Summary: The rapid growth in the numbers of Russian heritage students in our high schools and colleges represents an underserved and underutilized national language resource. By "heritage speaker" we mean those who grew up with Russian in this country without a native Russian's full educational or cultural background. Because of their different proficiency profile, heritage speakers have special learning needs, which go unaddressed in both Russian language textbooks ...show more for English speakers and textbooks for Russian children in Russia. The textbook Russian for Russians fills that gap as it takes into consideration heritage students' linguistic needs, their cultural background, and their knowledge of (and lacunae in) grammar and vocabulary. The approach of Russian for Russians is based on both theoretical research into bilingualism in general, and theoretical and pedagogical research into Russian émigré language attrition.
Even though intended for heritage speakers, Russian for Russians can also be successfully used for more traditional students at the Intermediate and Advanced levels of language proficiency. The grammar exercises can be used for review while the texts and the accompanying exercises will guide the student through a variety of thematically arranged texts.
The book will allow teaching heritage students who are gaining literacy and advanced non-heritage students together in a mixed class. Russian for Russians is a useful teaching tool for a mixed classroom. While the heritage students spend a lot of time learning the spelling rules and low-level writing conventions (spelling and punctuation), advanced non-heritage students will practice essay writing and work on their vocabulary expansion. For heritage speakers the grammar presentation serves as a formal introduction, while advanced non-heritage learners can use it as review. The grammar can be used as a review for advanced non-heritage students while being a formal introduction for their heritage peers. The readings and conversational and cultural topics will not only satisfy the needs of both groups but will provoke and stimulate discussion because many assignments are based on the contrast between Russian and American (or other) culture. ...show less