Russian Language Journal


Elena Doludenko


COVID-19 pandemic, Russian language oral skills, online learning


The global pandemic due to COVID-19 forced classes to go into online or remote modes in a very short period of time. Instructors teaching languages, including Russian, had to adjust assignments and tasks to continue developing oral skills in the new environment. This paper describes various activities and techniques used in synchronous and asynchronous online Russian classes since March 2020. These activities ensured that L2 students continued practicing Russian in new modalities. In particular, this article discusses the benefits of individual and paired recordings, paired work in Breakout Rooms in Zoom, individual work on pronunciation, and video projects. These activities promote student-centered learning, shift focus to the learner’s needs, encourage students to speak Russian regularly, and allow for more individualized feedback from the instructor. Apart from just learning and practicing, students get to know each other more through paired work and paired recordings and through watching each other’s videos. Thus, these assignments also create a sense of online learning community. While these activities for developing oral skills have many benefits, their main drawback is increased time that is required from the instructor to grade submissions and provide feedback.