Appendix 2: Sample Exercises
The sample exercises given below were handouts accompanying a panel presentation on two
chapters of the Russian Socio-cultural and Sociolinguistic Workbooks given at the December 2007
Annual Conference of the CDLC. The presentations were in English, and the handouts were adapted
for an English speaking audience, translating or adapting the Russian examples used in the course
based on the Workbooks.
Sample exercises from the chapter “Teaching Russian Allusions to Students of Near-Native Proficiency Level” by Ekaterina Kuznetsova (ESI International)
Identification exercise: Identify the allusions that appear in the extract given below. If necessary, refer to the comment section that follows the extract.
Extract from the story "Pervaya Popytka"by Viktoria Tokareva, translated by Kristine Shmakov
" Five years passed. Nothing was happening in our country. Scared by the Prague Spring, Brezhnev tried to fix it so that nothing would change and everything would remain the same. No fresh currents flowed. Life gradually turned into a swamp and was covered by duckweed."
Comments: From Wikipedia:
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (Russian:
(help·info), Leonid Il'ič Brežnev)
December 19, 1906 [O.S. December 6, 1906] – November 10, 1982) was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (and thus political leader of the USSR) from 1964 to 1982, serving in that position longer than anyone other than Joseph Stalin. He was twice Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (head of state), from 1960 to 1964 and from 1977 to 1982.
The Prague Spring (Czech: Pražské jaro, Slovak: Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia starting January 5, 1968 when Alexander Dub ek came to power, and running until August 21 of that year when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies (except for Communist Romania) invaded the country.
The term Prague Spring was coined by Western media after the event and became known worldwide. The expression was eventually adopted in Czechoslovakia itself. It made reference to the Spring of Nations, a lyrical title given to the Revolutions of 1848.