The translation of my Teacher’s Book
has started. I will publish one chapter after another when they are ready, and
finally I will publish the whole Teacher’s Book in English.
I am doing that because I have a lot
of requests from English-speaking teachers.
The Teacher’s Book can be very
useful for you, because it gives you the complete instructions on how to use
the Soroka course. Please refer to the pages in the Student’s Book and Activity
Book that I mention in the instructions. They are available on my website.
Usually I recommend studying a unit
in three lessons.
Words don’t exist by themselves. They are a part of a
sentence. You will memorize it better when you try to remember it with other
words, in a sentence.
First, as I wrote before, make your own sentence with the new words you study — at least three. If the word has many different meanings, make sentences with all the different meanings. The word соль can be salt or the musical note G (sol). The word ручка can be a pen, a small hand (of a child) or a handle (of an armchair or a drawer).
The good thing here is that you have your spellcheck on. But it might be tricky with Russian. Which word is correct: поедим or поедем? There is only a one-letter difference in spelling. Both words are correct. The first one means “we will eat something” and the second word means “we will go somewhere by a vehicle.” So check your spellcheck! It is very useful, but don’t rely on it blindly.
You are very disappointed, right? How can you keep these
words in your mind for long time? The answer is easy — use the words.
How? For example, you can make three sentences with each
word. You can write a little message using these words.
If you don’t want to write, you can make a voice recording by
using a voice recorder in your phone or any other voice recorder.
You can listen to yourself, or send the file to your teacher
If you want to learn spelling, speaking and voice recording
will be useless.
When I want to learn how to spell a word, I usually take a
pen and a sheet of paper and write these words as many times as I need, till I
memorize the spelling. It helps the muscles of my hand to remember the
movements. When you type, a little bit different mechanism works.
If I want to memorize the word without writing it many, many
times but rather just by typing it, in this case I rely on my vision. I look at
the word carefully, then close my eyes and try to reproduce this word in my
mind with my eyes closed. Then I open my eyes and type the word several times.
OK, we have a list of words. Get some blank flashcards,
write them down, and put the translation on the other side.
Then read the word aloud. Make sure that you read it correctly.
Use talking dictionaries, like Google Translate: Type your word, press the
button with a speakerphone, and Google will read this word for you.
There are many other dictionaries that are similar to that.
Now that you know how to read the word correctly, go to the
next step: Memorize the meaning, the translation of the word.
Now it is time to flip the card and check your knowledge.
You will memorize a lot of words, but I want to tell you
something: Most of these words you will forget in a week or two.
There are a few tools that can help you to read the words
correctly. Most of the time the problem is not reading. It is actually much
easier to read Russian than English, for example, but what about the emphasis?
Where should it be in the word бабушка, for example? Is the first A stressed?
Or the letter У? Maybe the last A? The correct answer is that the first letter
A is stressed — бАбушка.
When you hear the word, it is easier to remember where to put the emphasis. You hear and you repeat.
Listening and repeating is an easier way to memorize the
words. It is very natural. We are born to be able to speak and to listen. To
tell the truth, reading and writing skills are less natural. A person must be
trained to read or write. One hundred years ago, most of the people were just
Because listening and repeating are more natural, if you
can, try to listen to the words first and then repeat them. You should only go
and read the word after that. I understand that most of time this method is not
possible. Most of the time we receive new words from the written sources: textbooks,
books, letters, articles, you name it.
Take a picture and start talking about things you can see in
For example, your topic is Одежда. Take a picture from a
fashion magazine, or a fashion show, or an advertisement of a clothes store and
start talking about what you see in the picture. Don’t forget about little
details. Or you can take a picture of a street crowd. Look at the picture and
tell what people wear: what colors they have, are their clothes long or short,
small or big, are the heels high?
If your topic is Еда,
take a recipe, menu, or food ads and try to say what colors or sizes you can
see, or the names of vegetables, fruits and grains.
And of course, you can make a recording of your voice and
listen to your speech later. I am sure you will notice something that you need
to improve. It might be grammar, accents or word choice.
If you are a speaker at a conference or in a classroom, your language level is good enough to give a presentation like that. But I assume that you are a beginner. If you are a beginner, before you go speaking make sure that you understand what you listen to — practice listening and understanding first, don’t jump into speaking.