Frequently Asked Questions

 

A teacher of Russian as a foreign language possesses methods that allow him to teach students, even if the teacher does not know the students’ native language or neither student nor teacher know English. Most textbooks on Russian as a foreign language are based on those methods.
Many experts say that when a teacher speaks a student’s native language or English a lot in a lesson, this makes his student «relaxed» in learning language and reduces motivation to study. As a result, speech skills that are important for communication in a foreign language develop more slowly. What’s the point of thinking over how to express your ideas in Russian if you can do it in English and your teacher understands you? Why do you need to recall an appropriate word for your phrase in Russian if you can say it in English and then repeat it in Russian after your teacher, and then … successfully forget this word. Your teacher translated a Russian phrase into your native language or English, you understood what that meant, but ... you can hardly repeat or build a similar one.
I speak English and use it in our lessons if necessary. I can translate some words and phrases into English or suggest a student to look a word up in a dictionary. My students know my motto: "The more they learn Russian, the worse I «know» English.” A professional teacher of Russian as a foreign language has a specific skill. He can talk in Russian with every student in a different way depending on his student’s Russian language proficiency.
If you attend my classes, you will notice that communication in both elementary and advanced levels can be interesting and informative.
Our first meeting lasts 20−30 minutes, and it can be on Skype. Our first meeting is free. We will get to know each other. I'm interested in why you want to learn Russian, how you plan on using it in your life, and what you would you like to do in our classes. If you studied Russian before, I can offer you some tests that you can do for our next lesson.
We will also discuss the details of our classes. How many times a week would you like to have classes? What time are you available? How long of a lesson do you prefer?
Our first meeting will help me plan our next lessons better and allow me to pick up training materials especially for your needs and interests. If we make an agreement regarding your Russian classes, we will schedule our first lesson. For our first meeting you can invite an interpreter who speaks Russian, English, or your native language.
Yes, you can schedule a free trial lesson (20−30 minutes). We can hold it after our first meeting.
In teaching Russian as a foreign language, I use a communicative approach. In our classes we communicate (speak, listen to training and authentic audio, watch videos, read texts that are interesting to you, write about what you want to express on paper).
Of course, you will need knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, especially if you have just started to learn Russian. We will do grammar exercises and revise words in different contexts, but only to the extent that this knowledge is important to you at your language proficiency level. These lexical and grammatical tools will help you express your ideas in Russian. There will be entertaining and interesting exercises and game tasks. You will be able to talk about yourself and your life and interests, and you’ll also be able to master grammar patterns and words at the same time.
Any teacher will tell you that there is no ideal textbook on Russian as a foreign language. Each textbook has its pros and cons, and some will meet one student’s needs and interests and not meet another student’s requirements.
For each of my students, I select a primary textbook. You will be able to learn its material at home, review topics that have already been studied, and go back to them and revise material if necessary. In addition to the main textbook, I will offer you training materials that I designed for my students in addition to excerpts from other textbooks on Russian as a foreign language. These materials will allow you to master your language skills better and to make the learning process more effective for you.
Throughout our classes you will be picking up and systematizing training materials, and as a result you will have an individual training packet that will contain all the topics you have studied. My experience shows that my students consider this packet a «piggy bank» of their language learning achievements, and they use it to review what they have learned in our classes.
The duration of a lesson depends on what type of Russian language classes you prefer: classical regular classes, intensive courses, or consultations. My teaching experience shows that 60 minutes is an optimum duration for a language lesson.
If you prefer an intensive Russian course and want to use the lesson time for maximum immersion in language learning, your lesson can be 90 minutes.
If you plan to have classes over Skype, I recommend you choose 60 minute lessons. My face-to-face and online classes with different students have shown that the same person begins to feel fatigue and a reduction of concentration and efficiency more quickly when lessons are on Skype.
If you are 14−18 years old, I recommend 45 minute Russian classes.
You improve your speaking and writing skills every lesson. Communication assumes that we are discussing something with conversational partners, talking to ourselves, asking people questions and listening to them, and trying to understand someone else's position. We learn something through reading, and we express our ideas in writing. It would be difficult for us to communicate if we did not have communication tools such as grammar patterns, vocabulary, and pronunciation rules. This idea determines the structure of a lesson. Generally, Russian as a foreign language lessons include:
  • Greeting, small talk, and our news exchange. From the beginning of our first lesson we will have been doing it in RUSSIAN, regardless of the level of your Russian language proficiency.
  • Speech etiquette (You can learn and practice how to greet, apologize, express gratitude, request, etc.).
  • Conversation practice (dialogues with a teacher, student’s monologues, listening to texts and discussing their ideas).
  • Reading (reading texts and answering questions about their topics, discussing their characters and ideas).
  • Composition (writing essays according to your level of Russian language proficiency).
  • Learning Russian culture (from the etymology of the words «Здравствуйте» and «Спасибо» to the discussion of Russian works of literature).
  • Practice using grammar patterns and new words (work with visual grammar materials and grammar tables, exercises and games with new words, etc.).
  • Pronunciation practice.
When I am preparing for your lesson, I plan homework for you. It might be some texts, audio, video, or language exercises that allow you to strengthen acquired knowledge and skills, to prepare you for learning new grammar material, and to practice conversational skills for the next classes.
My experience in teaching Russian as a foreign language shows that doing homework regularly is very important for the successful speech practice of my students. I support doing homework, but I offer it if my student wishes. Obviously, our communication and learning processes during lessons will be more effective, creative and, as a result, more interesting and authentic if you are prepared in advance. I consider doing homework a student's responsibility. If he does not want or cannot do it or did not have time before our lesson... no problem, as this is his choice. We will just need some extra time during the lesson for reviewing exercises that he could have done at home.
If you are just starting to learn Russian, I recommend you have 2−3 classes a week. If you have an advanced Russian language proficiency and plan to work on your language yourself, you can have one lesson a week. In this lesson we can discuss your homework and your difficulties, and you can get my feedback on your language learning process and receive homework for the next class.
You make a decision for yourself how many times a week you would like to have Russian classes. I can advise a schedule for you, but the choice is yours. I recommend my students hold the following schedule.
  • А1. Elementary
  • А2. Pre-intermediate 
  • 2−3 lessons a week. Duration of a lesson is 60−90 minutes
  • А2. Pre-intermediate
  • В1. Intermediate
 
  • 2−3 lessons a week. Duration of a lesson is 60 minutes
  • В2. Advanced; Upper-intermediate
  • С1. Proficiency
  • 1−2 lessons a week. Duration of a lesson is 60 minutes
  • 1 lesson a week. Duration of a lesson is 90 minutes

This is the necessary amount of lessons that allows you to feel successful in mastering you Russian. Sure, you can have classes more or less often. I leave the choice to my student, but you should understand that your achievements in language acquisition depend on the correct scheduling of you language activities.
Currently I am teaching Russian as a foreign language to my students and studying English myself over Skype. My experience as a teacher and a student as well helps me make my lessons the most effective for you. During your Russian lesson on Skype you will feel comfortable and you may experience the same limitations that you feel when communicating with friends, relatives and colleagues on Skype. In the era of online education, people have already appreciated how convenient it is to learn foreign languages on Skype in a comfortable home atmosphere.
They feel confident and relaxed in front of a monitor, on the other side of which they can see their tutor. No doubt, teaching foreign languages online requires a teacher to have special online tutoring experience, an ability to maintain contact with a student, and an ability to monitor students’ physical and emotional conditions. The teacher should have training materials that can be presented online and provide student access to them. It is important for a teacher to know electronic resources and websites on the Internet that can be recommended to students for their homework and for practicing Russian.
We schedule our lesson in advance, and 2−3 minutes before I «invite» you to our online meeting with a short message on Skype. Our lesson begins with small talk and our news exchange in Russian. Then we review training material that you need this lesson and discuss the difficulties that you had doing your homework. The main part of a lesson usually includes a demonstration of new training material (grammar rule, texts, audio, video, etc.) and its discussion. You practice using grammar patterns and new words in our conversation in Russian. Messaging exchange and screen sharing mode on Skype help me to show you necessary texts, pictures, video, etc. You can also show me your monitor’s screen when we are reviewing your homework or you are telling me about yourself and your news.
Over the years of my work with students on Skype, I have created a lot of tables, diagrams, picture dictionaries, training materials with authentic texts and videos in Russian, all designed for teaching online. I have a large library of electronic books for Russian as foreign language learners. Depending on your needs and interests, we will use these materials or fragments of them.
During our classes you will be picking up and systematizing training materials that help you review what you have learned in our classes.
Based on the results of your work during a lesson, I prepare homework tasks for you and send it to your e-mail within 2−10 hours after our lesson. Homework can contain exercises from various textbooks on Russian as a foreign language and individual training materials that I will design specifically for you. Also, for your practicing Russian I provide you with links to audio and video on the Internet and my own prepared materials along with them.
I offer consultations on the Methodology of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language on Skype.
During our first meeting (35−45 minutes) we get to know each other. We will talk about your professional interests and plans, your wishes and expectations about this course, and about the approximate number of classes. I answer all your questions. Based on our conversation, I prepare an individual program for you and send it to you before our classes start. (You can see the approximate program on my website page. «Methodology of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language».) Our first meeting is free.
The number of our consultations depends on your wishes and what type of classes you choose. My teaching methods and related materials are flexible to your learning preferences. Topics that I offer to you in this course can be studied on your own (in that case we can discuss their key points in our meetings on Skype) or can be set out by me during our consultation.
I offer many practical, professional tasks related to analysis of the exercises from different textbooks. This work allows you to watch your theoretical moments of teaching Russian as a foreign language in an applied aspect. After each class I recommend materials to study on your own. These are fragments of textbooks on the methodology of teaching foreign language and exercises for methodological analysis (from textbooks on Russian as a foreign language, audio and video, and lectures on the Internet made by specialists for Russian as a foreign language). The more you are ready to study on your own, the more training and practical materials I am ready to offer you, so, accordingly, you will need fewer consultations on Skype for this course.
In the process of studying methodological topics, I will be sending you electronic books on Russian as a foreign language, where, in my opinion, these topics are presented in the most fully and methodically correct way. Thus, by the end of our course you will have your own e-library of books associated with the learned topics. After finishing the program, I will send you an extra library of electronic books, the most popular in teaching Russian as a foreign language at the present time.
Sure, classes can be rescheduled or canceled by both the teacher and the student. I ask my students to appreciate my time and to do this no later than 4 hours before the beginning of the lesson so that I can change my teaching plans or schedule another student’s lesson for your time. I promise to do the same on my side.
Russian as a foreign language. Lessons price:
  • 60 minutes − $25.00 USD;
  • 45 minutes − $18.00 USD;
  • 90 minutes − $35.00 USD.

Methodology of Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language. Consultation Price:
  • 60 minutes − $30.00 USD.
You can make payment online using PayPal.

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