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PashaR

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Everything posted by PashaR

  1. I taught English in Moscow, Russia, and found the same thing. Most of the English teachers are Russian, and quite often their English is very poor. I taught an after-school class in one school, and I would have to consult with the regular English teacher so we knew what material we were each covering. Our conversations were in "English," but sometimes I couldn't even understand him because his English was so bad! And he was the official English teacher at the school! Believe me when I say, native English-speaking teachers will always be in demand in Russia!
  2. I have spent a lot of time with people who have learned/are learning another language, including Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Hmong, Chinese, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Cambodian, Karen, Hindi, and others. My experience is that relatively few people have a "talent," or natural disposition to learn a language quickly. Those who progress, do well, and approach fluency are those who work hard, study hard, speak the language as much as possible - in short, those who are dedicated to learn the language, not necessarily those who have a "talent." For the vast majority of people, thi
  3. Thanks for the vocabulary! I lived in Moscow for two years and was able to go to the theater a few times. К сожалению, когда я жил в Москве Большой театр был закрыт. Он был закрыт семь лет и открылся скоро после того как я уехал. But I was able to see a ballet (Romeo and Juliet) and Звуки музыки at other venues. I absolutely loved it! I miss Russia and Moscow and hope to go back one day. Thanks for your helpful topics!
  4. Спасибо! Very good suggestion! They say that when you can understand humor in a different language, you are making very good progress. I also found a great website with many Russian proverbs. These can also be helpful in learning: http://masterrussian.com/proverbs/russian_proverbs.htm#a
  5. I've been studying Russian for a few years. I don't find pronunciation too difficult anymore, but at first I did. The cases seem a bit overwhelming at first, but once you learn the proper endings it's actually not too difficult (except for the pesky "exclusions"!) What I find challenging is verbs - perfective/imperfective, verb prefixes, etc. And Russian verbs of motion are enough to drive anyone a little crazy. When you include perfective/imperfective forms, reflexive forms, imperatives and participles, there must be over 100 different forms of these verbs. Grrrr! :confused:
  6. Your native language is the language in which you think, and different languages actually create different thought patterns. So speaking a different language isn't just about speaking differently, often it's about thinking differently too. It's very difficult to change the way we think. You may never feel as comfortable speaking a different language as you do when speaking your native tongue. I've heard it said that a person's native language is the "language of his/her heart."
  7. Pimsleur is a great system, but it won't teach you to read. There is plenty of instructional information online to help with the Cyrillic alphabet. Also, you can probably find some books with CDs so you can hear proper pronunciation. The book "Russian Course" by Nicholas Brown is a great book for Russian. There isn't any audio material, but it has a pretty comprehensive discussion of the Russian alphabet. You can find "Russian word a day" websites and apps where you can both see and hear the word. This is helpful in learning the alphabet as well. Успехов!
  8. When I went to school, language was only taught in high school. The languages that were available were French, Spanish, Italian, and German. It was not mandatory to take a language, but now it is (one or two years, I'm not sure). I never took a language, and kick myself every day that I didn't. I think it is extremely beneficial for students to study a foreign language, and I have no problem with it being mandatory.
  9. Here are a couple in Russian: Тише мыши, кот на крыше, а котята ещё выше. Roughly it means, "Be quiet, mice, the cat is on the roof, and the kittens are even higher." Ехал Грека через реку. (Yekhal Greka cherez reku) Видит Грека: в реке рак. (Veedyet Greka: v reke rok) Сунул Грека руку в реку. (Sunul Greka ruku v reku) Рак за руку Грека - цап! (Roc za ruku Greka - tsop!) "A Greek went across the river. The Greek saw a crayfish in the river. The Greek thrust his hand into the river. The crayfish grabbed the Greek's hand."
  10. I agree with most of the above comments. Google translate can be very helpful as a simple dictionary. But (most of the time) it cannot accurately translate sentences, and to properly translate a full paragraph is out of the question. In translating from English to Russian, I find that it is too literal. Russian grammar and phraseology differ considerably from English. The English to Russian translation would probably be understandable to a native Russian speaker, but certainly wouldn't be the way it would be said in Russian. For example, the sentence "I have a car" can be said exactly the same
  11. I am a certified ESL teacher and have been teaching for about five years. It's my "second career" after spending many years in the graphics/printing business. I love it! I lived and taught in Moscow for two years. Now I'm back Stateside, and most of my teaching is online. I have taught students from countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. I prefer face-to-face teaching and I love teaching in a classroom. In Moscow, I had private students, both children and adults, and I taught in a private school and two public schools. I miss it every day!
  12. I am an ESL (certified) teacher. The instructor for the course I took has two PhDs in neuroscience. He has taught in nearly 100 different countries, and has kept up with the latest studies/science in second language acquisition. His assessment of Rosetta Stone? "The biggest waste of time on the planet." Rosetta Stone has its advantages when it comes to learning vocabulary. It can also help with grammar, but falls short when it comes to teaching the mechanics of grammar. It's popular, not because it's such a superior system, but because Rosetta Stone pours millions of dollars into marketing/ad
  13. Perfect score, but for a native English speaker it's not terribly difficult. I agree with other posters - include some words that are often misused, such as there/they're/their, your/you're, its/it's. But thanks for the fun quiz!
  14. I enjoy hearing English spoken with an "accent." I am from the USA, and there are several different accents in this country - southern, Boston, Texas, midwest, northern midwest to name a few. I LOVE the Irish and Scottish accents. I also like the British accent, although there are actually many. I once read that there are twelve different accents in London alone! I'm not crazy about the Australian accent, but I find the New Zealand accent very interesting. I also like the Jamaican accent.
  15. Yes, I have been learning Russian for several years, and I have friends who are Russian. They speak English okay, but I try to speak Russian with them. This is essential in order to become conversational in a language. You can study grammar and vocabulary all day, but if you don't converse with people in your target language it will be very difficult to ever speak it fluently.
  16. Yes, there are people who never learn to speak another language properly. I know Russian-speaking and Spanish-speaking people who have lived in the United States for many years and still speak English improperly. I think this is partially because of a lack of desire to speak properly. Many people say, "As long as other people understand me, I don't need to speak perfectly." So they don't try. Also, some people form bad habits or improper speech patterns when they are first learning a language, and it become very difficult for them to "unlearn" these after they are ingrained.
  17. I am an ESL teacher, and I can say that learning a language through movies and television is very effective. It is important to study grammar, vocabulary, etc., but modern movies and television expose the learner to conversational speech, modern speech patterns, expressions, idioms, slang, and pronunciation. It also helps with listening comprehension. It combines language learning with visual stimulus and entertainment. This should not be the only method of study, but it is a very effective method.
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