Russian Language Curriculum - United Nations

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Russian Language CurriculumContents*1. Introduction2. UN Levels of Language Competence3. Core curriculum3.1. Introduction3.2. UN Level I - Basic Language CompetenceIn 2018, the Secretary-General honoured the project “Harmonization ofLanguage Learning and Assessment throughout the UN Secretariat” with a UNSecretary-General Award in the category of Multilingualism.3.3. UN Level II - Intermediate Language Competence3.4. UN Level III - Advanced Language Competence3.5. UN Level IV – Expert Language CompetenceIt was awarded to both the Language Training Programme (LTP) at the UNOffice in Geneva and the Language and Communications Programme(LCP) at UNHQ, New York.4. Glossary5. Language-specific Curriculumpage 35.1. Application in learning and assessmentpage 45.2. United Nations Language Modelpage 55.3. Language-specific contentpage 7This project won the award principally for creating the United NationsLanguage Framework, a framework with wide-reaching implications formultilingualism.5.4. Arabic Language Curriculum5.5. Chinese Language Curriculum5.6. English Language Curriculum5.7. French Language Curriculum5.8. Russian Language Curriculumpage 95.9. Spanish Language Curriculum*Content in bold, available in this documentContent greyed out, available in other documents2

Russian Language CurriculumThe purpose of the UN Language Framework is to leverage andmainstream multilingualism, a core value of the United Nations. It iscomposed of the: The Language-specific Curriculum constitutes a guideline for all locallanguage training programmes across the UN Secretariat to define theircourse programmes and align them with the UN Language Frameworkstandards.UN Levels of Language CompetenceCore Curriculum: common learning objectives and relateddomains, suggested text types and communicative situationsLanguage-specific Curriculum: pragmatic, linguistic and sociocultural competencesThe first two elements are common to all languages and can beconsulted in the document entitled “United Nations LanguageFramework – UN Levels of Language Competence – Core curriculum”.The third element, the “Language-specific Curriculum”, is specific toeach of the six official languages. It is the most detailed layer of the UNLanguage Framework structure and is presented in six separatedocuments, one for each language. The present document is theLanguage-specific Curriculum for the Russian Language.The Language-specific Curriculum describes the minimum contentrequired to achieve the common learning objectives, as indicated inthe Core Curriculum.UN Levels of Language CompetenceCore CurriculumLanguage-specific CurriculumTargeted users include: language teachers and trainers instructional designers and developers of learning materialsArabic Language CurriculumChinese Language CurriculumFrench Language Curriculumlearning focal points and training officers, especially those incharge of language programmesEnglish Language CurriculumRussian Language CurriculumSpanish Language CurriculumUnited Nations Language Framework - Componentsexam and assessments writers3

Russian Language CurriculumApplication in learning and assessmentApplying the UN Language Framework to local language trainingprogrammes implies: The UN Language Framework (UN Levels, Core Curriculum andlanguage-specific content for the six official UN languages) is the resultof ongoing work to harmonize language learning and assessmentacross the Organization.comparing it against existing course programmes andadapting them accordingly to align them to the Framework,and potentially expanding the content and range of coursesoffered. identifying any potential existing gaps between the localtraining offered and the described learning objectives,considering the three domains: personal, public and personal. creating any new course programmes according to thedescriptors of the Framework, also taking identified local needsinto account. identifying up to which UN level the local training programmecan reach in each language, as in some duty stations, somelanguages will not be offered up to UN Level III owing toinsufficient need or resources. deciding on the number of courses covering the UN levelslocally offered, considering that each level will require between150 and 300 hours of instruction, depending on contextual orlanguage-intrinsic factors. deciding on course type (regular or specialized), length andformat (face-to-face, online or blended), based on the UNlevels they cover in each language. taking into account existing best practices and currently usedin-house or mainstream learning materials, in light of theLanguage-specific Curriculum and the descriptors.During the coming years, as this advances, the Language-specificCurriculum will be updated accordingly.In applying the Framework, future phases will focus on self-assessment,examinations for UN Level I and UN Level II, and the creation of learningmaterials.4

Russian Language CurriculumUnited Nations Language ModelTo define and describe language competence, it is first necessaryto agree on a common understanding of how to operationalizelanguage. This understanding is a representation of languagecalled a language model. The model developed for the purposeof the UN Language Framework will be hereafter called theUnited Nations Language Model 1.The United Nations Language Model considers language as acompetence, in terms of knowledge in use, and underlineslanguage as a means of communication. The model follows theprinciple of the action-oriented nature of human communicationand establishes language users at the centre.The model is presented as a semicircle indicatinginterdependent, overlapping components and categories.Language competence includes three main sub-competences:pragmatic, linguistic and sociocultural, which, in turn, include theirrespective categories.Its components are key in defining how language competence isdemonstrated and evaluated, and how pedagogical content iscreated and delivered.It underlies how the language-specific content is distributed andinforms all other elements of the UN Language Framework byconsidering: the action-oriented nature of human communicationthe role of language users both as individuals andas social agentsthe several components comprised incommunicative language competence1 The UN Language Model draws on research and literature sources, such as Bachman and Palmer 1996 and 2010 and Celce-Murcia and Dornyei 1995, and on the work by the Canadian BenchmarksCentre (2015) and the Council of Europe (CEFR 2001, extended set of Descriptors 2017)5

Russian Language CurriculumLanguage competence is integrated through three main subcompetences.Cross-cultural competence allows the user to become aware ofcultural values, traditions and behaviours, including their own and totailor communication accordingly.Discourse competence allows the user to connect sentences intofunctional, cohesive and coherent texts which achieve theirobjectives, and are accurately and logically connected.Lexis: the level of language consisting of vocabulary.Variation: geographical or social varieties of a language includingaccents and language use.Pragmatic competence allows the user to comprehend and produceoral and written texts aligned with the communicative context andintention.Register: degree of formality and the adaption of style and tone tothe communicative situation.Linguistic competence allows the user to build and recognize wellformed, meaningful messages, according to language system rulesat sentence and text level.At the centre of the communicative language model: the users.Sociocultural competence allows the user to recognize and usesocial and cultural norms and conventions to communicateappropriately in a given context.Language users, as individual and socialagents triggering communication, are at thecentre of the model.Sub-competences include overlapping categories.Strategic Competence allows the language users to make effective useof resources that activate competences or compensate for any lackthereof.Functional competence allows the user to interpret and performcommunicative functions within defined social and professionalcontexts.Grammatical competence allows the user to recognize lexical,morphological, syntactic, phonological and orthographicfeatures of a language and to use these features effectively tointerpret, encode, and decode words and sentences.The sub-competences and categories of the United Nations LanguageModel determine how the content -the language- will be presented inthe next sections.6

Russian Language CurriculumLanguage-specific contentThe language-specific content, detailed in the following sections, ispresented and categorized according to the language model usingthe categories below:Sociocultural Competence sectionsSociocultural competence refers to cultural and sociolinguisticconventions: appropriacy regarding the social and cultural context(s).This is a general approach about how to address aspects of variation,register and intercultural competence.Pragmatic CompetenceFunctional competenceDiscourse Competence* 2The Language-specific Curriculum expands the Core Curriculum as itguides linguistic experts through language-specific content. Thus, itensures that the harmonized, common learning objectives for each UNlevel are achieved in each target language.Since the highly specialized learning objectives for UN Level IV have notbeen defined, the language-specific content for this level has beenexcluded from the present document.Linguistic CompetenceGrammatical competenceMorphology and SyntaxPhonology*Orthography*Lexis** 3Sociocultural CompetenceVariation (dialects, social and geographical varieties)*Register (tone, style)*Intercultural competence (social conventions,traditions, values, UN culture)*ApproachIn all categories, the content is organized randomly, and is understood asthe minimum to achieve the learning objectives for each UN level.Jargon or highly specialized terminology has been avoided as much aspossible. The content has been compiled following a hybrid approachthat combines acknowledged sources or publications in foreignlanguage research and teaching experience within the UN context.Pragmatic Competence sectionsFunctional Competence presents functions or speech acts: what usersdo when using the language for a communicative purpose.For ease of use, both English and the target language are used topresent the categories.Linguistic Competence sectionsLinguistic Competence is composed of morphology and syntax, andlexis: the linguistic tools enabling users to carry out the functions.The content for each UN level aligns with the Core Curriculum: learningobjectives, text types and communicative situations. Each level buildsfrom one to the next. Therefore, the content described in one UN levelimplies the acquisition of the previous level(s).The content identified is representative of each level, hence, notexhaustive, and is expanded with examples where possible.* Open to future development and application to local course programmes** Although it is placed under linguistic competence, lexis is considered a cross-cutting category.27

Russian Language CurriculumRussian Language CurriculumSpecificitiesAlthough the Language-specific Curriculum is presented in a linear waywithin each UN level, the repetition and deepening required foreffective language acquisition is necessary and must be reflected onand planned for in the local language training programmes.Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation and itis also used as a second language in more than a dozencountries across Europe and Asia that were once part of theSoviet Union.Since it was widely taught throughout the Soviet Bloc Russian isstill understood by many, even outside the former Soviet Union.The content defined for each UN level is the indispensable minimumthat should be mastered to achieve this level. However, it may beextended to respond to locally-defined learning needs, to exemplify,when the target language is the local language or when a specific fieldof vocabulary is required locally.The Russian Language Curriculum is based on contemporarystandard Russian. The content is informed by the officialguidelines of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federationfor teachers and students of Russian as a foreign language(“Требования по русскому языку как иностранному“). TheRussian Language Curriculum is also guided by our experiencein designing curricula and delivering Russian language trainingto the UN staff and delegates.Conventions The titles of main groups - macro functions, morphology andsyntax, lexis topics - are coloured in orange and bolded. The titles of main groups are in English or French, or both inEnglish or French, and the target language. All content is numerated for ease of consultation anddiscussion. The numeration does not imply any sequence orprioritization of any kind. Examples are representative, illustrative of the differentelements or topics listed in each category. They are not a finitelist. Examples can be presented as text fragments, sentences,chunks of words and single words. Examples are in cursive, except for non-Latin alphabets, andindented. In the “Pragmatic competence” section, the titles in orangerepresent macro-categories that are repeated across all the UNlevels.However, even if the titles are identical, the content listedunder these categories varies depending on the UN level.UN I focuses on mastery of the main grammatical systems,including noun and adjective declension and verb conjugation,while also introducing students to basic vocabulary on a varietyof everyday and work-related topics.UN II delves further into nuances of grammar, such as temporalconstructions and formation of participles, and significantlyexpands students vocabulary, allowing them to comment onsuch important topics as world events, the environment, workand education

Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation and it is also used as a second language in more than a dozen countries across Europe and Asia that were once part of the Soviet Union. Since it was widely taught throughout the Soviet Bloc Russian is still understood by many, even outside the former Soviet Union.

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