For Students 2023

March 19, 2023 12:00 PM EST ONLINE


Monologue Requirements

Monologues will be performed live in front of judges on the day of the Olympiada.

In order to ensure fairness of the competition, participants must present language that is verifiably their own. This means that you are not allowed to use online translation sites. Note that there is a difference between looking up individual words or set phrases needed to express intended meaning and plugging entire sentences or paragraphs into an online translation service to generate texts in Russian. Therefore, while you are free to use class materials and various dictionaries in preparing the drafts and final versions of your speech, you may not:

  • use machine translations or
  • ask native speakers to create portions or all of your work for you.

For the speech contest, you can get one-time help from your instructor with the first draft, receiving general comments. For example, your instructor may highlight a word and suggest that you reconsider the use of case (or number), check gender or review verbs of motion, etc. You can also have one coaching session with your instructor (or TA) rehearsing the speech and working on intonation, pronunciation, gestures, eye contact, etc.

We look forward to hearing your speeches during the contest on one of the following topics:

1st year students (2-4 mins)

  • Мой русскоговорящий друг (реальный или воображаемый) / My Russian-speaking friend (real or imaginary)      

  • Почему я изучаю иностранные языки / Why I am learning foreign languages (In this topic, you can discuss your experience of studying foreign languages, including Russian, and share why language study is important to you)

  • Такой разный мир / Such diverse world (In this topic, you can describe your world in all its diversity. You can talk about your family and friends, the diversity of your community and/or your region and your country, diverse traditions, etc.)


2nd year students (3-5 mins)

  • Известные русскоязычные эмигранты / Famous Russian-speaking immigrants         

  • Русский язык в моём университете или в моей стране / Russian language at my university or in my country

  • Разнообразие русскоязычного мира / Diversity of the Russian-speaking world (In this topic, you can talk about a Russian-speaking country or the Russian-speaking diaspora in any part of the world; describe its history, culture, and traditions, etc.)


3rd-4th year students (5-7 min)

  • Как сделать мир более добрым для всех?/ How to make the world more open to everyone?

  • Пути диаспоры: беженцы и эмигранты / Paths of the diaspora: refugees and immigrants (In this topic, you may reflect on any aspects of refugee and immigrant experience.)

  • Язык и идентичность / Language and identity (In this topic, you can discuss the relationship between language and identity and how the two play out in your own or someone else’s life.). 


You are allowed to use notes written on one side of a 3X5 index card during their speech. After the speech, the judges will ask three questions related to its content. These questions will be fairly open-ended and may ask you to clarify a point you made (Could you please expand, clarify? Why do you believe so? etc.).

Your speech will be evaluated based on its content, originality/creativity, grammatical and lexical accuracy, pronunciation, and the delivery. Your ability to answer questions will also be evaluated along similar criteria based on the content as well as lexical and grammatical accuracy, but the total score has a much lower weight in comparison with the speech evaluation.

Click here to see the assessment rubric for the monologue.

Poetry Requirements

For the Poetry Contest students are invited to submit a video recording for evaluation by the judges. This year’s contest focuses on poems written by Russian-speaking emigre authors. You can chose one of the poems in your corresponding level from the list (coming soon!) or any other poem as long as it satisfies the requirements for this year's topic and your level.


Guidelines for Creating the Video

Be sure to introduce yourself and state which university you are from at the beginning of your video. Next, introduce the poet and the poem in English or in Russian and explain why you chose it. The introduction will not be evaluated. Then recite the poem.

Please, save your video in one of the following formats: MP4, M4P, AVI, WMV, or MOV. Each video has to be saved as LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_UNIVERSITY_LEVEL#, for example, SMITH_JOHN_HARVARD_2

Important requirements:

  • First- and second-year students should memorize a poem of 8-12 lines (or more) and third- and fourth-year students should memorize a poem of 12-20 lines (or more).
  • The camera should be set far enough from you so that judges could see your entire body, from feet up to your face. This requirement is set to ensure that you are not reading your poem from a paper or computer screen.
  • You may not have notes on you or anywhere else. You may not read your poem.
  • The recording has to be done “in one take” from beginning to the end.
  • Please record in a quiet space and
  • Make sure that the sound quality of your video is good before you submit it.

To prepare for the poem recital, you can meet with your instructor two times at the most in order to discuss the poem's meaning, rhythm, tone, poetic language, the author's intent, etc., and to rehearse reading the poem. You can then use various resources (including recordings of native speakers reading the chosen poem if such exist) to prepare for the recital.

Please, upload your file via the link (coming soon!) no later than March 17th, 11:00pm EST. Late submission will not be considered. 

Click here to see the assessment rubric for the poem recitation.

Singing Contest

Any student from a New England college or university, regardless of studying Russian currently or in the past, can participate in a Russian singing contest and regardless of their participation in the speech contest

Participants must submit a video recording of themselves singing in Russian with or without an accompaniment (regardless of their participation in the speech contest). The song must have lyrics in Russian and consist of at least 2 verses. All submissions are due by Friday, March 17, 11:00 p.m. EST. Please upload your file via dropbox (link coming soon!). Each file has to be saved as LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_UNIVERSITY, for example, SMITH_JOHN_HARVARD