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

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

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

Grandmothers Can Get Involved

A modern grandmother is not a little old lady in a headscarf. A modern grandmother seeks recipes on the Internet, watches films on YouTube, drives a personal car to do the shopping, and sends messages to her grandsons while dying her hair at a hairdressers’ or getting a pedicure. A 21st-century grandmother can also wear a headscarf, anytime she wants — as a turban on her head, for instance.

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Teacher’s Book Helps

Last time, I talked about how the Teacher’s Books are an important component of my “Soroka: Russian for Kids” course. Today I will talk more about this topic.

In addition to helping students learn Russian not just by reading but also by listening, there are also three tests at each level of the course. If you don’t need these tests, you can use them as additional worksheets.

However, you need these tests. First of all, they are a good way to review everything. Secondly, the tests I offer are easy to grade, since these tests have the сlear criteria for grading. There are only 20 points.

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Soroka. Russian language for children

Get Help from Teacher’s Book

I once mused online about how the teacher’s books for my “Soroka” course could help us teach Russian to students. And I was impressed with a comment someone made to my musings.

One mom wrote: “I am a parent. I am not a teacher.”

In the Teacher’s Books, I write in detail about what and how to teach, and the order we follow.

If you go to my website and click on “Look Inside” of the “Teacher’s Book” for “Soroka 1” and start reading, everything is clear with warmups and endings of the lesson, but then you start having questions. For example, you read the following:

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Soroka. Russian language for children