

At the heart of Russnet's instructional resources are a set of thematic language modules that have been developed around a collection of authentic Russian texts. The core texts of each module are complemented by audio and video clips and a series of activities designed to provide lexical and structural support, to aid in reading and listening comprehension and to encourage written and spoken production. Student scores, answers and essays can be viewed and evaluated through Russnet's classroom management tools.

Within Russnet's virtual classroom space, teachers have access to tools for bilingual electronic communication, content authoring, classroom management and lesson planning. Each classroom space contains a Russian/English message board and email application that can be used for either administrative purposes or for communicative language tasks. The content authoring tools allow teachers to freely create cloze, multiple-choice, drag-and-drop-matching and open-ended writing activities to customize or expand the online modules. Finally, Russnet's lesson-planning tools provide teachers with a vehicle for planning and organizing the teaching and assessment of the modules by (1) identifying goals, standards and objectives; (2) creating class assignments and (3) specifying assessment rubrics.