Sophia Lubensky and Irina Odintsova with interactive software by Slava Paperno


This innovative suite of instructional material for advanced students of Russian is aimed at fostering their transition from slow, controlled speech to native-like fluency. The driving methodology is lexicalist-oriented, implying an emphasis on the situated internalization of vocabulary, so that grammar skills develop naturally with the repeated use of particular words and phrases in combination. The textbook centers around authentic stories by contemporary Russian writers, supplemented by cultural background, various activities, and the treatment of select grammatical points. These stories will not only challenge students to read real Russian, they will also provide a stimulus for free discussion about social circumstances, human relationships, and moral values reflected in the literature.

The text is accompanied by cloud access to multimedia materials designed by Lexicon Bridge Publishers. These are the first instructional materials for advanced Russian that are oriented around unmodified literary texts; focus on the development of fluent speech; use cutting-edge technology to support guided reading; offer microtexts as the basis for numerous activists; provide detailed and varied potential responses to open-ended questions; and underscore the one point that almost goes without saying: that one cannot master a language without knowing the words.

Alexander Lipson in cooperation with Steven J. Molinsky


Part 1 covers chapters 1 to 6, or about one semester of college work: Part 2 covers the second semester, and Part 3 is for use in the second year. After Part 3 the student can read ungraded texts with the use of a dictionary.

A number of schools experienced dramatic increases in enrollment after adopting this book. Lipson's book was the first to use the Jakobson one-stem verb system in teaching Russian; it also introduced many other concepts to Russian pedagogy, and its ideas have been the stimulus for a number of other books (those published by Slavica include Townsend's Russian Word-Formation, M. Levin's Russian Declension and Conjugation, and Gribble's Russian Root List.) Lipson's book not only presents Russian grammar in a new and more accurate way -- it also motivates the students to learn by providing them with imaginative and clever situations and texts that overcome the students' self-consciousness and inspire them to speak. The book is full of a delightful humor that most students find an exciting change from the usual dry textbook style. Both American and Soviet life styles, values, and traditions are satirized. The Teacher's Manual by Molinsky is by far the most complete and thorough teacher's manual for any Russian textbook, and it makes using the Lipson book easy for beginners as well as experienced teachers, since it gives step-by-step instructions for each class hour, with sample lesson plans, assignments for homework, sample tests, and explanations of why the book is constructed the way it is and what each section accomplishes. The Teacher's Manual is particularly useful for schools where much of the teaching is done by graduate students, since it gives them the day-to-day guidance that they need when starting their teaching careers.

Audio materials that accompany the language-learning text are available through Boston University's Geddes Language Center here: http://www.bu.edu/geddes/services

"It is unfortunate that Lipson chose to employ humor throughout the book for it limits the appeal of what is otherwise a well-organized and clear presentation of Russian grammar and morphology." (MLJ) (Note from the publisher: we agree that people without a sense of humor should not use this book, zhnor, probably, should they be asked to review itch, but most students do seem to have a sense of humor and like a textbook that has some. Being dry is not an obligatory quality of a textbook.)

Find Part 2 of the course here

or Part 3 of the course here

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Jules F. Levin and Peter D. Haikalis, with A. A. Forostenko

vi + 321

An innovative and sophisticated textbook for teaching beginning students to read Russian in the shortest possible time. The emphasis is upon expository prose. All of the time normally devoted to learning to write, speak, and understand spoken Russian is saved, which means that students can learn to read normal Russian books and newspapers with the aid of a dictionary after only one year of classes. Skillful use of the principles of Russian word-formation and early use of the high-frequency Western vocabulary which is so much a part of Russian, especially in newspaper and technical writing, build up the students' reading vocabulary very quickly.

Richard L. Leed, Alexander D. Nakhimovsky, and Alice S. Nakhimovsky. Photographs by Richard Sylvester

xii + 283

This improved one-volume edition of a very successful textbook contains just about the same vocabulary and introduces grammatical features in about the same order as the first edition. In other respects the book has been severely revised and reformatted. It has been shortened, so that it is truly a first-year textbook, one that can successfully be completed within two semesters, but still contains a discussion of all major grammatical categories of Russian. The original large lessons have been broken up into units that correspond to a day's work; there are 110 lessons, plus 14 grammar reviews. The reading selections (the Zyuzya story) of the first edition have been eliminated. There is much more information and exercise material on pronunciation and intonation. As in the first edition, many of the exercises are in the form of short conversations; this provides a kind of bridge between strict grammar drill and totally free conversation. Beginning Russian is intended to be used with the dictionary 5000 Russian Words and additional readings (in the second semester) such as Chto ia videl (both published by Slavica).

The Teacher's Manual contains many useful word lists, sample tests, and information on how to use the book. Additional materials for this title are available through the Cornell Language Resource Center at: http://www.lrc.cornell.edu/sales/links/russian


(Comments on the 1st edition:) "...to be recommended highly..." (MLJ) "... a very well-thought-out and presented course..." (ISS)

(Comments on the 2nd edition:) "To sum up, BR2 is clearly a first-rate textbook. ... Because of the sensible advice and useful information found in it, the Teacher's Manual should be read by every teacher of elementary Russian, whether s/he is using BR2 or not, and it would be a particularly helpful guide for any teacher just starting out." (RLJ)

xvi + 322

The purpose of this dictionary is primarily to supply complete information on the inflection of common Russian words in an accessible format for beginning students. In addition, a certain amount of information is given on pronunciation, syntax, collocations, and meaning. This dictionary presents inflectional information in two formats: (1) a succinct display of key forms much as in conventional dictionaries and (2) an exhaustive display of all the inflected forms. Thus, the student gets to see what is irregular about a particular word as well as its spelled-out forms. The appendix contains a complete statement of the rules of inflection. The sole authority for the inflection of words in this dictionary is Zaliznjak's Grammaticheskij slovar' russkogo zyka. In addition to the exhaustive display of inflectional morphology, the entries in this dictionary contain the following kinds of information: irregular pronunciation, stress patterns, English glosses, examples of usage, verb aspect (including semelfactives, inceptives, and restrictives), government (in the broadest sense, including adjectives, nouns, and prepositions, as well as verbs), a certain amount of collocational information, animacy (for all nouns, including adjectives used as nouns), marginal case forms (Locative and Partitive), adverbial forms corresponding to adjectives, inserted vowels (including specifications with words requiring the prepositional variants vo, so, etc.), syntactic information in cases of sex and gender mismatch (e.g. vrach), and information on predicatives. In addition to predicatives of the type nel'z, predicatives in o (like xolodno) are listed separately from adjectives and adverbs; this highlights the difference between the three meanings that o-forms sometimes have: xolodno: (1) cold, (2) coldly, and (3) it is cold, feel cold. All predicatives are illustrated with sentences, most of which are translated into English. The current edition also comes packaged with The Russian Dictionary Tree, a 17,000-entry learner's dictionary resource developed by Lexicon Bridge Publishers. "Addressed to both students and teachers, this dictionary should prove a valuable addition to tools supporting Russian-language study." (American Reference Books Annual) "...a first-rate work..." (RLJ) "5RW is a dictionary of the highest quality..." (SEEJ)

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This is a different type of phrase book: it is not intended primarily for travelers, but rather for all students of Russian, from the elementary through advanced levels. The sample page reprinted on the opposite page of this catalog gives an idea of the structure of the book: it is divided into 84 categories, and within each category a mixture of individual words, phrases, and whole sentences are given. Each category is taken in a broad sense to include related words and concepts, synonyms, and antonyms. Categories most frequently take up one or two pages, with a few covering three pages. The text is completely stressed, making it much more useful for the learner. Imperfective and perfective pairs for the verb are given, and verbal government is indicated. Both feminine and masculine forms are given in most cases, especially for nouns and short-form adjectives. Karras' book gives all students, from beginning to advanced, a starting point for conversations, and it gives intermediate and advanced students a source to fill in the gaps in their vocabulary and phraseology. Categories covered in the book include: advice, age, anger, appointment, argument, arts, book, business, car, clothes, country, crime, criticism, death, face, family, farm, farm animals, fear, food, friend, gossip, hair, happiness, hate, health, help, house, ignorance, illness, income, information, injuries, insult, job, knowledge, landforms, language, letter, life, love, marriage, military, minerals, money, movie, natural disaster, news, newspaper, opinion, pets, physique, plant, politics, price, pride, problem, protest, rain, recreation, religion, road, school, seasons, shopping, space, special occasion, speech, sports, telephone, transportation, travel, tree, vacation, vices, virtue, vocations, walk/run, war, water, weapons, weather, word, zoo. If you travel to Russia, you will find this book useful; if you simply want to improve your Russian, you will find it indispensable!