Susan Kresin

Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures
322 Humanities Hall
Box 951502
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1502
Phone: (310) 825-4644
Fax: (310) 206-5263


Courses taught 2011-2012

  • Introductory Russian:  Russian 1-2-3
  • Advanced (Third-year) Russian: Russian 101A-B-C

Other courses frequently taught

Other courses include             Historical Commentary on Modern Russian, Structure of Russian, Old Church Slavonic, West Slavic Linguistics, and others


Research interests and selected publications

My primary research interests are language pedagogy and discourse studies (verbal aspect, definiteness), focusing on Czech and Russian.

Language pedagogy

Čeština hrou. Textbook, workbook and tapes. McGraw-Hill, first edition 1997, second edition 1999. Textbook co-authored with Ilona Kořáanová, Hope Subak-Kaspar and Filip Kašpar; workbook coauthored with Hope Subak-Kaspar and Filip Kašpar. For ordering information, please contact McGraw-Hill at 1-800-338-3987 (textbook ISBN 007-245547-0; workbook ISBN 007-035013-2).

“Maintaining Czech over academic breaks.” Czech Language News, Spring 2009.


Between Texts, Languages, and Cultures: A Festschrift for Michael Henry Heim. Co-edited with C. Cravens and M.U. Fidler. Bloomington: Slavica, 2008.


“Czech emigration and Czech heritage:  Implications for teaching” (with Olga Kagan). In Between Texts, Languages, and Cultures: A Festschrift for Michael Henry Heim. Co-edited with C. Cravens and M.U. Fidler. Bloomington: Slavica, 2008.


“The Challenges of Czech: From the Perspective of English-Speaking Students”.

Czech Language News, Spring 2007.


“Výuka češtiny pro anglicky mluvící studenty:  gramatické a pragmatické obtížnosti,”

in Sborník Asociace učitelů češtiny jako cízího jazyka (AUČCJ) 2005-2006.  Prague:

Akropolis 2006. 


“Teaching Neruda’s Malostranské povídky”. Czech Language News, Fall 2005.

“A Literary Walk Around Prague:  Second-year Czech with a focus on Prague.”

Czech Language News, Fall 2004.

"The Czech Internet: Resources and Applications for Language Teaching," coauthored with Lisa Wakamiya. Slavic and East European Journal 47.2 (Summer 2003).

“Využití internetu v kursech češtiny pro začátečníky” (“Using the Internet in Introductory Czech Language Courses”), in Setkani s cestinou (5-6 September, 2001), Ustav pro jazyk cesky (Institute for the Czech Language), Prague, 2002.

“Resources and References for the Teaching of Czech,” in The Learning and Teaching of Slavic Languages and Cultures, ed. by Olga Kagan and Benjamin Rifkin. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica Publishers, 2000.

Reviews in Czech Language News and SEEJ (Slavic and East European Journal).

Deixis and definiteness

“Demonstrative Modification of Proper nouns:  A Corpus Based Study,” in Grammar and Corpora, ed. František. Štícha. Prague, Academia (2009).

“Demonstratives, Definite Articles and Clines of Grammaticalization: Evidence from Russian and Spoken Czech,” in Where One's Tongue Rules Well, A Festschrift for Charles E. Townsend, ed. Laura A. Janda, Ronald Feldstein, Steven Franks, Indiana Slavic Studies, Vol. 13, 2002.

“A Definite Article in the Making? The Case of Czech ten,” in Pragmatics in 2000: Selected papers from the 7th International Pragmatics Conference, Vol. 2, ed. by Eniko Nemeth T. Antwerp: International Pragmatics Association 2001.

"Deixis and Thematic Hierarchies in Russian Narrative Discourse,” Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 30/4 (October 1998).

Verbal aspect

“Aspect and negation in Russian and Czech” (with Stephen M. Dickey). Russian Linguistics 33/2 (2009).


This article compares aspectual usage in contexts of negation in Russian and Czech narratives. It examines the four possible aspectual correspondences: Russian imperfective : Czech imperfective (common), Russian perfective : Czech perfective (common), Russian imperfective : Czech perfective (frequent), and Russian perfective : Czech imperfective (infrequent). The data is argued to support the hypothesis that aspect in Czech primarily expresses a distinction in totality, whereas aspect in Russian expresses a distinction in temporal definiteness. Aspectual usage in contexts of negated repetition is also examined. The question of grounding is considered in light of the comparative data, and it is found that previous views of grounding with regard to aspect and negation can be replaced by a more nuanced sense of grounding that accommodates variation across languages. Finally, data from other Slavic languages are adduced, which indicate that the differences discussed between Czech and Russian are symptomatic of the overall east-west division in Slavic aspect established by Dickey (2000).


“From Czech to English: Interrelations of Tense and Aspect,” in Kosmas 14.1 (2000).

“Singularization and Pluralization in Russian and Czech Aspect,” in Slavic and East European Journal (SEEJ), Fall 2000.


Professional affiliations and service

AATSEEL (American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages),

ACTR (American Council of Teachers of Russian)


IATC (International Association of Teachers of Czech)

Co-president, January 2007 - present

Vice-president, 1998 - 2006

Co-editor of Czech Language News (IATC newsletter), 1998 - present


Curricular development and testing, Russian language program, CSU San Bernadino (2008-)

Curricular development and testing, Czech language program, Directed Independent Language

Study (DILS), University of Miami (2009)

Consultant and Examiner, Critical Languages Program, Czech, University of Arizona, 1999 - 2008


Member of editorial board of Korpus-Gramatika-Axiologie (journal published by the Czech

            Academy of Sciences (Institute for the Czech Language)

Reviewer for Journal of Slavic Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Routledge Publishers

AATSEEL Publications Committee juror (Language pedagogy)

Czech proficiency tests for UCLA, UCSD, UCSB, Azusa Pacific University



Princeton University. B.A., 1986

Slavic Languages and Literatures
TESOL certification


University of California, Berkeley; M.A. 1988, Ph.D. 1994

Slavic Languages and Literatures (Slavic linguistics)


Charles University, Prague, 1992

Summer School of Slavonic Studies


Other employment

At UCLA since Fall 1996


University of Southern California, Summer and Fall 1996, Fall 1998

Introductory Czech (language and literature survey)
Structure of Modern Russian (graduate survey)


Pomona College, Fall 1995

Russian, Czech and Polish Perceptions of American Culture

Freshman Critical Inquiry Seminar


University of California, Berkeley, at various times from 1988-1996

Introductory Czech, Introductory Russian, Intensive Introductory Russian,

Descriptive Russian Grammar


Klementinum National Library, Prague, Summer 1991: Instructor of English


Masaryk Fellows Program, Summer 1990: Instructor of English

Červený Kostelec, Czech Republic