Independent Language “R” Tutorials
Students who are interested in studying a language not normally offered by the department (e.g., less commonly taught Slavic languages such as Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, etc. may propose a plan of study according to the tutorial model (“R” courses). It is primarily the student’s responsibility to identify an instructor or tutor and to create a plan of study for the semester. To propose an “R” course, first download and read the document "Independent Language Tutorial Proposals" linked at the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures website (http://slavic.fas.harvard.edu/pages/language-study) and follow the instructions on how to fill out and submit this proposal form.
For students with the requisite placement or background, courses in advanced Czech and Polish and both intermediate and advanced Ukrainian are regularly approved in the Department. Students with a demonstrated academic need for Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian also regularly receive approval and we have available instructors on hand to conduct these tutorials.
Some additional non-Slavic languages of Central and Eastern Europe (e.g., Estonian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, etc.) as well as languages of the Caucasus and Central Asia (e.g., Georgian, Kazakh, etc.) may be appropriate for sponsorship by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. If you are interested in studying a non-Slavic language from these areas of the world, please contact the Director of the Language Program, Dr. Steven Clancy.
There is no guarantee that tutorials can actually be set up or approved, so students should not rely on them until approval is received. These tutorials take time to set up and sometimes considerable effort on the part of students. If you are looking for a traditional language course experience you should not apply.
We must receive all proposals no later than Wednesday of the second week of classes and preferably by Friday of the first week of the semester as timing is critical for gaining approval and successfully launching these tutorials, which must be approved by both the Department and the Dean’s office. If you are uncertain, it is better to submit a proposal on time and later withdraw it than to submit your proposal late. You should assume that late proposals will not be accepted.
Your proposal should include a summary statement at the end of the form based on the models presented below regarding why you wish to study this language, including the academic purposes for studying this language (e.g., in-country research projects, internships, thesis reading in the original language, relation to degree or professional goals, extension of knowledge already gained in other languages, etc.). Family heritage, intellectual curiosity, or other personal reasons may be supplemental to your justification, but are usually not sufficient for us to gain approval for your proposal.