Russian is a critical language as defined by NSEP (the US National Security Education Program), one of six official languages of the United Nations, and an official language of the Russia Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is widely spoken in other former Soviet republics and parts of Eastern Europe.

Russian is an East Slavic language, is written using the Cyrillic alphabet, and is spoken by 150 million native speakers and about 100 million more second language speakers worldwide. It is the seventh most spoken language in the world by number of total speakers. It is also the largest native language in Europe.

Contemporary Standard Russian is the official form of Russian used in official or professional documents, government and international business, television and radio broadcasts, and education. Dialects exist but are mutually intelligible. Contemporary Russian is also influenced by those who use it on a daily basis in all areas of life.

Here at CLIC we offer a two-year academic program of studies focused on the development of interactional competence and intercultural knowledge in Russian. In our courses you will learn the skills necessary for communication in Russian (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and develop the ability to analyze Russian in context and in interaction. The courses offered through CLIC guide students to understand Russian-speaking culture and society through our focus on language awareness and critical language analysis. We offer opportunities to learn about Russian language and culture both inside and outside of class.

Russian is one of the options that fulfills the language requirements for the Asian Studies major offered by the Chao Center for Asian Studies and for the Linguistics major offered by the Rice Linguistics Department.