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What Makes Russian So Hard: Cases

Speaking a language is a practical skill, almost like driving a car or cooking. Understandably, most language learners want to start using their target language as soon as possible. When I approach a new language, I feel the urge to say something meaningful from lesson one. However, as a language teacher, I know that for

What I Learned Using Duolingo

Duolingo is undoubtedly one of the most popular language learning applications, if not the most popular one. Cute and simple interface; gamified learning script; ongoing competition between users; learning materials given in small, chewable pieces; audio with pronunciation of the words; achievable goals — all that makes Duolingo a very attractive and addictive application. But

Questions-and-Answers Lessons

It is commonplace in pedagogy that the teacher should create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom so that students feel comfortable asking questions. Questions are important for many reasons: they help the teacher to see what should be explained better, what topics students haven’t comprehended fully, what issues students are struggling with and why. At

Twisted Memory

In English, I have achieved a certain level of fluency that is sufficient for functioning efficiently in society, but still does not represent my personality adequately. Hence, I constantly work on expanding my vocabulary. A couple of weeks ago, my English-speaking friend mentioned the word “laborious.” I figured out that it derived from the word

How Do We Memorize Words?

When I was working on my master thesis in the university, I found a very interesting book that cardinally changed my perception of speech and language. The book, written by language philosopher and linguist Boris Gasparov was titled rather vaguely: Language, Memory, Image. Behind those three words was the whole new concept of human speech.

Another Success Story: Preparing For Russian Certification Exams

The best news a teacher can hear from her student is that the student has successfully passed important exams. That is exactly what happened to me last Friday: I woke up, grabbed my smartphone and found an email from one of my students with the good news inside. My student worked hard and received a

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