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Edexcel Russian A2 Level

The A2 Level consists of three parts:


 a speaking test
 a listening, reading and translation (Russian to English) exam
 an exam with two essays about literature/films and a translation
(English to Russian)

All parts of the exam (apart from the essays and Independent Research
Project for the speaking test) are based on the following 4 topics:
Тема 1: Развитие российского общества
Theme 1 is set in the context of Russia only.
● Жизнь российской молодёжи Здоровье; отдых; новые технологии.
● Образование Система образования; жизнь российских школьников.
● Мир труда Отношение к труду; возможности для молодых россиян; равноправие.

Тема 2: Политическая и художественная культура в


русскоязычном мире
Theme 2 is set in the context of the Russian-speaking world.
● Средства массовой информации Свобода выражения; печатная и онлайн пресса;
влияние на общество и политику.
● Массовая культура Музыка; цирк; танец.
● Праздники, фестивали и традиции Фестивали; праздники; обычаи; традиции

Тема 3: Москва или Санкт-Петербург - Изменения в жизни


большого российского города
Theme 3 is set in the context of Russia only.
● Изменение населения Жизнь в городе; жизнь в пригородах.
● Общественные проблемы Бездомность; преступность.
● Окружающая среда Реконструкция и благоустройства города; загрязнение.

Тема 4: Последние годы СССР – М.С. Горбачёв (1985-1991)


Theme 4 is set in the context of Russia only.
● Перестройка Что вызвало перестройку; экономические изменения; исходы.
● Гласность Что вызвало гласность; общественные изменения; исходы.
● 1991 год Проблемы для СССР к началу 1991 г.; путч в августе; распад СССР.

The essays have to be written about either two literary texts, or one
literary text and one film, from the following list:

Literary texts
● Пиковая дама, Александр Пушкин, 1834 (short story)
● Ревизор, Николай Гоголь, 1836 (play)
● Вишнёвый сад, Антон Чехов, 1904 (play)
● Один день Ивана Денисовича, Александр Солженицын, 1962 (novella)
● Неделя как неделя, Наталья Баранская, 1968 (novella)
● Сонечка, Людмила Улицкая, 1992 (novella)

Films
● Крылья, dir. Лариса Шепитько (1966)
● Утомлённые солнцем, dir. Никита Михалков (1994)
● Кавказский пленник, dir. Сергей Бодров (1996)
● Левиафан, dir. Андрей Звягинцев (2014)
Speaking test (in April 2021)

The speaking test consists of two parts. In both parts you are expected to
take the initiative in the conversation and to ask questions as described
below:
Elicit points of view/check for understanding: as part of the language of genuine
discourse, students are required to engage the examiner in the conversation by asking for
their points of view and checking that their own point of view has been understood. They are
expected to do this throughout the speaking assessment at appropriate points during the
conversation. This constitutes questions such as:
● ‘Вы согласны со мной?’
● ‘Разве неправильно подумать, что …?’
● ‘Можно ли сказать, что …?’
● ‘Что вы думаете о …?’
● ‘Вы понимаете, что я хочу сказать?’
The timing of the assessment means that the teacher-examiner should contribute only brief
opinions in response to these types of questions, in order to give students the maximum
length of assessment time.

Part 1. Discussion on a theme


You will be given a choice of two themes from the following list:
1 The lives of young Russians
2 Education
3 World of work
4 Media
5 Popular culture
6 Holidays, festivals and traditions
7 Population change
8 Social issues
9 Environment
10 Perestroika
11 Glasnost’
12 1991
Once you choose the theme you will be given a card containing two
statements about the theme (examples in the speaking booklet in Exam
Materials). You have 5 minutes to prepare. The test then starts with a 6-7
minute conversation about the theme, beginning with two compulsory
questions (see examples)

Part 2. Independent Research Project (IRP) presentation and discussion


The second part is a presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (8 minutes) on
a research project of your choice. The IRP must be based on a question or
statement defined and developed by you individually to investigate a
particular area of interest specifically related to Russian-speaking culture
and/or society. It can be within one of the four A2 topic areas or something
of your own choice (provided it relates to Russian-speaking culture and/or
society). Your research must be based on at least two written texts.

For example, you could choose to talk about the statement: “Russia’s
annexation of the Crimea makes historical, political and economic sense.”
You would need to find at least two Russian-language articles about this
topic which you would summarise in your presentation, and inform
yourself more widely about the topic for the general discussion.

Your IRP needs to be summarised on the form RP3 (in Preparation for the
Exam). The statement/question should be in Russian, the key research
findings in English. Please come up with some ideas for your IRP and
discuss them with me in person, or via Google Classroom.

Listening, reading and translation paper (2 hours, in June 2021)

A past paper (Paper 1) and the listening recording are in Past Papers. This
paper is not too difficult for Russian-speakers. Make sure that you answer
the questions and try to translate as accurately (word for word) as possible

Essay and translation paper (2 hours 40 minutes in June 2021)

A past paper (Paper 2) is in Past Papers.

The translation is fairly straightforward but needs to be as close to word-


for-word as possible.

You need to choose the two literary texts, or one literary text and one film,
from the list above and read/watch them now.

There are some powerpoints about some of the texts under Preparation for
the Exam – these give you an idea of the themes which you might be
expected to write about in the essays.

The word count for the essays is quite short (215-250 words). I would
suggest a simple structure with a brief introduction (20 words), four main
paragraphs (of 50 words each) and a conclusion (30 words).

Each main paragraph should contain one main point, with an example from
the text/film and analysis of how the example proves the point you are
making. For example, on the theme of madness in Pikovaya Dama:
Madness is shown as something which can affect anyone. Germann
appears at the beginning of the story as a model of sanity, reason and
prudence (not wanting to gamble his modest amount of money) but by the
end of the story is in the lunatic asylum muttering ‘three, seven, ace’ to
himself.

Any questions, see me or message me via the Russian A Level Google


Classroom.

Mr Baldwin

5th October 2020