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Teaching Russian to Heritage Students

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Russian Colorado

As you all know, large cities like New York and Chicago are very diverse. There are plenty of opportunities to explore a new culture in Chinatown, Brighton Beach or Italian village. Such diversity is more difficult to find it in other cities and states. Yet, the students who take Russian classes with us in Colorado know where to find some good Russian food and drinks and practice their speaking skills. We often take them on field trips to places around the state of Colorado where Russians have rather active communities. We will help you find everything Russian in the Centennial State. So if you are interested in Russian culture and want to explore what this beautiful state has to offer, know that there is more to Colorado than beautiful mountains and rocks!

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2013 Annual Summary

In December, our school reached the important milestone of one year since its inception. Along with our students, we learned a lot over the last year. We were presented with a number of great opportunities and overcame unexpected challenges.

This year we focused on taking care of our clients, doing things right the first time and making sure that promises made were kept—to our clients, our instructors, translators and one another.

We are most proud of the following accomplishments in 2013:

  • Launched both group-based and private Russian, Mandarin, Arabic and ESL lessons in five Chicago neighborhoods
  • Launched online Russian and Arabic classes for children and adults in small towns in Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington and Colorado who otherwise would not have had access to these languages in their hometowns
  • Launched ESL instruction for children and adults in Russia
  • Hired new teachers for four different languages all around the U.S.
  • Expanded globally to attract new students from Europe and Eurasia
  • Helped the non-profit Upwardly Global to provide jobs for two talented candidates
  • Began working with Chicago Public Schools

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Russian Chicago

As you all know, Chicago is a very diverse city. It has Little Italy, Greek Town, Little India, Polish Village, Ukrainian Village, etc. However, finding some sort of Russian Village poses a much greater challenge. Sure, you have the suburbs of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, but overall Russians don’t stick together in the city anymore. We are here to help you find everything Russian in the Windy City. So if you are interested in Russian culture and want to explore what Chi-town has to offer, keep reading!

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(Russian) Несколько рекомендаций родителям

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The Challenge of Learning Russian for My American Husband

 It was just after New Year’s Eve that David proposed. Indeed, he did so in English. The only two words he knew in Russian were “da” and “babushka.” Yet, I am lucky to have such an understanding and loving husband who knows how important my Ukrainian roots and my family in the town of Zaporizhzhya (Ukraine) are to me. Thus, as part of his proposal he vowed to write a letter to my Dad in Russian asking him for my hand. Spurred on by one of the happiest moments in my life, I said “yes!”

A couple of days after we officially announced our engagement to our friends, David swore to learn Russian and converse with my family via Skype in two weeks. He never mentioned exactly when he would start learning the language though.

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How speaking a foreign language can benefit you in life, education, and career

Ever since my move to the US almost 11 years ago, my bilingual status benefited me in multiple ways. My exposure to Russian culture, literature, and history helped me connect with people I’ve met along the way, as I was sharing my heritage through humorous, myth-dispelling, yet often educational and thought-provoking conversations. Being able to shed insight on another culture with others — be that in business context, where understanding of the unique cultural workplace landscape is crucial, or in other situations, where interest is driven by traveling, relationships, or academic pursuits — was always gratifying for me. Just as importantly, however, my ability to speak the Russian language and understand the culture opened doors to many exciting academic and professional opportunities. As companies I worked for acknowledged the importance of international exposure in an increasingly global marketplace, my bilingual status set me apart and allowed me to get involved in some fascinating projects.

Case in point is an exciting opportunity that came my way a few years ago while I was working at a major multinational consumer goods manufacturer. The company made a major strategic acquisition in Russia, and a team was being formed to conduct the consumer market due diligence in the new product category.

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Why I want to speak my husband’s language

My husband and I met in a PhD program, where we spoke the same language: the international technical language of Anglo-American academic philosophy. In this language, we talked about the things that mattered to us the most, he with an accent so slight that I stopped hearing it. He told me about his Soviet childhood, with its dacha visits, mushroom-picking excursions, Pioneer camps, people who skied to work, and other exotica.  As it turned out, we’d both watched Winnie-the-Pooh cartoons, but I was shocked to find that his version was better. We’d both loved the Sonic Youth album Daydream Nation, but while I’d bought it on CD from some megastore, his copy was pirated, on vinyl, and had been released by something called the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia, Saint-Petersburg. He gave me one of his Auktyon cassettes on extended loan and I started studying Russian to understand what the songs were about. I learned what is still my favorite word in Russian: ptitsa, a bird. The word sounds like the rustling of wings, the precise peck of a beak. When he translated his favorite Russian anecdotes for me – some of the darkest, funniest humor I’ve heard – I had a glimpse into his mind, and I also felt a deep sympathy with what I met. At the same time, we were (and are) quite foreign to one another.

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Apps to Learn Russian Language

Kristina Guzikova, Owner of Russian VoiceOver

We understand that the world has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, so education should change too! At Cloudberry we keep an eye on all the latest trends and incorporate all kinds of technology into the learning process.

Today Cloudberry reviewed the main apps that help children in learning the Russian language. They work well for both children and adults at the beginner level. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find good Apps for more advanced students but we have been in contact with developers about creating such apps. The existing apps can be divided into four categories:

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(Russian) Как привить ребенку любовь к чтению?

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