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I am looking for a online group course to study Russian, not individual. My daughter is studying Russian, seriously, every day, and I would like to see her interact with other students studying Russian, at least to hear it in a group setting. We don't have in the area any Russian people or churches, or groups, or schools, so this kind of interaction is not possible to happen. But may be somebody knows or takes a good online course with a few students participation. Appreciate any suggestions. Beside Landry academy, I won't be able to afford it. Lena

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There are websites that help you connect with skype tutors, so that might be a possibility.  Usually you do a session for free with the tutor to see if you click, then you do it on whatever schedule you can afford.

 

I sorta flunked my way through russian 1 in high school (junior year, heavy load, wham experience), stole the textbook and went home over the summer to study it diligently every night.  Ok, I say I stole the textbook, but I did pay for it, haha.  I just refused to return it and wrote them a check to pay for it.  Anyways!  I self-studied like that, reading aloud every single exercise, including the instructions, every night, memorizing the dialogues, reading everything aloud (did I mention reading everything aloud?) and then making charts for all the grammar, just like what you're used to seeing if you studied latin.  I also made very detailed glossaries with all the vocab divied by part of speech, etc., so I could practice conjugating verbs, inflecting, etc. and know I had gone through all the words, everything, nothing lost.

 

Anyways, after two years of that I tested into 3rd year russian at the Indiana University summer institute in slavic languages.  I attended there directly upon graduating from high school and returned the following year for another 8 weeks of study.  The program is AMAZING.  In a good program like that you have linguistics and conversation classes as well as, of course, more grammar.  Because russian has SO much grammar, I strongly encourage your student to focus on nailing the grammar, nailing the vocab, and let the chips fall on the conversation.  So her pronunciation sucks.  They can fix that easily in a linguistics class in a summer.  It takes a lot longer to learn the grammar.  So read aloud, do the best you can, and move on.  Or do say once a month of skyping conversation with a tutor.  Or wait and get through a year of the textbook (half a college text) before you start with the tutor.  That way she's in a position to take advantage of the conversation, kwim?

 

One EXCEPTIONAL exercise for her is to read short blurbs (text, a russian bible daily devotional calendar, whatever) and write a 1-3 sentence summary.  They used this technique extensively in one of the programs I did, and it's just a solid approach to building your conversational skills when it's just you.  Challenge the student to make more sophisticated sentences that stretch her grammatical complexity.  Don't just say "today it is raining"...  Shoot for "When I was 8, I met the president!"  They won't be perfect, but she'll be stretching herself saying things she really wants to say.  If she's summarizing, then she has the vocab and constructions in front of her.  Also in the 1st and 2nd year classes I took, the teacher would do the rounds every day asking for a short answer to how are you doing...  Seriously, that was about the ENTIRE EXTENT of conversation in the high school russian classes, haha.  And with that and I think a poem memorized and that serious, diligent study of the text, I placed quite well on the placement test.  I don't even recall if they had an oral component.  I think it may have been all on paper.

 

Nowadays you can use youtube to find readings of poetry if you want to memorize something.  I was keen on Akhmatova at that age.  You can find books with both the english and russian.  Then just google the poem and find it being read on youtube, so you can memorize it, working hard to imitate their *intonation*.  No you're not likely to nail all the soft and hard consonants without help, but the world moves on.   

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It's been years since I took Russian, but I agree with working heavily on the grammar. Russian does tend to be much more phonetic than English which is helpful. I also agree on looking up Russian poetry readings. My instructor was partial to Pushkin. I've lost nearly all my Russian, but can still recite "I Loved You."

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It's been years since I took Russian, but I agree with working heavily on the grammar. Russian does tend to be much more phonetic than English which is helpful. I also agree on looking up Russian poetry readings. My instructor was partial to Pushkin. I've lost nearly all my Russian, but can still recite "I Loved You."

Oh this is a hoot!  We memorized this in our 2nd year of russian for high school!  Seems sort of an oddly prophetic thing for 17 yos to be memorizing, but there you go.  :)

 

Here are a couple links, in case the op is curious.

 

Alexander Pushkin "I loved you" / "Ya vas lyubil" - YouTube

 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky_I loved you (Ya vas lyubil) - YouTube

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Oh this is a hoot! We memorized this in our 2nd year of russian for high school! Seems sort of an oddly prophetic thing for 17 yos to be memorizing, but there you go. :)

 

Here are a couple links, in case the op is curious.

 

Alexander Pushkin "I loved you" / "Ya vas lyubil" - YouTube

 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky_I loved you (Ya vas lyubil) - YouTube

My instructor loved to tell the story of a student she had who was being attacked in a back street in St. Petersburg for his American accent and shoddy Russian. In desperation, remembering her stressing how very important Pushkin was to the Russian ethos, he called out "I know Pushkin!" and recited "I Loved You." She claims they stopped their assault and bought him a drink.

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My instructor loved to tell the story of a student she had who was being attacked in a back street in St. Petersburg for his American accent and shoddy Russian. In desperation, remembering her stressing how very important Pushkin was to the Russian ethos, he called out "I know Pushkin!" and recited "I Loved You." She claims they stopped their assault and bought him a drink.

ROFL!!!!!!  Now I know why the instructor had us memorizing it, hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!   :lol:  :lol: :lol:

 

Thanks for an incredibly good laugh.  I needed that!

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Thank you, ladies. I totally can understand the story about the poem. Hearing Russian language from the foreigner is a very centimental thing for a Russian person, melts the heart. I know a person from Gehova witnesses congregation, who started learning Russian at age 28, so she could teach about God to Russian people, extremely devoted lady. She was speaking and learnning every day for 20 years. She understands practically everything and speaks well everyday. Though the accent is always very noticable. But it's nothing, compare to what she can say. She is talking about bible in Russian, reciting the whole bible and explains it.

I am not sure if it is at all possible not to have an accent, and it is not the goal. The goal is to keep her studying and motivated. She is going to be 11 in winter. I am talking about my daughter now. We have couple more Russian speaking families in the town, but the kids don't speak Russian. I collected tons of materials to study, and we are doing fairly well. But I really think that listening to other kids and communicating with kids would make a big deal of encouragement.

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@OP There was a thread, somewhere on WTM, probably a month or two ago, begun by someone whose DC wanted a pen pal (epal) in Ireland. She posted links to 2 web sites, where people can connect with epals. I was curious and clicked on both links.

 

One of them also had a feature, where someone who wanted to learn/practice a foreign language, could find them on the web site. For awhile, they talk in one language, and then switch to the other language. I believe it was free...

 

As I suggested to that poster, you need to be very careful, to protect your DC. Best that she talks with someone her own age...

 

Another possibility might be to look on the web sites of universities like Texas Tech, that have a great reputation for Russian. Possibly some of those schools have links, online groups, etc.

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My 10 year old daughter is taking Russian with Mr. G through Currclick. She is currently in Russian 1 and will continue with Russian II in the spring semester, which begins in February. Here is the link for the Russian II class:

 

http://www.currclick.com/product/88380/Russian-2---Spring-2014-%28Payment-Plan%29

 

The class uses the text Russian Step By Step Level 1. Here is the link to that website: 

 

http://russianstepbystep.com/

 

My dd and ds take French with Mr. G as well. They love the classes! Russian meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-3:00 p.m. eastern time. Students have ample opportunity to use the mic, especially in Russian since the class is smaller. Mr. G offers Russian classes through level 6, and we are hoping he will add more levels as more students progress. At some point, we are planning to use an online Russian tutor, most likely Julia Denne out of Chicago. I read on the hs2coll yahoo group that she offers small group classes and/or private tutoring. Here is the link for her website:

 

http://bytheonionsea.com/about/

 

HTH,

Tanya

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One EXCEPTIONAL exercise for her is to read short blurbs (text, a russian bible daily devotional calendar, whatever) and write a 1-3 sentence summary.  They used this technique extensively in one of the programs I did, and it's just a solid approach to building your conversational skills when it's just you.  Challenge the student to make more sophisticated sentences that stretch her grammatical complexity.  Don't just say "today it is raining"...  Shoot for "When I was 8, I met the president!"  They won't be perfect, but she'll be stretching herself saying things she really wants to say.  If she's summarizing, then she has the vocab and constructions in front of her.  Also in the 1st and 2nd year classes I took, the teacher would do the rounds every day asking for a short answer to how are you doing...  Seriously, that was about the ENTIRE EXTENT of conversation in the high school russian classes, haha.  And with that and I think a poem memorized and that serious, diligent study of the text, I placed quite well on the placement test.  I don't even recall if they had an oral component.  I think it may have been all on paper.

 

Nowadays you can use youtube to find readings of poetry if you want to memorize something.  I was keen on Akhmatova at that age.  You can find books with both the english and russian.  Then just google the poem and find it being read on youtube, so you can memorize it, working hard to imitate their *intonation*.  No you're not likely to nail all the soft and hard consonants without help, but the world moves on.   

 

My dd, whom I mentioned in my previous post, wrote a paper last week on Anna Akhmatova for Mr. G's class. My dd loved reading your post, and she came to me saying, "What are blurbs, because I need to read and summarize short ones!"  :lol:  After writing her paper on Akhmatova, she said she would like to read some of her poetry. I will look for a book with both the English and the Russian.

 

I appreciate all your suggestions and have printed a copy! My children watch some of our DVDs in French, but my daughter is quite irked that there isn't a Russian option...  She has tried watching Masha and the Bear on youtube, but we always have so many buffering issues with that particular cartoon. She prefers to watch shows on the t.v. over the laptop. Are there any kid friendly shows in Russian that you can recommend? 

 

Thanks, 

Tanya

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I know you said you wanted a group for study, so this may not be helpful.  We found a girl at a nearby college who is Russian.  She is tutoring my son for an hour twice a week.  Did I mention that Russian is her native language? :) He loves it!  They practice conversation with each other at every session.  What is even better - the college requires community service of their students and this counts for her.  Because of that I can't pay her - it's free!  (But I am going to get her a VERY nice Christmas gift.)  If you live near a college or university, I would check it out.

 

Susie

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