For Instructors

The Olympiada is open to all undergraduate students studying Russian as a foreign language in four categories: 1st year Russian, 2nd year Russian, 3rd year Russian, and 4th year Russian. At this time Olympiada is not open to heritage speakers or speakers of other Slavic languages. However, heritage overhearers are welcome to participate. Please read the description of these students carefully. If you have any questions, please contact Irina Dubinina.

  • Heritage overhearers are students of Russian heritage who did not grow up speaking Russian with their families, but who have been exposed to hearing Russian at home, and who usually have some, albeit, listening comprehension skills that distinguish them from non-heritage novice L2 learners. These students may understand a variety of very basic questions (about themselves, their immediate environment), but cannot maintain a conversation in Russian; when they try to speak Russian, their answers are limited to isolated words or phrases. These students learn Russian as L2 learners in mainstream novice or intermediate courses but because of their limited exposure to Russian (as small as it was) they make faster progress than their L2 peers. 
  • Heritage overhearers will be registered for Olympiada according to their level (1st or 2nd year), but with a special note "heritage overhearer," and judges will be notified of their background. They will be evaluated on the same rubric as traditional L2 learners.

Each university can send up to 3 students from 1st year and 2nd year of study, and up to 3 students for 3rd and 4th year combined. Please register your students for the monologue, poetry or singing contests no later than March 17, 2023 by midnight.

In 2023, the Olympiada is dedicated to the Russian-spaeking diaspora. This is reflected in the topics for the monologue and the poems.

1. Speech + questions. Participants will deliver a monologue on one of the topics listed on the website. Students will also be asked up to 3 questions on the topic of their monologue by the panel of judges. This contest takes place LIVE via Zoom.

2. Poem Recitation. Students are encouraged to recite a poem by heart in Russian. All poems must be originally published in Russian; song lyrics are accepted as poems. First-year students should memorize a poem of 8-12 lines (or more) and all others (2nd through 4th year students) should memorize a poem of 12-20 lines (or more). We have selected a number of poems by Russian-speaking poets and students can chose one from or find a different poem that meets the requirements.

This contest is done asynchronously: students must submit their videos no later than March 17th, 11:00pm EST. Late submission will not be considered. Please be sure your students understand and follow the requirements for this contest (see “For Students”).

3. Singing Contest. Student can submit a recording of a song with or without an accompaniment. The song must have lyrics in Russian and consist of at least 2 verses. All submissions are due by Friday, Mach 17th, 11:00 p.m. EST. Winning songs will be played for the Olympiada participants.


Guidelines for Instructors on Providing Assistance to Students

For the speech contest: instructors (or TAs) can provide one-time help with the first draft, giving general comments. For example, you may highlight a word and suggest that the student reconsiders the use of case (or number) or checks gender or reviews verbs of motion, etc. Instructors (or TAs) can also have a one-time coaching session with the student rehearsing the speech and helping the student with intonation, pronunciation, gestures, eye contact, etc. Please make it known to the students that they cannot ask native speakers to proofread their speech; nor can students run a text written in English through an online translation tool (Google, Yandex, etc.).

For the poem recital: instructors (or TAs) can meet with the student at the most two times in order to discuss the poem's meaning, rhythm, tone, poetic language, the author's intent, etc., and to rehearse reading the poem. The students can then use various resources (including recordings of native speakers reading the chosen poem if such exist) to prepare for the recital.


Assessment Rubrics

Click here to view the rubric for the monologue.

Click here to view the rubric for the poetry recitation.