About the lessons

The Real Life in Russia lessons are aimed at undergraduate students about to study abroad in Russia for the first time. Though the lessons include some exercises related to language, they are mainly concerned with practical and cultural information.

The lessons are made with Adobe Captivate. They usually take a few minutes to load because of the media files contained within them. You should complete the lessons on a computer rather than a mobile device. Some of the interactive activities do not work well on mobile devices. Some people find that the lessons work best in Firefox. A redesign to eliminate Flash elements is planned for 2019.

Here is a guide to the navigation of the lessons. Though most of the pages are timed and move on their own, you can customize your experience by pausing or skipping around by using the back and next buttons or the table of contents.

When a YouTube video is included in a lesson, usually you will see the video with a play button inside of it. If your browser blocks the video, you may just see a button that says “Open as link.” Click it to open the video in another window.

You should try your best on the lessons, especially because they are specifically geared towards making things easier when you are in Russia. However, if you get stuck on anything or if something in the lesson doesn’t work right, you can skip ahead to the next page.

If you have suggestions for improving or expanding the lessons, please contact Shannon Donnally Spasova at spasova@msu.edu.

The lessons were created by Shannon Donnally Spasova at Michigan State University.

Thanks to: the Department of Linguistics and Languages, the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), Jason Merrill, Irina Zaykovskaya, students and colleagues who have allowed me to use their pictures, native speakers who have recorded for me, students and colleagues who have given valuable feedback on the lessons.