By: Kianna Haskin
The Maryland Spoken Semi-finals for the Russian Olympiada was held at Goucher on Tuesday, March 7. Local private school students in grades 3 through 12 competed in the event. Annaliza Czeczulin, an assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, co-organized the event.
The Olympiada is a competition held to assess students knowledge of Russian culture, language, and resuscitation.The competition separates students depending on year and experience. Special judging and competition were held for heritage and native speakers. Students are graded with a rubric specific to each of their levels. Awards are given at the end of the competition.
“It asks students to produce a lot of oral language on a variety of topics for their level,” said Jim Sweigert, a teacher at Roland Park Country School.
Speeches were given by the chair of the Maryland Olympiada, Goucher Professors, Carlton E. Surbeck the director of admissions, and a few selected guests. Students from the Baltimore International Academy danced and sang songs during the opening of the event.
Czeczulin is working with local schools on a new program called Bridge to Russia. This program will allow for K-12 students to learn Russian whether or not it is offered in their school.
“It is not equitable or equal to only have French or Spanish in elementary, middle and high schools. Someone might have a natural affinity, they might be Korean and want to learn the language,” said Czeczulin.