Valeriya Chekalina

Lecturer of Russian

Member Of:
  • School of Modern Languages
Office Location: Swann 332
Office Hours: M 3:30 - 4:30, W 11:00 - 12:00, or by appointment
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Email Address:


Personal Pronouns:
she, her, hers

Dr. Valeriya Chekalina received her PhD degree in Philology at the Moscow State University (2003), where she conducted research in the field of functional grammar under Dr. Maya Vsevolodova (1928–2020).

She then worked as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer of Russian as a Foreign Language at Moscow State University, teaching a range of courses in Russian to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate foreign students, as well as delivering lectures to Russian students on the functional approach to grammar.

Her research interests lie in functional theories of grammar and methodology of teaching Russian as a foreign language. She is an author and a co-author of more than 40 works, including a number of specialized textbooks, such as “Russian for lawyers”, a blended course for heritage speakers at Bohum University (Germany) and a book on Ukrainian prepositions.

Dr. Chekalina is a certified Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) examiner. She was author of tests and Deputy Director of the TORFL Testing Centre of the Faculty of Philology at Moscow State University.

Dr. Chekalina’s work experience also included teaching of Russian as a foreign language to employees of the embassies of foreign states in Russia and to the European Union mission in Moscow. After relocating with her family to Riga, Latvia, she worked as an instructor of Russian at a number of study centers, as the Director of Russian language department of the Baltic Center for Educational and Academic Development, and as a teacher of Russian language and literature at Exupery International School, where she worked on developing and delivering a Russian language curriculum for K-12 learners in accordance with the International Baccalaureate guidelines.

In addition to Russian (native) and English, Dr. Chekalina speaks fluent Latvian and delivered a presentation on comparison of the expression of spatial cognition in Russian and Latvian for the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) conference in 2020 (New Orleans, US). She has been an invited speaker at international conferences in Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, China, including the X and XI International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL) Congresses and the I, II, III, IV Congresses of Russian Language Researchers.

In her free time, Dr. Chekalina enjoys gardening and owns a vast collection of roses.

  • PhD from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Philology


Research Fields:
  • Applied, Cognitive and Socio-Cultural Linguistics
  • Instructional Technologies for Foreign Language Acquisition
  • Linguistics
  • Pedagogy and Curriculum Development
  • Russian
  • Europe
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Grammar
  • Language Acquisition
  • Languages in Contact
  • Syntax


  • RUSS-1001: Elementary Russian I
  • RUSS-1002: Elementary Russian II
  • RUSS-1821: Special Topics
  • RUSS-2001: Intermediate Russian I
  • RUSS-2002: Intermediate Russian II
  • RUSS-2691: Intensive Intermediate Russian I
  • RUSS-2692: Intensive Intermediate Russian II
  • RUSS-3001: Advanced Russian I
  • RUSS-3002: Advanced Russian II
  • RUSS-3692: Advanced Reading and Composition for Business, Science and Technology
  • RUSS-3695: Contemporary Russia