Как я учил русский

Любопытный рассказ нашего друга Ричарда о том, как он начинал изучать русский язык:

Learning any foreign language especially English to perfection is no easy task. It’s even more difficult to do it living in the country where this language isn’t spoken freely.

In my opinion the best way is to start using the language in a practical way from the very beginning. People spend a lot of time trying to remember Grammar rules, phonetics, vocabulary etc and forget the main concept that’s practical use and developing fluency.

When I first came to Moscow on an exchange program organized by my university our group was sent to a Russian language preparatory course for 3 months. Our teacher started speaking to us openly from the very first meeting.

None of us knew a word in Russian and it was a complete shock having a teacher trying to teach us a language which we didn’t know at all and speaking in it all the time. We all found it extremely difficult for the first few weeks because our teacher didn’t use a word of English to teach us, but now when I look back it was an extremely effective way.

We were forced to pay attention not to every word but try to grasp the general meaning and made to ‘think’ in the new language. As a result only in a couple of months we were using the language everywhere without knowing much grammar and having a small vocabulary.

I think people should give up the fear of making a mistake and speak however they can in the best way they can. It’s no use knowing hundreds of words without using them in your language or learning grammar rules and thinking each time which tense or conditional goes correctly. These things matter but not more than learning to give and receive information in the fastest and best possible way.

In our world where learning to adapt to change has become a norm it is right to say…..  «Look before you leap» but «he who waits too long is lost». Let’s not build barriers for ourselves and free our minds and start THINKing in English.

Richard B.

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