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Read and Think Russian

Culmen International proudly presents Dr. Basil Bessonoff's Russian language and culture textbook series.

Read and Think Russian is an intermediate level textbook series primarily targeted at improving students’ reading comprehension skills in the Russian language, but teaches all modalities (speaking, reading, writing and listening) according to the ACTFL scale. The textbooks are designed to bridge the gap between language teaching methodologies used in Russian and English-speaking countries, thus facilitating the preparation for study and work abroad. It is suited for use in higher-level undergraduate courses, graduate courses, and continuing education in Eurasian studies. Each book contains authentic, contemporary reading segments full of practical knowledge. Every chapter includes helpful graphics as well as concise vocabulary to assist the student in determining the main ideas, while also presenting grammatical reminders, translation exercises, and questions to facilitate topical discussions. Excerpts from each book can be found below.

  • Book I Politics and Governance: Five chapters covering the topics of Russia and its international relations, politics, economics, and military.

  • Book II Social Life and Culture: Four chapters focused on Russian Social Life, Crime and Terrorism, Religion, and Culture. 

  • Book III Nuclear Security: Four chapters concentrated on nuclear terminology, arms control, safeguards and protection of nuclear materials, and nuclear weapons in the 21st century. 

January 10, 2018

Read and Think Russian is a reader for the intermediate-level students of Russian who wish to reach an advanced level of proficiency. It consists of an array of relatively short texts thematically arranged into five chapters – General information about Russia, International relations between Russia and other countries, Political live in modern Russia, and Russian military affairs – 4-5 texts in each chapter. The texts are thoroughly glossed, supplied with instructive illustrations, maps, diagrams, and brief grammar explanations of various relevant lexical and idiomatic points; they are also followed by extensive vocabulary in the alphabetical order, a series of comprehension questions intended to facilitate topical discussions in the language, translation practice exercises, as well as audio files on the companion website.

Read and Think Russian is much more than a reader: it targets language proficiency comprehensively and systematically in all linguistic forms – reading, speaking, oral comprehension, listening, pronunciation, translation, and writing. The book is thoughtfully designed to improve the students’ understanding of the area and develop their critical thinking in the Russian language. It can be used as a supplement material or as a main textbook, according to the specific academic circumstances, for all who are professionally or academically involved in Eurasian studies.

The book is particularly invaluable to training professionals who count on using the Russian language in the areas of international relations, politics, economics, and military affairs. This is so, not only because it covers these fields thematically, but also because it gradually builds a practical vocabulary and pertinent terminology on the level of phrase and sentence and enables students to communicate in these topics with relative ease and cultural authenticity.

All texts in the Reader are selected from various reputable contemporary sources such as BBC Russian World Service, Argumenty i Facty, Izvestia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Snob, and others. Considered together, the texts reveal their linguistic and thematic continuity as one text further develops its antecedents; they also engage the students with the variety and breadth of the covered topics. Dr. Bessonoff took special care to present his materials on Russia in the politically neutral modality, even though he did not shy away from important contemporary issues. In such questions as the relations of Russia and Iran, Russia and Syria, Russia and China, he chose the texts that provide students with objective historical perspectives that are not susceptible to the changeable attitudes of the day. Consequently, the Reader in its current form will not be outdated in the near future and will continue to supply students with adequate information and practical idiom.

Most important, Read and Think Russian successfully combines the language pedagogy prevalent in English-speaking countries, which focuses on commonly problematic areas and promotes oral and written expression in the target language, with the methodology of analytical reading wide-spread in Russian academia. Therefore, it is certain to facilitate the academic and cultural transition for those students of Russian who intend to continue their study of the language in Russia and other Russian-speaking environments abroad.

Sincerely yours, 
Constantine Muravnik, Ph.D.
Senior Lector II in Russian
Slavic Languages and Literatures
Yale University

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© Basil Bessonoff and Culmen International, 2020. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owners.


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