“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” - Rita Mae Brown
When it comes to language trips or intensive courses, the prospect of learning a foreign language can still be daunting. This is especially true for children. However, some languages, such as Russian, can be an excellent way to boost your career.
According to the EF English Proficiency Index, only 5% of Russians speak English. With so few Russians speaking our language, it’s a good idea to learn theirs, especially if you plan on travelling there. Learning from a young age is even better!
Why not get Russian lessons for your child?
You could improve their Russian language skills, teach them the Cyrillic alphabet, and give them more career opportunities.
But isn’t a beginners’ Russian course the same as any other? What makes it different?
Russian is probably quite different from the languages you learnt at school so when it comes to teaching children Russian, the lessons need to be quite different. In this article, we’ve got what you need to know.
Teach Children Russian by Adapting Your Teaching Approach
If you’ve decided to teach your child Russian, we’re going to assume that it’s not their mother tongue, which is fine. At a very young age, children are excellent at learning any language. This should help you make up your mind.
However, whether you’re a teacher or have decided to hire a tutor (on Superprof, for example), you must be familiar with the methodologies that can be employed during a Russian lesson.
It’s important to remember that this won’t be like language lessons for adults, but a course for curious students that also lack maturity. This requires a special type of teacher.
Ideally, you’ll want someone with a fun and engaging teaching approach whose experience involves teaching children. A Russian lesson might be a bit of an eye-opener. This brings us naturally to planning Russian lessons for children.
Preparing Your First Russian Lessons for Children
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Russian, Portuguese or French lesson, planning is important. When it comes to teaching children, planning is even more important.
You need to know how well they concentrate, whether they’re motivated and want to learn Russian, and which types of teaching approaches will work best for them.
It’s a lot to deal with, but planning will pay dividends during the lessons. Fortunately, a lot of tutors, especially those on Superprof, offer the first lesson for free to help reassure parents that they’re the right person for the job.
The first lesson is also a good time for teachers and tutors to figure out which approaches will work best with the child.
Will they learn better with games? Or would a classic lesson suit them better?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before you can start effectively preparing a Russian lesson for kids.
What a Russian Lesson for Kids Will Be Like
Like any decent language lesson, there will be rules. These don’t necessarily need to be incredibly strict, but when it comes to teaching children, there needs to be some guidelines and rules.
The start of the first lesson will be testing the waters, which will allow the tutor or teacher to better understand the student and how they can achieve their learning goals. This part could take place entirely in English since the idea is to get to know the student and listen to them.
Next comes the main part of the lesson where they do most of the reading, writing, listening, or speaking. This can include exercises that build on topics from a previous lesson or introduce them to today’s learning objectives.
Just remember that these lessons always need to be adapted to the student. A 3-year-old won’t have the same needs as a 13-year-old and all foreign language lessons need to be tailored to the student. You certainly can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to becoming bilingual!
A Russian lesson can also include a dedicated speaking section where the tutor and student can freely chat with one another in Russian conversation. This is a good chance for them to make mistakes and learn for them.
You may also want the student to have a moment where they can raise any concerns they may have and ask the tutor questions.
Choosing the Right Resources for Russian Lessons
When we say that a lesson has to be adapted to the student, this also covers the resources that will be used in the session. Like with the English language, Russian has a lot of interesting nuances that can be made less frustrating for students by using fun and accessible resources.
Language lessons are an opportunity for tutors and teachers to grab their student’s attention by personalising the lesson. Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, changing a small detail may take very little work but it can mean the world to a student and instantly grab their attention.
Start by looking at where you can find resources. There are apps, websites, and even podcasts that can be used in private Russian lessons.
There are also plenty of books, cartoons, songs, and films that are useful tools for improving your Russian. It’s all about showing the student what there is to love about the Russian language and giving them activities and resources that they find fun. For kids, fun and engaging resources are a must!
While you mightn’t think that you can have fun and learn, you’d be surprised how entertaining Russian lessons can be with the right resources. With private tutorials, there are even more chances to have fun.
How to Finish a Child’s Russian Lesson
After a good session of work with an interesting exchange in Russian, the lesson needs to wind down. Like with any other part of the lesson, it needs to be adapted to the student.
The Russian tutor or teacher will play a pivotal role in the student’s learning and needs to check that they’ve learnt what they were supposed to or highlight anything that may need more work. This also needs to be done in a way that helps the student as the end of a lesson is important as it’ll help prepare the following lesson.
The tutor or teacher will check the student’s knowledge, give them homework for the next session, and establish what they’ll need to know before the next session. They may have homework, something to watch, a grammar point that they should read again, etc. By knowing what they struggle with, the student will have something to work on and a goal they can achieve before the next lesson.
A second language, especially Russian, takes a while to master, but a tutor or teacher will aim to make this as easy as possible. As you’ll have understood, Russian lessons are mainly divided into three main sections: the introduction, the lesson, and the review. By getting each of these parts correct, students will be engaged in the lesson and intellectually stimulated. Again, the important thing about teaching children is that they’re enjoying themselves while they learn.
On Superprof, you can find Russian tutors offering face-to-face, online, or group tutorials. With each type of tutorial having its pros and cons, you need to think about which type of tutoring will be right for your child, how they like to learn, and your budget.
Face-to-face tutorials are just between the tutor and the student, which allows them to tailor every part of the lesson to the learner. While these types of tutorials are often the most costly, they're also the most cost-effective since every minute of the lesson is spent focusing on the student.
Online tutorials tend to be a bit cheaper than face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn't have to worry about travel costs and time and can charge more competitive rates with fewer outgoings. Furthermore, online tutorials allow you to look for tutors all over the world, which means that you can look for Russian native speakers from Russia or the other countries around the world where the language is spoken.
Group tutorials are great for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutorials with the other students in attendance. While students won't get as much one-on-one time with their tutor or lessons that are tailored specifically to them, they do get more opportunities to practise their Russian with other students of a similar level.