What Language Do We Learn?

The immigrant’s language differs from the language they speak in their historic homeland. You might have noticed it before, or you might haven’t noticed it at all and have found out about it only now.

For us immigrants, the language hasn’t changed since we left. It remained the same as when we brought it from the motherland.

Some words transformed their meaning right before my eyes. For instance, at the time when I was leaving Russia, visitors were invited to sit by the word садиться. Now people are more likely to say присаживайтесь. The next example is about the word задний. For me, задний means someone standing at the back. Nowadays, in Russia, this word has acquired the meaning of последний. In my girlhood, the word касаемо apparently meant что касается. It sounds rough to me now as it referred to spoken language. I’m not criticizing; I’m just stating the fact that my language is becoming archaic. I simply can’t keep up with it.

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Intermediary Language and Translation in Lessons of Russian as a Foreign Language

Among teachers, there are two directly opposing viewpoints regarding the use of intermediary language and translation in the lessons of Russian as a foreign language: There are teachers who do not use intermediary language at all, and there are those who translate absolutely everything they say to students in the lesson.

How do I feel about it? How do I conduct my lessons?

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Verbs in the Soroka Course

We have already discussed adjectives and numerals; now let’s talk about verbs in the course. Starting to learn a language with verbs is always the right way, as they form the basis of our speech.

In the course, we encounter them immediately. Firstly, we come across them in Lesson 1 in the sentence “Как тебя зовут?”, then in Lesson 2 and the following lessons as new verbs are introduced.

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Soroka. Russian language for children

The Adjectives and the Prepositional Case in the Soroka Course

Let’s begin with the definition. The adjective – is a part of speech that denotes a feature of the subject and answers primarily the question of “Which?”

Firstly, I propose to talk a bit about adjectives and “play” with them. I would like you to understand the full significance of this part of speech. All examples are taken from Vyacheslav Leikin’s book “Always on Thursday” (original title: “Всегда по четвергам”).

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Answer to a Question Regarding Unit 10 of Soroka 1

“How can we learn all forms of verbs in this unit?” is a new question regarding Unit 10 of Soroka 1, which I received by mail and would like to reply to.

Before you start exploring the unit, set the goal to learn infinitives. Not infinitives in general, but of verbs that we have learned before in the third person singular (читает, ест, бежит, etc.). When you keep focused on it, the logic of the instructions becomes more apparent.

Follow the instructions in the Teacher’s Book. Stick to the Oral Approach (listening – speaking – reading – writing).

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Is One Hour Worth Spending on Learning Russian?

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.

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Myths vs Reality

How often do you come across myths? I’m not talking about ancient stories that explain unfamiliar natural phenomena or teach us something — for example, the ancient Greek myths of Prometheus, Heracles or Perseus. Rather, I’m talking about fancies that generate dubious notions of any activity without their confirmation in practice — for instance, myths concerning what helps children to learn Russian quicker.

In life, I often encounter different parents’ views that I’d like to comment on and dispel from the perspective of teaching experience. In the article, I consider the four most widespread myths.

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Soroka. Russian language for children