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Thread: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

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    Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    I am looking for a good syllabus for learning Russian. I am starting from scratch and need a good lesson plan for teaching myself to read and write Russian. My ultimate goal is to become literate in Russian

    Any input will be appreciated. Thanks

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    What do you mean? I think lots of people have recommended textbooks here. Look at Голоса and Начало which are in English with workbooks, audio, and maybe even video.

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    That's Golosa and Nachalo. I believe you can get them from Amazon.

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    If you just want a plan, get a copy of How To Learn Any Language. You can get one cheaply. It's a fun book to read.

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    I personally use "Russian for Everyone" and it explains the material very well, the only problem is I use it as a supplement for my Russian class in university.

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    Thank you for the responses. I will take a look at referred material. I already own a few text books, but I really am looking for a real instructors syllabus. My text books are seldom really that clear on what or where the important way-points are in the progression of the students Russian language skills.

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    That's Golosa and Nachalo. I believe you can get them from Amazon.
    I have used all those books as a student, plus V Puti: http://www.prenhall.com/vputi/. I thought they all sucked and wished the class instructor had just used something like New Penguin Russian Course.

    Just curious, Chaika.....you've being saying that for years now. Why do you like those formats so much? What am I missing?
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    They cover the material pretty clearly, have integrated workbooks and audio or video additions. They have a coordinated second-year series. Universities use them. Russian teachers recommend them. I used one to tutor a student who wanted to learn Russian.

    I don't know anything about New Penguin Russian Course. Does it have additional materials like the above?

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    I know that universities use Golosa etc, I used them there myself, and I know that teachers recommend them also. I have to say from personal experience that I found them to complicate things more than help in most cases. They are written in such a way that I can not even understand the plain words written in English when they ask questions for the exercises. To clarify; when my teacher asked me too answer the question in the Russian exercise I did not understand the question though written in English and needed a demonstration before I knew what the exercise was aiming at. I needed the teacher to explain just exactly what the book was asking. It is the way it is presented. To me it is alien. I knew all of the answers but just could not understand the questions as presented.
    Perhaps it is just me but I found the format to be unintelligible. Apart from that it will impossible for him to self study with a textbook designed to be used with a teacher.

    I do not have that problem with any self study styled textbooks.

    One other thing to add is that the work books to both Golosa and V Puti do not have any way to check your work. So if you are at home and decide to do your homework or study on your own a bit, you will never know if the hours of exercises that you did were wasted because you incorrectly understood the point in grammar being made and answered all the questions wrong, until your teacher told you. If you went ahead of your class, she will not tell you anyway as that constitutes a private lesson. I had that happen many times.

    I am not criticizing your answer, each to his own. I just wondered if there was some miracle surrounding Uni textbooks that I was unaware of.

    But getting back the original subject if I may. I believe that the original poster is contemplating a self study program. (At first I thought he was to be a teacher and not a student.) I think it imperative that he stay away from ANY uni textbook simply because of the fact they do NOT have the answers to the exercises, therefore there being no way for him to check his progress, unless he has a tutor.
    I suggest New Penguin Russian Course by Nicholas J Brown...as always. The book is laid out orderly and if you want to brush up on a certain topic it is easy to find, unlike Golosa. The main thing New Penguin is short are examples. I would like to see a few more examples and questions than they provide. But that can be accomplished by purchasing Shaum's Grammar aswell.
    http://www.languagequest.com/home/produ ... ng=Russian
    which is all exercises!
    He can still use the Golosa website and watch the videos and do any online exercises. Many of them still have the answers. New Penguin has no audio or CDs or DVD. But we didn't use any of Golosa's online resources while in Uni anyway. I would say that he will need to find a CD course as well to accompany him anyway. I used Pimsleur. When I moved to Russia the one thing I had was good pronunciation. I accredit that to Pimsleur. (However, I would never PAY for it. I would just use something else cheaper if I could not "obtain" it. $700 is nuts!)


    Here is one review on Amazon for the New Penguin book. It should answer any questions about it. I agree with this review.

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Penguin-Russi ... 0140120416
    382 of 383 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book for Beginners Learning Russian from Scratch, November 28, 2000
    By Aaron Jordan (Salt Lake City, Utah) - See all my reviews
    I've compared dozens of books about learning Russian from scratch, and this one is the best. There are advanced grammar texts out there which have more information, but they aren't geared toward beginners. The beauty of this book is that if you know absolutely nothing about Russian, you can start at the beginning and work your way through each lesson in the order presented, and by the time you're done, you will have a solid understanding of Russian grammar. Not only that, but you'll have a vocabulary of some of the most useful words in the Russian language.

    When I first started studying Russian, I had no teachers or classes or cassette tapes to help me. My eighth grade math teacher gave me a copy of the original version of The Penguin Russian Course, which was compiled by J.L.I. Fennell and published in 1961. The methodology was logical and straightforward with no spoonfeeding or watered-down grammar lessons accompanied by cutsy cartoon pictures. In each lesson, you would first memorize a list of new vocabulary words. Then you would study several concise grammar principles which were clearly explained. Third, you would examine a brief Russian text which incorporated the new vocabulary and applied the new grammar principles which you had just learned in the lesson. Finally, you would translate an English text into Russian to test yourself on the new vocabulary and grammar. At the end of the book was a key which showed the correct translation of the English text into Russian, so you could check yourself.

    This new version of the Penguin Russian Course is not as concise and straightforward as the first version, but it's actually better. Nicholas J. Brown has incorporated the original structure of J.L.I. Fennell's version enough that the effectiveness of the lessons is preserved, but Mr. Brown has added much more in this modern version. He has provided numerous additional Russian texts and conversations so that you can see how the vocabulary is used in context. And in this new version, the answer keys at the back of the book show the Russian-English translation as well as the English-Russian translation of the exercises.

    The best part of this book is the translation exercises at the end of each lesson and their corresponding answer keys at the back of the book. Translation is probably the best way to test whether or not you really understand the grammar and vocabulary taught in the lessons, and this book gives you plenty of opportunities to test yourself in this manner.

    Another advantage of this book is that it's small enough to carry anywhere, unlike those bulky Russian 101 textbooks used in college classes which use a slow, watered-down, almost infantile approach to teaching the language.

    If you want to learn Russian, buy this book and work through the lessons. The only major drawback is that you'll never really learn proper pronunciation without listening to native Russians speak the language, and this book doesn't have tapes to accompany it. Other than that, however, you won't find a better book for beginners who want to learn Russian.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Re: Where is a good a syllabus for learning Russian

    I don't think syllabi can be copyrighted so I can send you the syllabus that my university 101 class used. Its mostly in Russian though and goes directly along with the Golosa textbook and workbook. If you would like, I can try to go in and adapt it and just put the topics on the syllabus.

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