Guzel Yakhina Chosen as Total Dictation - 2018 Author

On Wednesday, November 29, at a TASS press conference, the author of the text for «Total Dictation – 2018» international literacy campaign was announced. The Expert Council, led by philologists from the Novosibirsk State University, will prepare for the dictation and check the results.

Writer Guzel Yakhina was chosen to be the «Total Dictation» author for 2018. Born in Kazan, Yakhina wrote the novel «Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes» that won the «Big Book» and «Yasnaya Polyana» awards.

The writer explained that the three texts she prepared for the dictation are excerpts from her new novel «My Children». The book is about the fate of the Germans in the Volga Region and covers the period from 1916 to 1938. In three texts, the writer describes one day in the life of a German Literature teacher.

Natalia Koshkareva, the chairman of the «Total Dictation» Expert Council, Head of the Department of General and Russian Linguistics at the NSU Humanities Institute provided more detail:

- It will be a fragment of the new novel, but it has been adapted to suit the dictation genre. It is impossible to simply take an excerpt from a work of art and dictate it because these are different genres aimed at different purposes. This text is not equal in complexity to the usual school dictation, it retains all the author's intonations and stylistic features, which, maybe, are not always described in the rules. We tried to make the text balanced, of medium degree of difficulty, not overloaded with trivial situations, but also not cleaned up to be adapted to school format.

«Total Dictation – 2018» will be held on April 14. For the first time the primary location for the international event will not be Novosibirsk. The primary city for «Total Dictation – 2018» will be announced at the annual conference, which will take place at the project birthplace, NSU. The «Total Dictation» Expert Council is in Novosibirsk, the core of which is the Department of General and Russian Linguistics at the NSU Humanities Institute.

Koshkareva continued:

- Our philologists are engaged in developing criteria for verifying the total dictation based on the programs developed at NSU. Students are invited to preparatory courses "Russian on Fridays" that are held in dozens of cities. During the “Total Dictation” conference, which will be January 25-27 at NSU, we will conduct master classes to check the work and conduct classes "Russian on Fridays.

The experts and NSU Rector will also participate in the selection of the primary location for «Total Dictation – 2018».

During the dictation, the Expert Council will coordinate the work of the commissions at all venues. Novosibirsk experts also recheck the work from excellent students if there are controversial situations or local commissions cannot thoroughly check the work.

According to the organizers, 250,000 people will take part in «Total Dictation – 2018». 50,000 of these will participate online, 175,000 in Russia and 25,000 abroad.

«Total Dictation» is an annual educational event that conducts a Russian dictation for anyone interested. The purpose of the event is to allow everyone to test their knowledge of the Russian language and to revive an interest in increasing literacy. NSU is an expert center and the birthplace of the «Total Dictation». The organizer is the Fund for the Support of Citizens Language Culture «Total Dictation». In 2017, the action was held in 866 cities, in 71 countries, with more than

200, 000 participants.

Photo from the TASS website