National Russian Essay Contest (NREC)
Established thirty-eight years ago, the ACTR National Russian Essay Contest (NREC) provides high school and middle school students the opportunity to demonstrate their writing proficiency in Russian. Students write essays in Russian on a topic announced at the beginning of a two-hour period during the week before Thanksgiving.
The 2019 NREC will take place November 18-22, 2019. Registration must be completed by October 15, 2019.
Registration Information and Placement Guidelines
Please, address all questions regarding contest registration to Paavo Husen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. All participating teachers must be members of ACTR. Please pay your dues online if you have not already done so. For questions about your ACTR membership, please contact ACTR Membership Secretary Irina Dubinina at email@example.com.
2. The registration fee per student is $4.00. Make one check out to AMERICAN COUNCILS FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION and indicate that the check is for “NREC fees.” Please send your check to Co-chair Paavo Husen by October 15 at the following address: 355 Wildwood Drive, North Aurora, IL 60542.
3. Teachers are to send one registration form for their students via email to Paavo Husen by October 15 at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The NREC registration form must be typed and students must be grouped by separate levels. The registration form may not be altered and no changes can be made after the October 15 deadline.
4. Teachers decide which levels are most appropriate for their students. Suggested guidelines for determining student levels are as follows:
a) Beginner – Russian I or II
b) Intermediate – Russian II or III
c) Advanced – Russian IV, V, AP
Special Note about Heritage Speakers
For the above three categories, “yes” must be entered in the Heritage column on the registration form if the student came to the U.S. before age 10 or was born in the U.S. in a family where Russian, Ukrainian, or Byelorussian is spoken.
d) Native Speaker – the student arrived in the U.S. at or after age 10, and is from a family where Russian, Ukrainian, or Byelorussian is spoken.
5. Teachers will receive one copy of all necessary NREC materials by email in early November. Teachers are required to make the necessary number of copies for their registered students.
1. On the contest date you select for your school, students are to meet in an appropriate place to write their essays. Teachers are to be present during the contest to act as proctors.
2. Students may use their class textbooks for reference only. Advanced students with no regular classroom textbook may consult a dictionary for looking up occasional single vocabulary words. Students may not copy entire sentences or paragraphs from their textbooks. Class notes are not allowed.
3. Students may not work together or ask for or receive help from another person. Students and teachers will be asked to sign a statement certifying that the essays were written by the students without the help of any other person.
4. The time limit for writing the essays is one two-hour session.
5. The essays must be written legibly on the paper provided in black or blue-black ink. Pencil is unacceptable.
6. Teachers must send the original essays within 48 hours of writing to Co-chair John Rook at the following address: 28 Northwood Street, Enfield, CT 06082-2825. Teachers are expected to make photocopies of all essays. Photocopies should be retained until students have been informed of the results of the contest. Originals will not be returned.
Judging of Essays
Essays will be distributed to a panel of judges for evaluation. No teacher who has a student participating in the contest will be allowed to judge essays.
1. Essays are judged at the Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Native Speaker levels. Heritage students are judged separately at the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. All students whose essays receive Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Honorable Mention will receive certificates. Gold, Silver, and Bronze essays will also receive ACTR medals.
2. No Awards will be assigned to essays of less than five comprehensible Russian sentences or to essays with inappropriate content.
3. Gold-medal essays at the Advanced, Advanced Heritage, and Native Speaker levels will be forwarded to the State Pushkin Institute in Moscow for a second round of judging. Writers of second-round essays that are awarded gold medals in Moscow will receive certificates and pins, while writers of silver and bronze medal essays will receive certificates only.
4. Co-chairs Paavo Husen, John Rook and Phillip Stosberg have final say on appropriate level placement and awards.
Teachers with questions about the essay contest should contact one of the Contest chairs: