I majored in Russian in college, and have been there three times, totaling 7 months in-country. My first trip was to study theatre in Moscow and St. Petersburg for a month, the second was studying the language in St. Petersburg through CIEE, and the most recent was for 2 months last summer, at which time I further studied the language in Ufa under the U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship.
My other passion is theatre, and I hope to one day go to graduate school for it in Moscow.
While I was in Russia, I worked in the theatre, and later as a tutor for one of the other workers there. My final semester at St. Olaf, I worked as a Russian tutor for the department. Since returning, I have been in close contact with a former administrative assistant at "Priut," helping him translate promotional materials for the Bolshoi Drama Theatre in St. Petersburg.
Russian is not as hard a language as many people make it out to be. I have, of course, been teaching people who are learning a second language at a later age, but have recently been reading about pedagogical strategies for younger students, such as Total Physical Response.
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