Russian Language Speaking Competitions

By Kathryn Metz and Eileen Kunkler

Undergraduate Russian Language Oympiada

On Saturday, February 24, the College of Wooster and CSEES held the sixth annual Undergraduate Russian Language Olympiada. CSEES has worked with colleges and universities in Ohio that teach Russian to host this event as a way for students to show off their Russian language skills, build networks with other students in the state, and encourage more students to study the language. This was the first time that the College of Wooster had hosted the event, but Dr. Tatiana Filimonova and Dr. Michael Furman took on the task with relish and put on a great event!

More than 40 students participated from Bowling Green State University, College of Wooster, Kent State University, Kenyon College, Ohio University, and The Ohio State University. Students competed in six levels based on how many years of Russian they had studied, or whether they were a heritage speaker of the language. The competition consisted of a poem recital, topic presentation, and session answering questions. Students were assessed based upon their vocabulary, grammar, fluency and accent.

All students did an excellent job, and the following students placed in the competition levels:

Level 1:

1. Nick Dodds (Kenyon College) 

2. Justin Moscioni (Bowling Green State University) 

3. Maureen Hanes (College of Wooster) 

Level 2: 

1. Daphne Letherer (College of Wooster) 

2. Jessica Hrabovsky (Kent State University) 

3. Chelsea Brown (College of Wooster) 

Level 3: 

1. Erin Tupman (College of Wooster) 

2. Elliot Palmer (Kent State University) 

3. Aliviah Chaplin (Ohio University) 

Level 4: 

1. Travis Askew (Kent State University)

2. Rowan Croswell (The Ohio State University) 

Heritage: 

1. Usman Suerkulov (Ohio University) 

2. Alex Yu (Ohio University) 

3. Alison Portnoy (The Ohio State University) 

K-12 Russian Olympiada

The 2018 K-12 Olympiada of Spoken Russian was organized by the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and the Center for Slavic and East European Studies. More than 30 students from four high schools and language schools across Ohio came to campus on Saturday, March 3 to participate in the event. Competitors came from Start High School in Toledo, Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Columbus North International School, and Russian Education Center Bookvarel in Landen. They competed in levels one through five, as well as in a heritage category. Slavic Department students, instructors and CSEES MA students volunteered as judges and marked the scores of the high school students in three commissions — speaking about themselves, reciting a poem and civilization. While the students were nervous and excited during the competition, the opportunity ultimately provided them with confidence in their language ability and inspired them to continue their Russian studies and compete in future years. 

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