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.
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.
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.
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:
One of the ways in which my Soroka course helps you to teach Russian as a foreign language to children is through its use of the Oral Approach. The order of work that is followed is: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
In your letters you often write that it is very difficult for you students to repeat the same thing several times.
I understand them since I myself do not like doing it; therefore, we need to come up with something to make it exciting for them.
For example, I like to use toy people and animals as helpers and talk to them as if they are real and we’re having a conversation: