About the Project

The videos that make up the Russian Voices project were collected over a period of three years, with interviews conducted in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Individuals interviewed for this project represent a varied cross-section of contemporary Russian society. Interviewees range in age from 19 and 70 years old, and are native Russian speakers born in places as far-flung as Astrakhan, Hauz-Han (Turkmenistan), Hong Kong, Moscow, Mtsensk, Samara, St. Petersburg, Ulan-Ude, Vladimir, and Yekaterinburg. Among those interviewed are doctors, teachers, economists, students, and retirees.

You can view interviews whole, or focus on a specific topic across multiple interviewees. Topics are broken down by the level at which they might be introduced in a college Russian program: elementary, intermediate, and advanced. These categories do not always correspond to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. All videos can be slowed down and are accompanied by transcripts. More interviews and individual topics will be added regularly.

Please feel free send in any materials you develop based on these videos so they can be added to the site and shared with other instructors.

Work on this website was made possible thanks to a Five College Innovative Language Pedagogy Grant. A Berkeley Language Center Instructional Development Research Grant supported the project in its initial stages.

About the Project Director

Irina Kogel is a dedicated language instructor with research interests in second language acquisition and comparative literature. She has taught elementary, intermediate, and heritage Russian, elementary Polish, and Russian literature in translation. In her teaching she strives to help students articulate their place in the larger global community via an expanding linguistic and cultural awareness. Within the realm of SLA, her research centers on heritage language acquisition and technology use in language instruction.

She is Five College Lecturer in Russian and teaches at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and UMass Amherst.

Please write to admin@russian-voices.org with any questions or suggestions.