Another letter from the mail: “You say that the Soroka course is designed for students who study Russian one hour a week. We can learn just a little over this time. During the week, students easily forget what has been learned. Is it worth spending time and efforts to learn Russian? Should we start at all?”
I both agree and disagree with the author of these lines. I agree that having one hour a week for learning Russian is very little, as language is a pretty complicated system.
Personally, I have no illusions in this respect and about the possibilities of one hour a week; I’ve written about it before. Then what is the use of learning Russian, if we know that we will learn only a little? Here is what I think about that.
Perhaps a student will enjoy learning Russian and will start seeking additional information on the internet, at the library or even from his own surroundings to learn it. In this case you will be the first step to it. The student can even convince his parents to find a course with more hours — for instance, 10 hours a week. There were such cases in my practice.
Or a student might be interested in becoming acquainted with another civilization, in order to expand her perceptual boundaries. Maybe she won’t master the language but still it will help her to go beyond and transform her life. This happened to me. Everyone knows that at the age of 10 my family and I ended up in Cuba, led by my father, an engineer. I saw a world I didn’t know existed. I discovered His Majesty, Language. Linguistics still fascinates me. I can read endlessly about its various aspects. Who could have thought about it 40 years ago? It’s the same with you. You do not know who is sitting in the next lesson, and what impact your words will make.
And finally, sometimes the process matters more than the result itself. For sure the results can be absolutely unexpected. Plunge into the process and enjoy it. Yes, you have just one hour a week for learning Russian and it is simply impossible to master a language in such a short time. Still, it is enough to enjoy life, communicate with students, and share with them your joy of learning and your love for the Russian language. Just try and you are sure to like it!
Turn on English subtitles.