About

 

about the

RUSSIAN for HERITAGE LEARNERS

PROJECT

This project is supported by the Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian Fund, which was established and maintained by the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. The project leaders wish to express their sincere gratitude to the Fund for allowing the creation of these materials.

 

Project Development Team

Jason Merrill

Jason Merrill

Director, Davis School of Russian

Jason Merrill is Professor of Russian at Michigan State University. Since the fall of 2009, he has also served as the Director of the Middlebury College Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian. He has published articles on the works of the Russian Symbolist Fedor Sologub in journals such as Slavic and East European Journal, Russian Literature, Russkaia literatura (St. Petersburg), Slavonica, and Scando-Slavica. He is also the co-author of the textbooks Animation for Russian Conversation (Focus, 2008) and Russian Folktales: A Reader for Students of Russian (Second edition: Hackett, 2016) and a co-editor of the collection The Art of Teaching Russian (Georgetown UP, 2019). He teaches Russian language courses and introductions to Russian cinema, Russian literature of the 20th century, and Eastern European literature and film.

Irina Dubinina

Irina Dubinina

Subject Matter Expert

Irina Dubinina has a deep professional and personal interest in bilingualism and, more specifically, in its particular type known as "heritage bilingualism" which describes speakers who grow up with two languages, but whose chronologically first language follows a divergent acquisitional path as a result of an interruption by the introduction of a societally dominant language. Such situations are common in immigrant families all over the world where the home language of a bilingual child becomes his or her heritage language which is much weaker than the dominant societal language of the host country. Irina's work in the area of heritage bilingualism has focused on the production and comprehension of requests by speakers of heritage Russian in the U.S. She is also involved in an NSF-funded research project on children's language development (comparing data collected in Russia for monolingual children, and data collected in Germany and the USA for bilingual children: birch.pythonanywhere.com) and in research on word order patterns (discourse pragmatics) in oral narratives of adult heritage speakers of Russian.

Olesya Kisselev

Olesya Kisselev

Subject Matter Expert

Olesya Kisselev is an assistant professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, College of Education and Human Development at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She completed her Ph.D. (2018) at The Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Applied Linguistics. Her dissertation titled "Word Order and Information Structure in the Writing of Heritage and Second Language Learners of Russian" won the prestigious Dissertation Award Grant from the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (NFMLTA). Dr. Kisselev has been involved in the field of heritage language for many years, both as a researcher and as a language practitioner. Her primary research interests are a direct result of her experiences as a language educator and focus on the development of second and heritage languages and second language/heritage language pedagogy. Her contributions to the field also include the textbook Родная Речь: An Introductory Course for Heritage Learners of Russian, as well as the current project.

Sonja Burrows

Sonja Burrows

Instructional Designer

Sonja Burrows is a learning design specialist who partners with teachers, educational leaders, and academic programs to help them achieve professional learning outcomes. Through a hands-on, collaborative approach, Sonja provides guidance, support and leadership in the design, creation and implementation of digital learning spaces and practices. As a language and cultural immersion scholar, Sonja has researched, taught and developed digital language-learning curricula that aspire always to cultivate learner agency, improve the lives and opportunities of those learning languages, and expand learners’ understanding of humanity.

Alexander Rojavin

Alexander Rojavin

Site Builder

Alexander Rojavin is a policy analyst. A native speaker of English and Russian, he has focused his studies on Soviet and post-Soviet media space and especially Ukraine and the West’s resistance to Russia’s information war. In concert with his studies, he helped translate a series of theater treatises by Nikolai Demidov for A. Malaev-Babel and M. Laskina’s compendium "Nikolai Demidov’s Becoming an Actor-Creator" (Routledge 2016). He has also translated a series of contemporary Russian plays (to be published by Slavica Publishers) and a work of creative nonfiction by Yevsey Tseytlin, "Long Conversations in Anticipation of a Joyous Death" (Slavica Publishers 2018). He also helped co-author two reference books titled "Russian Nouns of Common Gender in Use" (Routledge 2019) and "Russian Function Words: Meaning and Use" (Routledge 2019).

Shannon Donnally Quinn

Shannon Donnally Quinn

Site Builder

Shannon Donnally Quinn is an Assistant Professor of Russian and Technology Specialist in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where her dissertation research was on Russian and Soviet science fiction. Her ongoing teaching and research interests include instructional technology in language teaching, blended learning, and curricular design, and she completed a second Master's degree in instructional design in 2015. Shannon has also taught at Middlebury College, Dalhousie University, for the University of Minnesota's STARTALK courses, and has worked as part of the RAILS project (an award-winning project that targeted advanced listening skills in students of Russian) and for Learning Support Services (a group that assists instructors in the use of technology in teaching). She serves on the board of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Folklore Association, as well as in the capacity of webinar coordinator and on the board of the International Association for Language Learning Technology.