Russian Language Journal


language, instruction, culture, multilingual communities


When considering the goals of language instruction, few would debate the importance of promoting a lifelong interest in learning language and culture in authentic contexts through engagement in multilingual communities. The World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (2015) state that, to meet the Communities goal, students should be able to “communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world” (9). Nonetheless, instructors often struggle to integrate authentic community engagement into the traditional classroom-based curriculum. The first years of language learning frequently include simulations and role-playing scenarios that duplicate situations in which students may find themselves when abroad. These assignments ask students to react as if they were in Russia; however, most students never make it to Russia.