Languages Magazine

Olympiada Gives Highlights to Russian Language

By Tlb

“Expecting the rest of the world to speak English is no longer acceptable.”

Countries where the Russian language is spoken.

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This statement really struck me. It was actually spoken by Dan Davidson, the president of the American Council of International Education (ACIE) who happens to speak to American high school students who were visiting in George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Davidson emphasized that it is not enough to start learning the Russian language. “You have to stay with it. It pays off in ways you can’t even imagine now.” He said to the students since he was explaining to them some programs and funding that supports learners who are dedicated to learn Russian language.

In connection to this, an educational event called The Olympiada became a way for them to pursue such Russian language learning. It was actually implemented during Khrushchev and Kennedy’s regime, and it has been a great motivator for American students to boost up Russian language learning. For the past seven years, The Olympiada has been held at George Mason.

But this year’s Olympiada was a little different. It was combined with the 2011 World Festival of Russian Language, and it actually was its first time for such integration. This year’s  Olympiada was sponsored by American Council of International Education (ACIE), and it “provides a forum for high school students to demonstrate their proficiency in Russian.”

Olympiada has really highlighted Russian to its fullest. In fact, it has encouraged the students to pursue such learning because there are some who really want to join in this prestigious event. In some ways, Olympiada became a gateway for students not just to encourage them to learn Russian, but to pursue excellent learning regarding this language. Isn’t this a wholesome event?

“I believe the Olympiada fosters a deep sense of connection between students studying Russian around the world, and the rich culture and history of Russia itself. This is a wonderful gift of that many students come to appreciate and value throughout their lives. There is no other event for students who are learning World Languages that can match the Russian Language Olympiada of Spoken Russian,” said Betsy Sandstrom, teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and  the  coordinator of the Olympiada.

So to those who are interested in pursuing Russian language learning, you are greatly encouraged to learn Russian at language school or at your local institution. There are several ways to learn this language. What’s important is the decision to make in pursuing such learning.

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