In 2016, I was nervous. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, we had the opportunity to give presentations about our experiences in Russia and, for me specifically, experiences in Smolensk where I studied Russian language. By that time, I had many experiences to pull from. I had played in a Russian men’s basketball league and thought about the differences between American and Russian play styles. I was a teacher, and the university environment I was in was much different from my alma mater, William & Mary (go Tribe!). I was also extremely fascinated by the cultural importance of a “hello” that was valued by my close Russian peers. Despite all of these interesting topics, one group of women made much more of an impression on me than anything else – the вахтеры of our dorm at Smolensk State University.
This post is available only in Russian.
Last summer our friends from Russia came to visit us with their two daughters and the goal of immersing these adorable, well-mannered, stylish girls in English. We had found a promising summer camp for the girls, Dasha and Anya, and figured everything was under control. However, after the first day at camp, the two sisters came home with stories about being pushed, kicked and yelled at by other children. We hadn’t anticipated that at all!
At that time, I was too busy to go to the camp and talk to the teachers in person, and so we hoped everything would simply get better after the other children got used to “the foreigners.” But things did not get better. Once the girls came home with bruises, we immediately took action. I observed them from the distance to figure out what was going on and then talked to the teacher, who had no clue why the cute girls were not being accepted by “the gang.”
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:
Most people, it seems, study foreign languages for all the wrong reasons. High school and college students do so to meet graduation requirements. Older adults do so to get certain jobs, or to make more money, or to feel more sophisticated when traveling abroad.
I will be the first to admit that there were times in my life when I pursued language study for all the wrong reasons…
In high school, I needed at least two years of a foreign language to graduate. I chose German simply because my ancestors five generations ago were German speakers and because my father had learned it in school. I suppose I saw it as a family duty of sorts, despite the lack of any meaningful connection with either past or present-day Germany.
The problem is that I could never get German to click for me.