Olga E. Kagan
Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures; Director, UCLA Center for World Languages and National Heritage Language Resource Center
Department: Applied Linguistics Slavic Languages and Literatures
Los Angeles, CA 90095-502
Campus mailcode: Director (University of California, Los Angeles)
Keywords: Art, Language, Russia
Ph.D. (Dissertation "Theory and Practice of Writing a Learner-Centered Textbook of Russian as a Foreign Language"), Pushkin Russian Language Institute, Moscow, Russia.
What I Do Now:
Director, UCLA Center for World Languages and National Heritage Language Resource Center
Professor, Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor, UCLA Russian Language Program
Director of UCLA Russian Flagship Program
Co-editor, Heritage Language Journal
I have been teaching at the University of California since 1976, first at UC Riverside, and since 1981 at UCLA. In the past several years my main research and teaching interests have been heritage language learners. In 2000 I co-authored a textbook, Russian for Russians, for students who speak Russian at home but do not have sufficient literacy in the language. I am happy to see that the textbook is currently used at about thirty universities around the country. It means that many Russian programs are offering special instruction to heritage speakers of Russian. To read what the Daily Bruin wrote about a Russian class for Russian-speaking students at UCLA, click here.
Since 2000 I have served on the Steering Committee of the UC Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning and since 1991 I have been a Member of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Teachers of Russian
In 2006 the UCLA Center for World Languages and the UC Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning were awarded a four-year Title VI grant to create the National Heritage Language Resource Center, devoted to research, teacher training, and materials development for heritage language instruction.
What I Like Doing:
See above under "What I do now".
Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Post-secondary Level, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European languages, 2003.
Two awards for books (see publications below).
2006: Harvard University Slavic Department
In the past ten years:
UC Santa Cruz, Foreign Language Program
University of Kentucky, Program in Vladimir, Russia
Middlebury College, The Russian School
Indiana University, Summer Slavic Workshop
University of Washington, Seattle, Uzbek Program
Current Professional Service:
2000 - present: member, Steering Committee, UC Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning
1998 - 2001: vice-president, the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (AATSEEL)
2000 — advisory board member, CAL Russian web-based exam project
1991 – present: Member, Board of Directors, the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR)
What I have published:
Niznik, M.; Vinokurova, A.; Voroncova, I.; Kagan, O.; Cherp, A. (2009). Russkij bez granic [Russian without borders]. Old City of Jaffa, Israel: Israeli Association for Immigrant Children. Available on line at http://www.iaic.org.il/RusskiyYazik.ru
Rifkin, B., & Kagan, O., with A. Yatsenko. (2006). Advanced Russian through History, Yale University Press.
Kagan, O., Miller, F., & Kudyma, G. (2005). V Puti: Russian Grammar in Context (2nd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Kashper, M., Kagan, O., & Morozova, Y. (2005). Russian Film for Conversation. Volumes 1 and 2. Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishers.
Kagan, O., Akishina, T., & Robin, R. (2003). Russian for Russians: Textbook for Heritage Speakers. Bloomington, IN: Slavica. Award for Best Contribution to Pedagogy, AATSEEL, 2004
Akishina, A., & Kagan, O. (2002). Uchimsya Uchit' [We’re Learning to Teach] (2nd expanded edition). Moscow: Russian Language Publishers.
Kagan, O., & Kashper, M. (2000). Chukovskaya's Sofia Petrovna: Student Edition. Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishers.
Russian page-by-page vocabulary: http://www.pullins.com/petrovna/index4.htm
D. Brinton, O. Kagan, & S. Bauckus (Eds.). (2008). Heritage Language Education: A New Field Emerging. New York: Routledge.
O.Kagan & B. Rifkin, with S. Bauckus (Eds.). (2000). The Teaching and Learning of Slavic Languages and Cultures. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers. Award for Best Contribution to Pedagogy, AATSEEL, 2001.
Kagan, O. & Dillon, K., Russian in the United States In Potowski, K. (Ed). (2009). Language Diversity in the United States. Cambridge University Press.
In B. Leaver, B. Shektman (Eds.) (2002). Developing Professional-level Language Proficiency Cambridge University Press:
Angelelli, C., & Kagan, O. Foreign Language for Heritage (Home-Background) Speakers: What the Superior Level Foreign-Language Course May Offer.
Dabars, Z., & Kagan, O. Teaching Russian Language Teachers in Eight Summer Institutes in Russian Language and Culture.
Recent Articles in Refereed Journals:
Polinsky, M., & Kagan, O. (2007). Heritage Languages: In the 'Wild' and in the Classroom. Languages and Lingustics Compass, 1(5), 368-295. Retrieved December 3, 2008, from http://scholar.iq.harvard.edu/files/scholar/uploads/11/Offprint.pdf.
Kagan, O., & Dillon, K. (2006). Russian Heritage Learners: So What Happens Now?Slavic and East European Journal, (50th Anniversary Issue), 50(1), 83-96.
Kagan, O. (2005). In support of a Proficiency-Based Definition of Heritage Language Learners: a case of Russian. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 8(2 & 3), 213-221.
Kagan, O., & Friedman. D. (2004) Using the OPI to Place Heritage Speakers of Russian. Foreign Language Annals (special OPI issue/guest editor R. Clifford), 36(4), 536-545.
Friedman, D., & Kagan, O. (in press). Academic Writing Proficiency of Russian Heritage Speakers: A Comparative Study, in D. Brinton, O. Kagan, & S. Bauckus (eds), Heritage Language Education: A New Field Emerging. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum and Associates.
Kagan, O., & Dillon, K. (2004). Heritage Speakers' Potential for High-Level Language Proficiency. In H. Byrnes & H. Maxim (eds.), Advanced Foreign Language Learning: A Challenge to College Programs, pp. 99-112. Boston: Heinle/Thomson.
Kagan, O., & Dillon, K. (2001/2002). A New Perspective on Teaching Russian: Focus on The Heritage Learner. Slavic and East European Journal 45(3), 507-18, rpt. in Heritage Language Journal, 1(1). Available at (www.heritagelanguages.org).
Bermel, N., & Kagan, O. (2000). The Maintenance of Written Russian in Heritage Speakers. In O. Kagan & B. Rifkin with S. Bauckus (eds), The Teaching and Learning of Slavic Languages and Cultures. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers.