National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest (NPSREC)
This contest, established in 1999 by ACTR, has become a signature Russian language contest for post-secondary students around the country. Students taking Russian in accredited colleges and universities are invited to participate in the annual National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest sponsored by the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR).
Important Dates and Information
Administering the Contest
Submitting the Essays and "Student Declaration and Waiver" Forms
Evaluation of the Essays
Overview of Categories and Levels
Registration for the 2018 National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest will open on January 8th, 2018 and run through January 29th. Instructors at an institution with at least one current ACTR member, with paid dues, are qualified to register students. There is a non-refundable $5.00 registration fee for each participating student. No late registrations will be accepted.
Participating instructors will receive student codes, directions, and the essay topic on January 31. Students should not receive the essay topic until the scheduled time of the contest. All contest participants within the same institution and Russian language course must write their essays in an hour on any day between February 1 and 15, as determined by the participating instructor. Essays must be written legibly on lined paper, the template for which will be emailed along with the directions for administering the contest on January 31. Students are not allowed to consult any books, notes, or outside sources to write their essays, and may not work together. Instructors may not substitute students for those registered. No refunds are available for students who do not show up for the essay contest.
Failure to use the correct file naming convention or incorrectly filing an essay will result in automatic disqualification.
All essays will be evaluated anonymously; no essay will be identifiable by the name or institution of the student who wrote it. Judges will evaluate essays according to content (the ability to express ideas in Russian and communicate information about the topic) and length, lexicon, syntax, structure (grammatical and orthographic accuracy), and originality or creativity. The judges' results are expected by the beginning of April, and winners will be announced around mid-April.
Gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention certificates will be presented for the best essays at each Category and Level.
Awards will be announced in the ACTR Newsletter and on ACTR website.
Instructors must place their contest participants into the appropriate CATEGORY and LEVEL.
OVERVIEW OF CATEGORIES AND LEVELS
There are three CATEGORIES:
The LEVELS for Categories A and B are based on the number of contact hours of formal Russian language instruction at the time of the essay contest, including high school. See below for the criteria.
The LEVELS for Category C are based on the degree of exposure to Russian and contact hours of formal Russian language instruction in college only. See below for the criteria.
For study abroad or other immersion programs:
Calculate the number of contact hours of formal language instruction, multiply that number by 2, and use the result as the total number of contact hours.
Category A: Students who do not and did not ever speak Russian or any other Slavic language at home.
Category B: Heritage speakers of a Slavic language other than Russian AND/OR native speakers of languages of the former Soviet Union who have had some prior experience with Russian.
Category C: Students who were born to Russian speaking families and received most or all of their education in English. These students did not have any formal instruction in Russian before college.
Essay contest inquiries:
Jennifer Bown, Ph,D.
Category placement inquiries:
Alla Smyslova, Ph.D.
Nina Bond, Ph.D.
Past Essay Topics