Participants of the American Councils administered NSLI-Y Academic Year 2014-15 program in Estonia completed a semester research paper and presented their work in Russian in May 2015. The research paper was part of a larger portfolio project completed by participants to showcase their experience in Estonia. The research paper component is designed to enhance students’ oral and written proficiency and allow them to choose a topic that will provide further insight into host country culture.Re
Participants chose a topic of interest and created a research plan in consultation with their Resident Director in February. Between March and May, participants conducted interviews with locals, pored over written materials in local libraries, and visited key sites in Estonia related to their topics. Using information gathered firsthand, students wrote research papers that were evaluated for content, grammar and style and conducted oral presentations as part of a NSLI-Y research conference at Narva College, which were evaluated by teaching staff.
Each student delivered a 15-minute oral presentation from memory as an expert in their chosen topic. Topics researched included: the Hanseatic League in Estonia (Lukas), Estonian Textiles and Traditional Dress (Anna), the History and Legacy of Alexander Nevsky (Kimberly), Ecological Problems in the Gulf of Finland (Matthew) and Castles and Fortresses as Chroniclers of Estonian History (Logan). Participants also had the opportunity to ask their peers questions, and all participants successfully defended their work during this exchange. View Lukas’ interactive presentation below: