Capstone RAILS Lessons

Capstone RAILS lessons are different from all of the other RAILS lessons. They consist solely of several clips from video- or audio-taped interviews, providing students with an opportunity to demonstrate the increased listening proficiency they have acquired while working with the other RAILS lessons. The listening they must do in these lessons mimics real-world listening contexts, without the learning tools and aids embedded throughout all the other RAILS lessons. The Capstone Lessons offer no Listening Assistant help and no interactive activities with answers; these lessons also offer no scaffolding or learning tips to help students improve their strategy use while listening.

The first lesson in the Capstone series, based on an interview with Sergei Khrushchev, is a transitional one that provides some listening support in the form of model answers to short answer-type learning activities. The remaining capstone lessons require students to work with challenging video-based input, without the aid of instructional scaffolding such as learning activities with feedback, or extensive help resources.

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khrushchev enikolopov



Lesson Title Authors Short Description
Lesson 1: Conversation with Sergei Khrushchev Shannon Spasova, with Nina Familiant, Darya Vassina Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This first capstone lesson consists of audio excerpts from an interview with Sergei Khrushchev, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies and son of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. In the interview, Khruschev discusses his father’s legacy, and compares his father to other Russian leaders.

Lesson 2: Conversation with Sergei Enikolopov Nina Familiant, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Darya Vassina, Dianna Murphy

This capstone lesson consists of excerpts from an interview with Sergei Enikolopov, head of the department of Clinical Psychology at the Center for Psychological Health of the Russian Academic of Medical Sciences, on the historical and sociological ramifications of terror and war and their relationship to violent crime in Russian society, among other topics.

Lesson 3: Conversation with Viktor Loshak Nina Familiant, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Darya Vassina, Dianna Murphy

In this lesson, the students work with excerpts from an interview with Viktor Loshak, Editor-in-Chief of Ogonek, one of Russia’s leading magazines. In the interview, Loshak talks about the state of journalism in Russia today, and shares his opinion on issues such as the problem of Chechnia and changes in Russia’s legal system.

Lesson 4: Conversation with Evgenii Aksenov Nina Familiant, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Darya Vassina, Dianna Murphy

In this fourth capstone lesson, students watch excerpts from a video-taped interview with Evgenii Aksenov, General Director of the Energetika Computing Center in Moscow, and learn about the Russian business sector and its relationship with the federal government. Aksenov also discusses the steps Russia should take in continuing to develop its national economy.

Lesson 5: Conversation with Aleksandr Asmolov Shannon Spasova, with Benjamin Rifkin

In this fifth and final capstone lesson, students watch excerpts from a video-taped interview with Aleksandr Asmolov, Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology and Personality, Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University. Students learn about education in Russia today: the main problems faced by the educational system, and Asmolov’s opinion about what should be changed.

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