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.
Over the past few years of teaching Russian as a foreign language, there was a breakthrough that impacted both approach to teaching Russian and attitude toward the language in general.
Could it be considered a revolution? You will know the answer later. Meanwhile, I suggest you take it slowly and remember what has happened in the teaching of Russian as a foreign language over the last six years.
Why do I say over the last six years? That is how many years old my Soroka course turned in 2022. The first course appeared in February of 2016 and students are still loving it.
The exercises from these tests can be used as: tests, additional exercises, and an entry test. If you have doubts about which level to start with — Soroka 1 or Soroka 2 — please do all of these tests first, and this will help you to determine the level.
Exactly the same tests in their entirety are at the very end of the Soroka Teacher’s Book. So, if you already purchased the Teacher’s Book, you already have these tests. You don’t need to buy this file.
The question of what qualifications a teacher should have is not an idle question. I previously wrote about our teachers and people with different backgrounds who also teach Russian as a foreign language. There are both professors and people who know language more or less. How do I feel about that?
Let’s begin with a story that took place 100 years ago in Hungary. A young girl who was a graduate chemist couldn’t find a job. Quote:
I frequently give my students the opportunity to derive rules by themselves. I write about it in the Teacher’s Book, as well. Why am I doing it? How does it help us in studying Russian as a foreign language in the Soroka course? Let’s figure it out.
First, I would like for you to look in the Teacher’s Book and see what I am talking about.
In my teaching career, there were situations when students knew grammar well and did grammar exercises correctly, but still ignored all learned grammar rules in their speech. And it didn’t matter what language they had been learning – Russian or English. Teachers often encounter this problem, so let’s figure out what we can do to cope with it. I suggest taking three steps.
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.
Is taking one hour a week of Russian language enough or not?
To answer this question, I invite you to learn how our memory works. Let’s view the forgetting curve. It is the result of experiments conducted by the German scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885. Here we see the following: