Slovo.ru: the Baltic accent

2013 Vol. 4 № 3

TOPICAL ISSUES

The Russian language, dialogue of cultures, and F. M. Dostoyevsky

Abstract

This article shows that the dialogue of cultures is one of the fundamental socio-political needs. The author emphasises – which is an axiom for many educated people – that interactions limited to a close circle of ‘us’ impoverishes one’s life and that many values cannot be divided into ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’. The article analyses the increasing interest in Russian culture in Lithuania, as well as the motivation for learning the Russian language, which can be explained by the desire to learn and understand Russian culture, read a book, watch a move or a play, feel a poem, etc. It is stated that a certain motivation for learning the Russian language can be the increasing interest in the works of F. M. Dostoyevsky.

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Teaching colloquial Russian as a foreign language

Abstract

This article considers the problems pertaining to the need to teach not only the literary language but also the basics of colloquial Russian to international students of Russian philology. The colloquialisation of public communication, the development and availability of the Internet, and the intensification of tourist contacts result in the modification of programmes of teaching Russian as a foreign language. The author stresses the need to develop a relevant didactic framework corresponding to the demands and expectations of students.

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The ways to increase motivation for learning literary Russian language

Abstract

This article describes the ways to generate motivation for learning literary Russian. Classical literary texts and works of Kaliningrad writers are considered as a means to develop the students’ emotional abilities and inspire respect for their future professions. It is stressed that introduction to the works of leading Kaliningrad authors and poets gives international students a clearer idea of Russian culture, helps them develop empathy, improve emotional and associative memory, and increase motivation for learning literary Russian.

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On the formation of speech and communication values in students of technical universities

Abstract

This article focuses on the importance of developing speech and communicative skills in students of technical universities in view of the requirements of the Russian higher education system after the transition to the 3rd generation federal state education standards. A comparison of 2010—2013 survey of junior and senior students of Kaliningrad State Technical University helps come to a conclusion that the goal of teaching is to develop conscious needs in students and encourage them in individual work in order to improve the level of communicative knowledge.

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The role of sociocultural component in teaching Russian as a foreign languages

Abstract

This article considers the role of the sociocultural component in teaching Russian as a foreign language and analyses the means and methods of teaching aimed to develop the sociocultural competence in students. Special attention is paid to characterising the most informative — from the perspective of mental meaning explication — language system elements and the problems of presenting sociocultural information faced by the teacher of Russian in front of a foreign audience.

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Folklore texts in teaching Russian as a foreign language: The perception of Russian folk tales

Abstract

This article addresses the problems of appropriate perception and decoding of a folklore text in the process of learning Russian as a foreign language. The author analyses the image and concept-related cultural difficulties faced by foreigners when studying Russian folk tales. The article identifies the differences in perceiving and assessing the culturally relevant folklore motifs by recipients with different cultural mental setups. It is stressed that studying folk tales gives foreign students an idea of the culture of Russian people, their fundamental features and values, and contributes to the development of a cultural linguistic competence, which helps ensure mutual understanding with representatives of another culture.

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The activation of languages and the self-awareness of students of philology

Abstract

This article offers an overview of the discipline ‘Language activation and language teaching strategy’ taught to students of philology at the University of Gdansk. It is emphasised that the course pays special attention to acquiring knowledge and its application in the course of individual studies. The results of an annual survey of junior students of Russian philology at the University of Gdansk help identify the factors of effective teaching of foreign languages.

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LITERATURE

The aesthetic position of A. A. Delvig as a critic

Abstract

This article considers the aesthetic views of Delvig as a critic and identifies the sources that help him develop individual criteria for assessing literary works. The author emphasises his original interpretation of theoretical problems of aesthetics characteristic of Romanticism. It is stressed that the category of harmony defined by Delving as a crucial principle of artistry is very productive in his system of views and underlies his own poetry.

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A woman as seen by a man in modern Russian chanson

Abstract

This article reconstructs the portrait features of a woman as presented in ’female’ modern Russian chanson. The authors emphasise the woman’s original self-perception as opposed to the way she is presented in chanson by a man. Such original features include a greater number of details in the ‘self-portrait’, orientation towards the male psychological models of perceiving reality, and the use of an image of an ageing woman. Love and at the same time freedom are presented as a woman’s basic life values, which is indicative of changes in the female gender perception in the modern Russian society.

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Criminal songs: The hero and the plot

Abstract

The criminal song is considered as a phenomenon of urban folklore functionally linked to the criminal community as an archaic subculture. The author characterises the plot structure of the criminal song: the system-building characters, their plot function, and typical motives. The article poses the question as to the thematic typology of the criminal song. It is emphasised that the bearer of the criminal song characteristics, its “gene” is the main character (the crime lord), whereas the other characters and different situations are found in folklore and plots are borrowed from other fields of the folk or popular song. Having borrowed ‘external’ material, the criminal song develops its own language meant to model and interpret its special worldview.

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ICON

The features of the Last Judgement theme in Galich icons at the threshold of the Modern Age

Abstract

This article considers the transformation of traditional iconographic elements of the Western branch of Eastern Slavic icon painting in view of the civilisational processes developing in the late Middle Ages. It is stressed that the iconography of the Last Judgement was represented by more complex — in terms of composition and ideas — works reflecting the prevalent views of the Galich Rusyns of the time. The proliferation of the Last Judgement compositions in the Eastern Slavic area is linked to the eschatological expectations that shaped the worldview prevalent in Russian lands since the late 16th century.

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The thought of death and overcoming of death in B. Pasternak’s cycle ‘Some Songs in Letters So She Won’t Be Bored’

Abstract

The intertextual connections with the Bible found in the cycle ‘Songs in Letters So She Won’t Be Bored’ (My Sister Life, 1917) help identify the features of artistic expression of the Christian ideas of immortality in the early works of B. Pasternak. An analysis of the author’s symbolism shows that the philosophising persona of Pasternak’s book ponders on death looking for the ways to overcome it. The way to overcome “boredom”— death is the “narrow way” of the Gospel, whereas the motif of grace is manifested in the images of nature, human soul, and history.

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RUSSIANS IN KÖNIGSBERG

One day of a Russian traveller in Königsberg: N. M. Karamzin and a ‘fitting place’ in the world history

Abstract

It is stressed that the metaphysical foundation of the original pedagogy of Königsberg, which was called by K. Garber “an emblem of apocalypse” is Kant’s philosophical conviction that humanity will attain “perpetual peace” in the graveyard of humankind unless they make the “moral law” the initial principle of any causality. It is shown that N. M. Karamzin unveils the essence of this law with impressive precision and brevity in his letter.

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SEA COAST

The intellectual interconnections between Königsberg and the Baltics in the 19th century

Abstract

This article analyses the Königsberg context of the activities of 18th century enlighteners — Johann Gotthelf Lindner and Jacob Lange — in the Baltics and offers an overview of their linguistic works. On the basis of the hypothesis about the influence of the Königsberg spirit of Enlightenment on the formation of Lindner’s and Lange’s linguistic activities, the author shows that, in the Baltics, the Enlightenment had several modifications differing in forms and objectives. It is demonstrated that, when compiling German-Latvian and Latvian-German dictionaries, both authors target their works at German settlers; however, Lindner’s work is targeted solely at a German-speaking recipient, whereas that of Lange requires that the reader be acquainted with the Latvian language and Latvian peasant lifestyle.

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REVIEWS

The 3rd international workshop Folk Culture and Orthodoxy at IKBFU

Abstract

This article offers a review of the International workshop ‘Folk Culture and Orthodoxy: Literature, History, Arts’, which took place at IKBFU in the framework of the 2013 Research Summer School in Philology. The author presents the topics and problem fields of open lectures delivered in the course of the workshop and analyses the positions of the participants of the discussion generated by I. A. Yesaulov’s presentation ‘Folk Culture and Orthodoxy’.

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