Ari Stern-Gottschalk

Ariann Stern-Gottschalk

Director of Summer Language Workshop, Indiana University

When did you first develop an interest in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies? 

My first year of college, I fell into a deep and abiding love/hate relationship with the Russian language. The summer before I started Mt. Holyoke, I spent hours poring over the course catalog and kept coming back to the Russian language courses. At our first course fair I learned the word “кошмар” and was hooked. In college, I studied Russian language and literature and Soviet politics. In graduate school, I concentrated on Slavic linguistics, especially the history and development of Russian. While in graduate school, I also began teaching Russian and, of course, learning about language pedagogy.

How have your interests changed since then?

My career is still about language learning, though I now approach it as a teacher and language program administrator. My administrative work has been centered on the teaching and learning of many less commonly taught languages. Though I no longer focus solely on Russian in that aspect of my work, my own teaching is firmly grounded in modern Russian, medieval Rus’, and Old Church Slavic.

What is your current research/work project?

SternI am revising a textbook for Russian for reading knowledge. Right now, I am also researching and attending workshops and meetings about language program and language course assessment, including different approaches to evaluating and improving teaching. This year we’re celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL). The staff and I are working on outreach around this important milestone to assist us in identifying more of the many, many, alumni of the program in an ongoing effort to build a strong alumni association. Any alumni reading this shouldn’t hesitate to contact me about joining!

What do you value about your ASEEES membership?

In the past year I’ve been especially grateful to my colleagues in ASEEES for their strong advocacy for the Title VIII program. I also appreciate the breadth of interests, fields and perspectives represented at the conference. Plus, I love connecting with friends and colleagues.

Besides your professional work, what other interests and/or hobbies do you enjoy? 

Spending time and playing games and sports with my family, cooking and baking with my children, reading fiction, knitting, riding my bike. My daughter, who is looking over my shoulder, says, “doing really annoying Russian things.”