Anonymous, Decentering Moscow and St. Petersburg: Developing Student Understanding of Multilingual and Multicultural Russian Speaking Populations Around the Globe.
A unit for middle-school novice mid/high learners with the goal of presenting a more fully representative picture of Russian speakers around the globe, improving information literacy skills, and developing critical consciousness through analysis of textbook content and the creation and interpretation of maps through the lens of critical cartography.

Lauren Nelson, Final Project (Teaching the Alphabet).
A unit for teaching pre-college 1st year students the Russian alphabet in an inclusive and culturally-sustaining way. Students are able to express their identities and interests, build motivation for learning, and make connections between their own lives and Russian language. The unit is also scaffolded by a wealth of online tools to support learning while also teaching and developing valuable media literacy skills.

Catherine O’Neil, Articulating Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Social Justice (DEI for short) in Course Policy documents and assignment for Beginning Russian language.
Syllabus statement, survey questions, and activities to promote discussion of DEIAJ principles, in general and as they apply to the Russian-speaking context. Aims to help students to understand the diversity of the Russian-speaking world and why discussions about diversity are important, both to a study of Russian and in other contexts (e.g. in the US) as well.

Jillian Petrenko, Russian through Monthly Celebrations.
Designs Russian instruction to align with schoolwide monthly celebrations such as Hispanic Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, and Asian Heritage Month, to educate middle school Russian language students about minorities in America as well as Russia. Through a series of scaffolded topical research projects, students are exposed to minority cultures, encouraged to connect their learning to other disciplines. They then communicate about their learning and participate in community celebrations of minority populations.

Lara Ravitch, A series of lessons centered on food culture and food equity for novice mid-to-high Russian language learners in an immersion program.
Students learn about the cuisines, cultures, and traditions of a variety of Russian-speaking places. Lessons incorporate authentic materials, multiple means of engagement, and prioritizes linguistic as well as social goals. Unit culminates the development an equitable, accessible, and inclusive menu for the camp.

Lee Roby, Какую форму носят школьники в разных странах мира? (Dress Code in Schools).
A 3-day unit which expands and contextualizes first-year vocabulary and forms (colors, clothes, noun/adj. agreement) and encourages students to reflect on the materials from a DEI perspective. Formal language instruction is connected to global cultural knowledge, students’ own lives and contexts, and the development of a DEI mindset based in the World Readiness and Social Justice Standards.


Anonymous, The Message is in the Music: Establishing Themes of Diversity and Social Critique in the Second Year Russian Language Classroom.
A year-long 2nd-year Russian language course which addresses the linguistic goals of 2nd-year instruction through engagement with Russian-language music that addresses various social issues - anti-war songs, social commentary, social critique, and multilingualism in the Russian world.

Intermediate-Advanced/Third Year and Beyond

Anonymous, Revised syllabus for third-year Russian: Education for sustainable development.
A third-year Russian language course that links textbook topics with UN goals and global issues which are relevant to students, such as education, employment, health, gender equity, and sustainability. The course seeks to expand course content in ways that promote multiple literacies and produce conscientious global citizens.

Jenya Mironava, Russian through Contemporary Russophone Literature.
A 4th year language-through-literature course that invites students to engage in urgent current affairs and to explore social justice themes. Syllabus includes voices and experiences of marginalized and minority Russian-speaking people. Instruction is based explicitly on the multiliteracies framework, a pedagogical method that supports learner diversity and prioritizes teaching cultural understanding and critical thinking as well as language proficiency and communicative competence.

Jill Neuendorf, De-Othering the Other in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film.
A graduate-level, sixth-year Russian language course exploring how Soviet and post-Soviet eras through film engaged with diversity and social justice topics, including homophobia, gender roles, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and poverty. Through readings, classroom activities, extensive speaking practices, and final oral presentations, students will develop ACTFL Advanced-level skills and vocabulary to communicate in Russian about these topics.

Iza Savenkova, “Teaching Disability Awareness in the Russian Language Classroom”.
A unit for an advanced language class on the topic of disability. The selection of this topic serves to expand language learners’ understanding of Russian culture and to incorporate inclusivity explicitly into the language curriculum.

Natalia Sletova, A ticket to the world: Global citizen summer camp (Introducing intercultural competence and stereotyping to K-12 students).
Curriculum for a summer camp for which undergraduate language students design and execute lessons for teaching their target language to middle-schoolers. The assignments are designed to support the undergrads’ language learning, develop their intercultural competencies, and help them articulate why intercultural competence matters.

Any/all levels

Olga Zaslavsky, Final Project (Diversifying at all levels).
An outline for exposing high school language students to a more diverse and inclusive picture of the Russian-speaking world at beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages. Includes a list of resources that instructors can draw on to supplement textbooks with authentic materials about a variety of regions, communities, and topics of interest to students.


Anastasia Lakhtikova, Decentralizing learning in a polylingual literary translation workshop from Not by Words Alone: Teaching Cultural Aspects of Literary Translation in a Polylingual Workshop. (forthcoming, Routledge, 2023).
This project offers a design for a translation course/workshop including any languages. It seeks to decentralize learning, promote inclusivity, and encourage students to think about bilingual/multicultural identities - including their own.

Collaborative Learning and Virtual “Study Abroad”

Marina Grineva, Reimagining teaching little “c” culture through remote collaboration with a partner university.
A project that brings the richness of robust study-abroad experience into the classroom by developing a virtual exchange program with Russian university students. Through guided research, digital discussions, and a collaborative final project, students are encouraged to form images of Russian society that are up-to-date, more independent of stereotypes, and based on real conversations about the experiences and opinions of Russian-Federation students.

Anya Nesterchouk. Unbounded Learning: Transformative Power of Symbols for Cultural Intelligence and Compassion.
An international peer collaboration between Novice Russian learners from US high schools and their counterparts in Central and North Caucasus regions of the Russian Federation. By focusing instruction on symbols, cultural objects, and media, the project helps students to “acquire cultural knowledge, interpretive and analytic skills, resourcefulness, and critical judgment essential for engaging with cultural complexities.” The unit culminates with the creation of a targeted advertisement and a video journal entry.

With questions or for more information, please see our webpage or contact Jillian Costello at