The Russian Desk: A Listening and Conversation Course

Cynthia L. Martin, Joanna Robin, and Donald K. Jarvis
x + 136 + CD-ROM

Develop listening comprehension and oral proficiency with this unique course, using authentic audio and text materials from contemporary Soviet TV, radio, and press. Suitable for conversation courses, individualized study, and as a supplementary text in general language courses from high intermediate (1+) to superior (3) levels. This is excellent preparation for Educational Testing Service's Advanced Russian Listening Proficiency Test. In each lesson, students prepare for listening tasks appropriate to their level by reading short newspaper articles and studying vocabulary on a given theme. They then listen to audio excerpts on that subject and answer multiple-choice questions on the content of the recorded passages and reading. Finally they outline answers to questions preparing them for conversation class work. Chapter One introduces students to the fine art of conversation in order to raise conversation above the level of sequential monologues. Please note that the CDs are an essential part of the course, and the book is not usable without them. Transcripts of the recorded excerpts are available only in the instructor's manual, which also includes teaching suggestions and materials for a midterm and final examination of listening, reading, and conversational skills. The CD available with the Instructor's manual -- a recording of an educated native speaker reading the questions of the listening comprehension examinations -- is important for simulating standardized proficiency testing.


Book Reviews

"To their credit, the authors of The Russian Desk have rendered those of us who teach listening and comprehension courses an enormous service in compiling and developing these highly useful materials. ...the authors of The Russian Desk succeed admirably in their goal." (SEEJ)

"... a carefully graded, innovative approach to developing listening comprehension skills and oral proficiency. ... Both student and teachers should find it enjoyable to use." (MLJ)