Russian Language Online! with Dr. Heather Rice

May 4th, 2019 · 21 mins 38 secs

About this Episode

Dr. Heather Rice, one of the nicest professors at the University of Texas, talks about her journey from Houston, Texas to post-Soviet Russia which made her eventually fall in love with the Russian language. As a Russian language professor, she discusses the difficulties and successes of her now-famous (relatively-speaking) Russian online course that's open to the public globally and taking the linguistics world by storm, making learning Russian actually FUN. Our very own Tom R. hosts as a former student of this very same class.

NOTE: This episode was recorded April 26th, 2019 at the University of Texas at Austin.

Russian Online Trailer (made by LAITS)

About Dr. Rice in her own words:
Born and raised in Northeast Houston to Texan natives whose ancestry most likely traces back to French and Irish immigrants, I never knew much about Russia - its language or its culture. I came to The University of Texas as a freshman, ready to study Spanish and math, but instead ended up in a Russian class full of very clever and intimidating graduate students. I fell in love with the enigmatic beauty of Russian almost immediately and changed my major nearly as fast. I have traveled to Russia several times - as student, teacher, and study abroad guide. I continue to study Russian, for it is a life-long process, and my love for it has not once wavered. In 2015 I earned my Ph.D. in linguistics and Slavic languages, and I now have the privilege of creating the content for and teaching the Department's new and fully online Russian language course.

About RUS 406:
Добро пожаловать! Welcome to Russian 406! This is the first of a three-semester online course designed to introduce you to the language and culture of one of the most influential and important regions of the world today. Russian is spoken by more than 200 million people in the former Soviet Union, and an additional 150 million throughout the world. Now you can speak it, too.

This introductory Russian language course will be conducted entirely online. We will be using a new multi-media curriculum developed at the University of Texas. All course content and materials will be delivered online, and you will not need to purchase additional textbooks. Students will be required to meet as a class, along with the instructor, one hour per week in a virtual classroom.

The pace of Russian 406 is designed to be moderately intensive. Although class meets only once a week, you should expect to do between 12 and 18 hours of work each week, depending on the types and number of activities assigned. Your assignments will require you to work independently a large portion of the time, but you can also expect to work with your classmates for various communication activities, including video recording conversations in Russian.

Our goal is to introduce you to Russian language and culture and, by doing so, help you develop functional proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Additionally, we will be online, so you can expect to start learning to navigate the Russian language realm of the Internet, which is truly an entirely other world, replete its own social media, search engines, and shopping hot-spots.

This course follows the dates of the regular University of Texas fall semester, August 30 – December 11.

Just one video sample of the basics! (Video made by LAITS)

Co-Producer: Tom Rehnquist (Connect:
Associate Producer: Matthew Orr (Connect:
Associate Producer: Lauren Nyquist (Connect: Instagram: @nyquabbit)
Associate Producer: Milena D-K (Connect: Instagram: @thedistantsea and @milena.d.k)
Music/Sound Design: Charlie Harper (Connect: Instagram: @charlieharpermusic
Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: Instagram: @michelledaniel86)

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