The Master and Margarita Talk (Russian Simulation) Logo

This simulation demonstrates how innovative technologies can be leveraged to create a blended language learning experience that emulates the process of applying for, preparing for, and participating in an academic conference. The project culminated in an authentic public event where advanced-level students in the Russian Language Flagship Program at Bryn Mawr College demonstrated their professional language.

Blended learning simulations have immense potential to engage students in memorable technology-mediated language learning experiences. The first Russian blended learning simulation, The Master and Margarita Talk, was a collaboration between The Russian Language Flagship Program at Bryn Mawr College and The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center). The Master and Margarita Talk immersed students in the setting of an academic conference starting with the proposal submission and culminating in students’ presentations on topics related to Mikhail Bulgakov’s famous novel “The Master and Margarita” that were made available to online and face-to-face audiences. To simulate the real-world experience of a professional live event, Tech Center invited other Russian Flagship Programs to attend students’ presentations via a web-conferencing platform Zoom and participate in the Q&A session.

Student Videos

Ruslan Suvorov

Ruslan Suvorov

Project Lead

Ruslan has a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics & Technology and extensive experience integrating various educational technologies into language classes. His research interests lie in the areas of computer assisted language learning, computer assisted language assessment, and online second language education.

Irina Walsh

Irina Walsh

Russian Professor, Bryn Mawr College

Irina is co-director of the Russian Language Flagship Program at Bryn Mawr. Her academic interests focus on foreign language teaching, teaching and technology, Slavic morphology and etymology, and teaching Russian culture.

Dmitrii EGorov

Dmitrii EGorov

Design Assistant

Dmitrii has a Ph.D. in Russian Grammar from Kazan Federal University, Russia. His experience includes teaching different Russian courses to foreign students and developing instruction in Russian phonetics.

Optimizing the use of resources

The simulation described here takes advantage of existing resources in the Flagship community, such as tutors, who can play different roles in the experience, and can be adapted to any Flagship language.

The Language Learning Experience

This vignette illustrates a typical process that a learner would go through in order to apply for, prepare for, and participate in a blended learning simulation such as The Master and Margarita Talk.

This vignette illustrates a typical process that a learner would go through in order to apply for, prepare for, and participate in a blended learning simulation such as The Master and Margarita Talk.

THE blueprint 

Our simulations are based on a set of tasks, practices, tools, and strategies that help Russian Flagship students meet language proficiency standards and develop their professional language using different modes of communication.

Our simulations are based on a set of tasks, practices, tools, and strategies that help Russian Flagship students meet language proficiency standards and develop their professional language using different modes of communication.

Blended learning simulations have immense potential to engage students in memorable technology-mediated language learning experiences. The first Russian blended learning simulation, The Master and Margarita Talk, was a collaboration between The Russian Language Flagship Program at Bryn Mawr College and The Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (Tech Center). The Master and Margarita Talk immersed students in the setting of an academic conference starting with the proposal submission and culminating in students’ presentations on topics related to Mikhail Bulgakov’s famous novel “The Master and Margarita” that were made available to online and face-to-face audiences. To simulate the real-world experience of a professional live event, Tech Center invited other Russian Flagship Programs to attend students’ presentations via a web-conferencing platform Zoom and participate in the Q&A session.

Student Videos

Ruslan Suvorov

Ruslan Suvorov

Project Lead

Ruslan has a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics & Technology and extensive experience integrating various educational technologies into language classes. His research interests lie in the areas of computer assisted language learning, computer assisted language assessment, and online second language education.

Irina Walsh

Irina Walsh

Russian Professor, Bryn Mawr College

Irina is co-director of the Russian Language Flagship Program at Bryn Mawr. Her academic interests focus on foreign language teaching, teaching and technology, Slavic morphology and etymology, and teaching Russian culture.

Dmitrii EGorov

Dmitrii EGorov

Design Assistant

Dmitrii has a Ph.D. in Russian Grammar from Kazan Federal University, Russia. His experience includes teaching different Russian courses to foreign students and developing instruction in Russian phonetics.

Optimizing the use of resources

The simulation described here takes advantage of existing resources in the Flagship community, such as tutors, who can play different roles in the experience, and can be adapted to any Flagship language.

The Language Learning Experience

This vignette illustrates a typical process that a learner would go through in order to apply for, prepare for, and participate in a blended learning simulation such as The Master and Margarita Talk.

This vignette illustrates a typical process that a learner would go through in order to apply for, prepare for, and participate in a blended learning simulation such as The Master and Margarita Talk.

THE blueprint 

Our simulations are based on a set of tasks, practices, tools, and strategies that help Russian Flagship students meet language proficiency standards and develop their professional language using different modes of communication.

Our simulations are based on a set of tasks, practices, tools, and strategies that help Russian Flagship students meet language proficiency standards and develop their professional language using different modes of communication.

WEBSITE WIREFRAME

The Master and Margarita Talk website consists of five main sections. About the Event contains general information about the proposal submission process for students and a registration form for potential attendees to register for the final event. The section Become a Presenter features a self-paced mini-course to help students prepare for the final event. 

The Master and Margarita Talk website consists of five main sections. These are "Homepage", "About the Event", "Become A Presenter", "Schedule" and "Contact".

MINI-COURSE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

The visual below illustrates the steps involved in the process of creating a mini-course that was designed to help students better prepare for various aspects of The Master and Margarita Talk, including their presentations during the final event.

The different steps in the course development process for the Russian Simulation.

THE LEARNER EXPERIENCE

This flowchart demonstrates different steps that learners had to go through during The Master and Margarita Talk project. In addition, the flowchart highlights the role and involvement that the teacher and the Tech Center staff played in the students’ entire blended learning experience.

This flowchart demonstrates different steps that learners had to go through, the role and involvement of the teacher and the tech center staff during The Master and Margarita Talk project.

The First Pilot

Simulation Objective

Acquire skills of extemporaneous and planned oral speech and ACTFL’s World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages: Presentational Communication, Relating Cultural Practices and Products to Perspectives, Making Connections, Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives, School and Global Communities, and Lifelong Learning.

Participants

Students in an advanced-level Russian class in Bryn Mawr College.

Tasks

  • Write an abstract for an oral presentation at a conference-like event The Master & Margarita Talk in academic language register (Product: abstract)
  • Complete an online mini-course consisting of 4 lessons (Product: completed lesson tasks)
  • Deliver a 15-minute oral presentation at The M&M Talk using academic language register (Product: oral presentation)

Preliminary Results

Benefits For The Instructor

  • Project tightly integrated in the syllabus
  • No time spent in class on preparation for the conference
  • Professional development

Benefits For Students

  • Enhanced students’ presentational skills and formal writing skills
  • Expanded students’ comfort zone
  • A real-life experience for students to deliver a conference presentation

SAMPLE Instructional Materials

Application Form for Presenters

Application form for Presenters

Registration Form for Attendees

Registration form for attendees.
Interview Scoring Rubric

Contact Information

TECH CENTER

1890 East West Road

Moore Hall 256

Honolulu, HI 96822

(808) 956-5121

tech.center@hawaii.edu

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