I’m often asked which cartoon I can recommend to kids that learn Russian.
The answer is: The one that corresponds to their language level. It means that if your students follow the curriculum of the Soroka course, which is for beginners, then the cartoon should be of the same level. That way, it will make sense!
To give you a better understanding of why level-matching is important, I suggest that you conduct an experiment.
Let’s take a cartoon in a language that you don’t know – for instance, in a language of any African country – and start watching it. In three minutes, or perhaps in five minutes, you will have a feeling that something goes wrong. You don’t understand anything. And it’s as natural as the language is new.
As a result, you haven’t learned new words and have memorized nothing. Then tell me, what is the use of watching this cartoon? And what is the difference between watching cartoons in Russian and watching cartoons in the language of the African country for kids who have just started learning a new language? Hopefully, now you will understand. There is no difference for them.
Please don’t forget that we use cartoons only as an additional assignment – so that our students can hear different voices, or situations in which the word is applied, or to reinforce what has been learned.
I also want to reveal a great secret: There is no such thing as a magic cartoon that will help your students speak Russian immediately. Learning a new language is complicated and hard work, the result of which barely can be predicted. The result often depends on a host of factors, and always is personal.
So, if you are looking for a magic cartoon that will bring you a guaranteed result, I can’t help you. I don’t have such cartoons.
To sum up: The students can and must watch the cartoons. Choose a cartoon according to the language level of your students. Utilize cartoons as additional material only.
All the best! And have good cartoons!