4. They often talk with each other during presentations.
5. Often interrupt. Again — a difference in communicative style. Some seem to ENJOY debate and argument.
6. Several students might answered or comment at once, or interrupt another speaker, even the teacher.
7. interrupting the most common example.
8. "they interrupt". This is a misinterpretation. Like many Eastern Americans (Jews, Italians), conversation is active, not passive. One "interrupts" as an act of being engaged.
9. They interrupt other speakers.
10.I have noticed that they interrupt other Russian more readily, but I have not noticed that they interrupt me, for instance.
11. People very spontaneous, esp. men and older women, young women much more passive listeners.
12. Their "wait time" for another speaker to speak seems shorter than the U.S. speakers, so they seem to sometimes talk on top of someone else.
13. They don't maintain proper eye contact (they appear to be "shifty-
14. One continually interrupts in conferences with me. I have to tell her: "Wait, listen to me."
15. (they interrupt listeners) Yes, they do.
16. interruptedly with longer thoughts.
17. do talk to each other during lectures, for example.
18. They interrupt. They tell you how things are(vs. Americans, who have opinions. Russians know the truth)
E. in how they understand and interpret words and messages?
(e.g. When offered help they ask for assistance instead of asking for instructions about how to do something.)
1. I found a reluctance to ask for help from those who were struggling.
2. My biggest observation here is that the students will appear frustrated if they are not understanding something.
3. sometimes mis or overstandings because of language
4. True, they underestimate what they can accomplish with their own effort.
5. They often did not seek assistance or ask questions and it was apparent they did not really understand.
6. Sometimes misconstrue what is being said.
7. A common problem I've had in this area is that they say they understand me, but they don't.
8. Sometimes respond "yes" to instructors but do not act, so instructors need to be repeated, perhaps in different words or with actual modeling of action desired.
9. I have been surprised when Russians take offense at an inoffensive remark. For example, once when I commented on how friendly + intelligent an older neighbor was, my elderly hostess scolded me. She was offended because she is intelligent too. Once in an elevator I pushed a button for floor 6, but the other man in the elevator was going to floor 4. He scolded me because the button for floor 4, I guess, needed to be pushed after we had already stopped at floor 4. Of course, he didn't tell me he was going to floor 4 before I pushed the button.
10. They don't ask for enough help.
11. Very often they say they understand but in actuality they do not.
12. Russians do not always ask for further explanation, when they don't understand a verbal and/or written instruction. They give the impression of understanding, but then show otherwise in their work.
13.I have found that it is good to be very direct about what you want or expect when you talk with Russians. They do not "take a hint" well and I have found they do not hint at what they want themselves. If
they want something from you, they ask for it with no problem, such as "Will you do me a favor?" (It's a silly thing to ask, of course, because no one wants to agree until they know what you're asking, but it's a way of easing into the question.)
14. Particularly among our Russian students, there is a strong tendency for expecting me to follow through on tasks like registering for courses, getting information from the University Registrar that they could do easily themselves.
15. They expect others to do things for them. They seem to lack our concept of personal responsibility.
II. Academic performance of Russian students
1. They copy verbatim material from sources into their work.
2. They use materials and ideas from sources without acknowledging the source.
3. Their written work is mostly descriptive, and not explanatory.
4. They prefer to gather information, and do not try to apply or use it.
5. Their written work does not attempt to build an argument and to persuade the reader.
6. They cheat on an exam or other class work.
7. I have noticed that their answers tend to be very factual and numerous verbatim sentences from textbooks or notes. It is difficult to separate possible cultural factors from language problems.
8. One of the Russian graduate students who have taken classes from me quoted sources without proper quotation marks and citations.
9. Difficult to elicit personal reactions - students tend to respond by quoting others.
10. In working with the recent paper the use of words and sentence structure.
11. Cheated—talked to each other until I explained not to. I regarded that as a cultural difference, not as cheating.
12. collaborative production of written papers appear to be very popular
13. "Cheating" is an interesting issue. They identify with their peers and approach tests as a group rather than as competing individuals. This need not be a problem but must be recognized.
14.1. Literally had to separate two Russian students (in Russia) who were writing in each other's tests. 2. At UNI, a grad. student turned in a paper which was 90% the same as a paper turned in the year before by another Russian.
15. Russian are very much into theory; They use a lot historical and philosophical digressions while talking, never coming straight to the point.
16. A few of the Russian students believe that turning in another
person's work is OK. I have observed attempts at cheating and have heard from an American student that when the proctor left the room the Russians took the opportunity to speak among themselves (in Russian) apparently about the material on the test. When the proctor returned, the Russians were silent.
17. They tend to avoid analysis.
18. Russian students must be aware of the danger of plagiarism and learn how to properly give credit for borrowed and quoted sources.
19.1 really use commands, or absolute statements and frequently Russian students misunderstand this. They often take it to mean that the paper, or exam or other assignment is not important, or that they do not have to take a course, when I mean the opposite.
20. I've assisted a Russian student with papers, and was appalled that she copied text directly from a web page without attribution.
21. Students are not familiar with standards of academic writing and types of assays (persuasive, compare/contrast, informative, etc.) when they come here and this may be the reason why their writing is often off the point at the beginning.
22. The Russian students work hard, do well in class, but need to learn to think more critically and creatively.
23. Had to explain to my Russian students in Russia that tests in the US are notconsidered communal activities, that they are not allowed to share answers.
24. Their reference is often to their peer group. They seem to truly care about the performance of others.
25. They tend to overvalue historical research at the expense of analysis.
26. In taking quizzes or essay tests, responses tend to be inordinately lengthy, at times being incorrect because the answer did not include what was respected (High context culture). I had to keep "coaching" the students to answer what was asked without embellishment. In fact, with one student, I frequently would say "You can't believe that I only wanted a brief answer. Did you think that surely I would not ask so easy a question?"
27. Particularly in Russia, the authoritative way colleagues seemed to direct each other, and occasionally me. The intellectual and emotional distance of students and some colleagues.
28. We had one incident of cheating in the Dept and it was very ugly. And especially because the complaint was brought by other students, who were appalled.
29.I am still getting used to the directness of Russians. They are very understanding of changes in plans or misunderstandings about meetings/plans. This goes back to the more relaxed attitude about time, and from what I observed, to the more changeable conditions in Russia than in the U.S.
III. What should be done in Russia to prepare Russian students and faculty to deal with cultural norms and values in the U.S.?
1. Note that we are a law + rule-based society. Rules apply to everyone + there is great resentment of those who do not follow these. On the Mid West students are respectful, on-time, hard-working, and responsible. While Russians may be, they often appear to be cheaters, "wheelers-and-dealers", + not respectful of others. And appearance is very important here.
2. more focus on being an individual, not conforming to the group mentally. Need to stand out.
3. Some need to have a better understanding of what Plagiarism is and that it is not permitted. Russian faculty, (and other professionals, I am sure) tend to treat students as underlings who must wait if scheduled for meetings or for information. There appears to be a "class" system whereby students are not respected and must suffer ill treatment by their "betters" (i.e. the Russian professors)
4. to fulfill promises made. E.g.l) I allowed students to enroll after the second week of the semester had passed; they promised not to miss any more classes but they did and were surprised that their grade would reflect their attendance; 2) promising to make up absences but failed to; 3) promising to turn in assignment after the extension was granted; 4) not being honest after asking them to be honest.
5. Have them meet with some competent interpreters of our culture (pref. American anthropologist or sociologist).
6. Make them aware of the importance of personal initiative and responsibility. 1 have found Russian students to be capable and hard-working.
7. Educate them in intercultural communication.
8. I believe they just have to come here and experience the culture. They are, however, reluctant to mix into other populations here. Perhaps they could become more assertive.
9. More practice with team projects. More practice with interpersonal protocols. More study of popular American culture.
10. Greater awareness of cultural differences can also be added to the curriculum.
11. They should be prepared for American students to be "superficially" friendly but not necessarily more deeply caring.
12. The literal meaning of deadlines, class times, etc.
13. Develop tolerance for other culture and ways of doing things through workshops, discussions of stereotypes, etc. — Ninety percent of the students I came in contact with seemed uninterested
in students from other countries or different cultures within the U.S.
14. Directness. In professional interactions, in science at least, the direct way that Russians communicate is common and in no way unusual. The "scientific culture" is much the same the world over. However, in social interactions, their directness can take you by surprise and the situation can seem awkward by American standards. There is a large emphasis on impartiality + confidentiality in school work. Exams are written (rather than oral), carefully proctored, and graded as consistently as possible. Scores are posted by student number, rather then by name, to preserve confidentiality. There is the sense that a professor or teacher should be able to justify the grade given astudent.Interactionbetweenapresenter/performer/lecturerandthe audience/class is appreciated + expected in America. From talking with Russian students, I have discovered that this is not so much the case in Russia.