I began learning Russian as a high school freshman, when it was still the Soviet Union. I kept with it and through a quirk of timing found myself with fluent Russian as the Soviet Union collapsed. I had a career working both abroad and in Washington, DC before I began teaching Russian language and culture at the university level. I stress practical uses for Russian, oral fluency and am very patient, having learned the language as a student myself. I also cover cultural issues that naturally are a huge part of any language learning.
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