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Intermediate Russian
Suggested Course Outline

NOTE: The following is a suggested course outline by SRAS. While indicative of the subject matter presented over a one-semester course, actual curriculum and the order it is delivered in will differ by location and teacher. This is especially true of custom courses which do not cover an entire semester.


Course Objectives

This course focuses on grammar, reading, writing, and conversational skills. Students explore grammar in greater depth, learn more of the subtleties within Russian grammar and vocabulary, as well the connotations delivered by speaking and writing styles and inflections. Class materials focus on Russian everyday life, Russian culture and history, customs and traditions. Classes are conducted mostly in Russian. The end goal of the course is for students to feel more confident in interacting with Russians in informal everyday situations and be able to read basic texts in Russian. A full semester course is roughly the equivalent of three semesters of college Russian in the North American system, and includes more class hours.


Time Allocation

The following flexible allocation of time is generally used:

35% - Conversational speech
30% - Russian grammar
15% - Phonetics
20% - Vocabulary building


Course Subjects

Phonetics/Intonation in Russian Sounded Speech
Correction course of Russian phonetics. Pronunciation of grammatical forms. Sound-letter correlation and rules of reading. Intonation and stress. Syntax and inflection. Intonation and punctuation marks.

Intermediate Grammar


  • Number;
  • Case system of nouns;
  • Declensional forms of plural nouns with hard and soft stems;
  • Special patterns of declensional forms building of singular and plural nouns;
  • Meaning of cases.


  • Possessive pronoun “свой” (one's own);
  • Indicative pronoun “тот, такой” (that, such);
  • Attributive pronouns “сам, самый, другой” (oneself, this, another);
  • Negative pronouns “никто, ничто” (nobody, nothing);
  • Reflexive pronoun “cебя” (oneself);
  • Declensional forms of pronouns.


  • Full forms of adjectives;
  • Degrees of comparison of adjectives (comparative, superlative);
  • Short form of adjectives with a limited combination of vocabulary (“согласен, доволен” to agree, to be contented);
  • Formation of adjectives.


  • Use of perfective and imperfective infinitive;
  • The use of verbs of imperfective aspect with phase verbs “начать, кончить, продолжить” (to start, to finish, to continue), with verbs “любить, нравиться, учиться, уметь, привыкать” (to love, to like, to study, can, to get accustomed to);
  • The use of perfective infinitive with verbs “забыть, успеть” (to forget, to be in time for);
  • Patterns of verbs “уметь, отдохнуть, давать, стать, упасть, пить, есть, брать, взять, понять, дать, бежать” (can, to rest, to give, to become, to fall down, to drink, to eat, to take, to understand, to give, to run);
  • Special forms of past tense formation of verbs: “мочь, нести, упасть, привыкнуть, погибнуть, умереть, ошибиться, найти” (can, to carry, to fall down, to get accustomed to, to perish, to die, to make a mistakes, to find);
  • The use of verb aspects in simple and complex sentences;
  • Building of imperative forms of the second person singular and plural;
  • Reflexive verbs and the particle “ся;”
  • Verbs of motion without prefixes: “идти – ходить, ехать – ездить, бежать – бегать, плыть – плавать, лететь – летать, нести – носить, везти – возить, вести - водить” (to walk, to drive, to run, to swim, to fly, to carry, to transport, to lead);
  • Verbs of motion with prefixes: “по-, при-, у-, в(о)-, вы-, под-, от-, пере-;”
  • Formation of verbs.


  • Cardinal and ordinal numerals;
  • Declensional forms of numerals “один, одна, одно” (one);
  • The use of nouns with cardinal numerals.


  • Predicative adverbs denoting modality: “надо, нужно, можно, нельзя, необходимо” (need, may, may not, necessary);
  • Physical and emotional states: “интересно, важно, трудно, скучно, приятно” (it is interesting, important, difficult, boring, pleasant);
  • Comparative degree of adverbs;
  • Negative adverbs “никуда, нигде, никогда” (nowhere, nowhere, never)


  • “в, на, около, (не)далеко, справа от, рядом с, у; в, на, к; из, с, от; в, на, через, во время, после; с; на; о; в, на”


  • Co-ordinate conjunctions – “и, а, но, или, не только, но и..., тоже, также”;
  • Subordinate conjunctions – “когда, что, чтобы, как, потому что, так как, если, чтобы”
  • The connective word “который” (which) and its cases.


  • “да, так, ладно, хорошо; нет, не; ли, разве; только, даже, вот; почти, совсем.”


  • Types and structure of the simple sentence;
  • Compound sentences (explanatory, attributive, temporal, conditional, purpose);
  • Combination of tense and aspect forms of predicate in the complex sentence;
  • Direct and indirect speech;
  • Rules of transformation of direct speech into indirect speech.


At the end of the course the students should be able to read and understand simple texts such as simple conversation letters, descriptions of persons, places, and things written for a wide audience, children's literature, and tabloid-type journalism.


Homework usually includes written exercises. They may consist of short question and answer, free-form compositions about the student, their family, home, country, and everyday life. Students are highly encouraged to keep a journal in Russian while in Russia about their experiences in Russia.

Listening and Speaking

Special attention will be paid to listening and speaking so that students may be able to quickly and correctly understand and react to basic study and life situations and everyday communication. Students should be able to understand and create spoken phrases on a variety of topics including in marketplaces and listening to simple news broadcasts. All listening and speaking sessions should be held in Russian only.


Students are encouraged to ask questions during class, express any concerns about class structure and content, and bring in simple outside material (advertisements, fairly tales, etc) that they find interesting.

Textbook use (by program/location)

Russian Studies Abroad (Moscow State University)
I.V. Odintsova. What Did You Say? St. Petersburg, Zlatoust, 2007
I.S. Ivanova, L.M. Karamysheva, T. Ph. Kuprianova, M.G. Miroshkinova. Russian Language Syntax. Moscow, 2004
N. Bogoslavskaya, V. Chastnykh. To Moscow? To Moscow! Leeds, 1998

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