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Kate

United States

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Learns: Italian , Russian , Spanish , Turkish

Speaks: English , Russian

Native language:

Member Since: February 12, 2018

Master's of Art - International Relations, Russian

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I have found so much satisfaction in teaching Russian. It completely amazes me to see others go from looking at the alphabet and only seeing some crazy lines and not understanding a word they hear to being able to read, write, and speak the language. Sometimes it amazes me that I've been able to do the same thing! Russian is my second language, and I didn't begin learning it until I was an adult so, I find that I am able to help many students overcome the obstacles that come with learning such a difficult language, since I already had to face the same issues. The looks that students get when something FINALLY clicks is fantastic, and when they realize that they can put together sentences that they had never tried before are some of my most fond memories of teaching.

I use PowerPoint presentations, in-class activities, online homework assignments, quizzes, tests, videos, and music to help students internalize the information they are receiving. The book I prefer to work from focuses on speaking very early, while instilling a strong base for further studies of the language. It is vital to be able to read and write cursive handwriting, as it is still used regularly throughout Russian speaking cultures, so I put a lot of emphasis on proper handwriting as we learn the alphabet (plus, cursive is much faster for writing in Russian). It is also of the utmost importance to have the basics internalized, not just memorized for the sake of a lesson or quiz. While vocabulary is essential, the roots of words, uses of the cases, along with conjugations and declensions are all important for excelling in the Russian speaking world. Correct pronunciation and intonation are also very important, so I strive to help students to minimize their accents, and place the stress in the proper place, so they can be easily understood when speaking to others. Language learning is about communication, so we will be speaking, and communicating very quickly, in addition to practicing reading, writing, and listening skills. I try help students remember things in the ways that work best for them, sometimes it's through drilling case endings over and over, but sometimes it's by being a bit goofy, making jokes, or cheesy gestures - whatever will remind them of what they need to know.

Lessons usually begin with a review of what we learned in the last lesson, before moving on to new material. There will be activities to cement the new material, and sometimes another review before the end of the lesson. As lessons will be tailored to individual learning styles, sometimes we'll speed through, and other times we'll slow down to try different ways of learning and understanding the material. Homework is also important to solidify what you've learned, as well as point out any spots that we should work on a little more. 

Congratulations Kate!

While others are only dreaming, You are already doing! Fall in love with language learning and make learning a part of your daily routine.

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About Me

I began learning languages, well... because I had to. It was a requirement for both High School, and University. But eventually, I realized how important it was to learn different languages, especially since I love to travel! It wasn't until I started to travel in the Slavic-speaking world that I realized how much more comfortable I felt, just because some words were similar to the Russian I knew. After getting to know so many people from different places and cultures, I began trying to learn a little bit of each language that I spent time around. I've learned a little Turkish, Czech, and even Georgian! Not only do I feel more comfortable traveling now, but the people I encounter appreciate that someone from such a different culture is trying to understand a bit more about theirs through language.