Italki Language Challenge – Russian (Part 2)

St. Basil Cathedral, Moscow

Finally, my Russian course is coming to an end. I know the time is too short for anyone to reach fluency, means to understand news article or to converse without switching to other language. However, with the right learning technique and focus on only certain topics, you can learn the most within the least time.

My tutor didn't speak much English, so that is an advantage to immerse myself into the language, just like when you live in the country or the society of your target language. Besides, I also familiarize myself with Russian through frequent listening to language audio or songs.

Repetition is important

Every time we had the lesson, my tutor always repeated the previous lessons briefly. The purpose is absolutely to refresh my mind so that I won’t forget what I have learnt. She sometimes repeated it at the beginning of the lesson, and sometimes at the end of the lesson.

One of many important methods is to repeat. The more you see the words, the more you become familiar with it. In fact, our daily conversation actually comprises of many repeated topics, such as asking time or shopping.

Therefore, if you want to impress anyone with your language skill, the easiest way to do is to learn daily conversation phrases over and over again. You can find these phrases easily in any travel phrasebooks, or you can even make your own. Pick only phrases that you use frequently from the book, or ask someone who know your target language to translate.

Express yourself

Expressing how you feel in your target language might be easier than asking the question to someone else. That's because first person and second person pronouns are used much more frequently than third person pronouns in many phrasebooks.

First person pronoun is "I" for singular, for example, I want, I can, I shall, etc., and "we" for the plural. Second person pronoun is "you" for both formal and informal. Third person pronouns are "he/she/it" and "they". These pronouns differ among languages

In order to be able to express myself and ask the questions, my tutor gave me lots of verbs conjugation practices, such as past, present, future tenses for all of the subject pronouns followed by commonly-used verbs, such as to speak, to know, to write, etc.

Besides, I also learnt about sentence making by using 5W1H, or what, when, who, where, which, why, and how; numbers, names of days and months, family members, and many more phrases.

Appreciate even the smallest effort

My tutor often praised me, and I got motivated more every time she did that. Everyone made mistakes during the learning process, and it is normal. I believe a student improves because of reward, not punishment for every mistake made.

Because my tutor always praised me, I also got the chance to learn several ways to praise someone, like what we have in English "great", "wonderful", or "good job". I always mention that motivation is very important. It is useless to learn although you have a book written by the greatest author, but you don’t have the motivation.

Did you learn Russian or are you learning it now? Share your experience with us.


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