The Russian language, though rich and often formidable for non-native speakers, is not so forbidding as some may at first think. I can teach beginners, including those who may be planning on visiting Russia, the basics of the language, including the Cyrillic alphabet. We will begin speaking in Russian immediately at your first lesson, so as to encourage you to make associations between words and images. Ideally, to become comfortable in a language that is not your own requires thinking in that language, and that is perhaps nowhere more true than in Russian.
I would be remiss not to disclose that, although I have tutored individual private students in basic Russian language skills, I am not a teacher of the Russian language by profession. Rather, my interest is largely cultural as one who speaks Russian fluently, has lived and worked for several years in Russia, and am a recognized authority on certain aspects of Russian culture and history, most notably Russian classical music. I studied Russian at the Putney School in Vermont, where I later returned to teach a few classes a guest substitute teacher; and I majored in Russian at Oberlin College. I do not offer any courses in advanced Russian, but am prepared to coach beginners systematically. My approach to teaching is more or less holistic, rather than determinative. I will use a basic text for teaching the rudiments of the Russian language. We will begin with simple words, phrases and also concepts that inform the language and its grammar, which will ultimately make learning it that much easier for the student. Above all, I want to encourage students, no matter the level of ability at any given time during the course of study, to begin thinking in the language, and to find ways, no matter how simplistic or even crude at first, to express what is on their minds with the few, but growing arsenal of words and phrases in their vocabulary.
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