The STARTALK Student Program, ‘Bridges to Russia: Culture and Social Sciences’ aims to enroll 20 high school Russian heritage students (14-18) in a four-week intensive language program meeting five hours a day for a total of 100 instructional hours. Students will increase their proficiency in Russian by examining how history and other social sciences help them to understand the world around them. The students will work closely with an elderly Russian-speaking community member and conduct an interview, which they will present in class. All interviews will be collected and turned into ‘Bridging the Generations’ project that will be published in the community newspaper and on the program’s website.

Program Goals:

Bridge 1: Language 

  • Increase your bilingual potential by improving your speaking, reading and writing proficiency in Russian 
  • Learn to conduct interviews
  • Gain experience in using Russian in formal contexts 

Bridge 2: Culture

  • Gain a better understanding of the 20th-century history of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation

Bridge 3: Generations

  • Learn about the generation that has lived most of the time in the Soviet Union:  the generation that was born before WWII, survived the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union, rebuilt the country after the war and emigrated from the USSR at an old age
  • Provide valuable community service 
  • Help close the generational gap in Russian-speaking community

Bridge 4: Today's Russia

  • Learn about the lives of the teenagers in Russia
  • Interview prominent Russian intellectuals 

Highlights:

When: July 30 - August 24, Monday – Friday 9am-3pm

Where: Harvard University

Who: Russian heritage learners ages 14-18

What:

  • Intensive content-based language program with a focus on social studies and Russian history of the XX century
  • Study of modern Russian culture
  • Students will take AAPPL, WPT (Writing Proficiency Test), OPIc (Oral Proficiency Interview computer-based) ACTFL edorsed  
  • Registration fee – $100
  • The program is free of charge