Invitation for Pushkin Birthday Reading

We invite you to take part in the online event “Let’s Honor Pushkin,” dedicated to the 221st anniversary of the great poet! Anyone can become a participant of the action: for this it is necessary to read Pushkin’s poetic lines in Russian or English, record your own speech and post the video on social networks with hashtags #Let’sreadPushkin2020 and #PushkinUSA2020 or just send your video to us at 📧 You can speak both individually, and in a team of up to five people. We are waiting for everyone! Let’s fill our news feeds with beautiful poetry of the Great Russian genius!   #Rossotrudnicestvo # Pushkin2020 #ReadPuskin #Rossotrudnichestvo #Pushkin

Приглашаем принять участие онлайн-акции «Почитаем Пушкина», приуроченной к 221-летию со дня рождения великого поэта!Участниками акции может стать любой: для этого необходимо прочитать пушкинские стихотворные строчки на русском или английском языках, записать собственное выступление и выложить видеозапись в социальные сети с хештегами #ПочитаемПушкина2020 и #ПушкинСША2020 или просто направить свое видео нам на адрес Выступать можно как индивидуально, так и в коллективе до пяти человек. Ждем абсолютно всех! Давайте вместе наполним наши новостные ленты прекрасной поэзией Великого русского гения! #Rossotrudnicestvo #Pushkin2020 #ReadPuskin #Россотрудничество #Пушкин

Winners of the 2020 CARTA Essay Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 CARTA (Central Association of Russian Teachers of America in cooperation with Russian Cultural Center in Washington D.C.) Essay Contest “US – Soviet Relations During World War II: The Path to Victory over Fascism”. All the universities across the United States participated in this contest. UCF participants were from the first and second year of Russian program and high schools students from the summer STARTALK program. The winners are below and they will be also recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the national CARTA Conference.

  • College division:
    • Gold Medal: Cadet Sarah Whitley from the U.S. Air Force Academy
    • Silver Medal: Eric Nail from the University of Central Florida, and George Kapitan from the University of Tulsa
    • Bronze Medal: Benjamin Giltner from the University of Central Florida, and Dmitriy Loza from the University of Tulsa
  • Pre-college divison:
    • Gold Medal: George Dyer from Rockledge High School, STARTALK, FL
    • Silver Medal: Douglas Dyer from Rockledge High School, STARTALK, FL

The Russian language program students have been collaborating with two Russian schools in the International Project “Connecting Classrooms” for many years (Lyceum #7 in Novocherkassk, Rostov-on-Don region for 10 years and Moscow City University for 4 years). Every year the students from both countries work on different international projects through e-mails and Skype conferences. This year the students have worked on a project titled “US – Soviet Relations During World War II: The Path to Victory over Fascism”. As a result of these project collaborations, UCF students were able to enter their own essays in the national essay contest “US – Soviet Relations During World War II: The Path to Victory over Fascism”, which was organized by Central Association of Russian Teachers of America (CARTA) in cooperation with Russian Cultural Center in Washington D.C. Essay submissions included both a college division category and a pre-college division category for high school students. UCF students from the summer STARTALK program (pre-college division) placed first and second in this national contest. Additionally, UCF students from the Intermediate Russian group (college division) received second and third place. In collaboration with Moscow City University; Moscow, Russia (Director Dr. Tatiana Makarova) in spite of COVID-19 both groups have worked on a creative video based on the topic above. Please watch this beautiful, collaborative, creative work between two universities where the students express their wish to live in peace and friendship.

Sixth Year Receiving STARTALK Grant

Dr. Kourova has recived STARTALK grant. This is the sixth year. STARTALK is a federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland. STARTALK grants fund summer world language learning programs as well as professional development programs for world language teachers. STARTALK grants support programs for students and teachers of eight critical need languages. During first 4 years it was a program for Russian Language and Culture titled “Preparation for the business trip to Russia.” Last year for the first time Arabic language was included and the ongoing theme is “Where East Meets West”. All STARTALK 2020 summer programs will be deferred to 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus.

ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Laureate Award

Student from the Russian Advanced group, Eric Tangarifle, received the ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Laureate Award for promoting Russian Language and Culture at UCF and being an active Russian Club officer, president, and STARTALK teacher assistant for last 4 years. Congratulations Eric on this achievement!

2nd Day of STARTALK

Participants learning the alphabet


On the second day of the program, STARTALK participants had classes in the morning. They learned the Cyrillic alphabet, ways to introduce themselves, and how to write in cursive. Participants also sang songs, played “Морской Бой” (battleship) and “Телефон” (telephone).

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Russian Club Group Photo

We’re back from Russia!

We arrived back in Orlando at a little after 9PM tired and sad to have left Russia.

Our little 3 week trip was amazing. We saw most of the Moscow Metro, the glorious white nights in Saint Petersburg, many many churches and cathedrals and more! The Financial University Under the Government of the Russian Federation hosted us in their on-campus hotel and had staff to teach us Russian. The language classes were fantastic and we all learned a lot of Russian. Each day we would get up and get breakfast at the nearby restaurants: Coffee House, Shokolodnitza, and Moo-Moo. By 10AM we were in class and learning. At 2PM we would eat lunch and then begin the day’s excursions.

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