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April 13, 2015 / Irene2468

2015 Illinois ACTR Olympiada of Spoken Russian

This year, the Illinois ACTR Olympiada of Spoken Russian took place on March 14 at the University of Chicago. Nine of my students competed. All nine received Gold Medals at the following levels: levels 2 and 4 in the regular category; levels 4 and 5 in the heritage speakers’ category; and the native speakers’ category. Vera was selected as the best student among Russian heritage students. Congratulations to my students – I am proud of you and your hard work!

The preparation for the Olympiada is challenging: the students study several oral topics and Russian civilization topics, retell a text, answer multiple questions, learn about Russian geography, and discuss current political issues. Our favorite task is reciting and analyzing a poem.

Here are the students’ impressions:

The Russian Olympiada was a great experience! I really liked that everyone was very polite. While I was getting ready for the Olympiada I learned a lot of new things about Russia and its culture. It was fun getting to know children who share my love towards Russian culture and language! I can’t wait till the next meet!!! Julia

Preparing for and participating in the Olympiada was lots of fun and definitely helped my Russian studies! This year in particular, I got a lot of practice with writing, pronunciation and word stresses, and grammar. I really enjoyed the poetry section, which helped me with pronunciation. The civilization topics were great as well; alongside practicing the language, I got a greater exposure to Russian culture! Calvin

The Olympiada was very interesting and exciting! I was amazed to see so many people who are learning or teaching Russian, and how welcoming and generous everyone was! It was a great opportunity to show my Russian-speaking skills, and to learn more about my culture. For example, when I first began studying for it, I knew almost nothing about Russia’s geography, except where the capital is. Now I know a lot, as well as about Russia’s history and famous authors and musicians. Analyzing the poem that I had chosen was also very fun. During the Olympiada, I remember I was super nervous, but it turned out a lot better than I thought. I enjoyed the experience very much! Vera

Я приобрел много новых знаний о России, участвуя в русской Олимпиаде! Было очень интересно готовиться к ней. На самой Олимпиаде было очень весело. Мы все очень сильно волновались в самом начале, так как думали, что будет очень сложно, но все закончилось благополучно! Мы все получили высший бал и грамоту впридачу. Я очень рад, что мне предоставилась такая возможность проявить себя! Антон

The Olympiad was very challenging and interesting. We learned a lot through preparation. When I did study topics for the Olympiad, we discovered subjects that we didn’t know about. For example, we learned about Russian poets Akhmatova and Tsvetayeva. In addition, we learned about great and popular Russian artists like Ilya Repin and Isaac Levitan. Before the Olympiad we were nervous. However, we did feel better when the Olympiad started. It was easy for us because we were ready, and we enjoyed the Olympiad. Ilia

While I have always progressed in my Russian studies, the Olympiada significantly improved my speaking abilities and my comprehension of spoken Russian. I especially feel more confident in my ability to answer questions. My favorite part of the preparation was memorizing a poem. I love Russian poetry, and I enjoyed learning the rhythm and flow of my poem. Also, the Olympiada itself was fun to participate in. The judges were so encouraging that it made me feel more confident. Trying to understand as much as I could of the Russian that was spoken all around me was another fun challenge. I am looking forward to participating again next year. Amelia