Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 5 - July 5th Русский в доме

Okay, bad pun aside (see above) Russian has been going okay, but I have to critique the "NEW PENGUIN RUSSIAN COURSE," since I have completed 6 lessons so far. Of all the language courses I have worked with over the years, this is probably one of the hardest to use, in my humble opinion. It's very cold, very dry, and doesn't have a lot of explanation. One thing it does well though is give you alot of examples of the lesson it's trying to teach. For example, here's an excerpt from lesson 5:

'In' is B, 'on' is на, 'at' will be B with enclosed spaces or buildings and ('at school' в школе) and на with open spaces and activities/events ('at work'  на работe, 'at a concert' на концерTе). Note that English 'in' sometimes corresponds to Russian на when the place (e.g. street) is an open space or was originally an open space (e.g. вокзал 'station').
in the street            на улице
in the square          на площади
in/at the station      на вокзале

As you can see, it has clear examples, but doesn't have a whole lot of other types of exercises. Just a whole lot of that over and over again each lesson. Very dry. But clear. I guess it depends on your style. This one is very academic and I feel like it might be meant to be accompanied by a professor, someone to have you use the skills presented and be corrected on any issues as you go.

Otherwise, I would say that today was pretty weak. To be honest, this whole week has been pretty weak. There's something I learned from my personal trainer, however, and it's something that I'm trying to put into practice in more than just my food consumption: It's not what happens in one day that will get you, but over the course of a week. If you do bad on one day, you have to correct it a little on the remaining days.

I think the same goes for language study. If you have a weak week (this one was such for me) because you weren't prepared, didn't have the materials or go stuck, you just have to move along and increase your study on the following days or the following weeks to compensate until you reach the point where you've caught yourself and then you can equalize.

For example, according to the plan, I should be at 150 words by the end of the day. I'll likely be closer to 100. That means next week, I will have to increase my words by about 10 a day (over the 5 days of study) to catch up. Of course, I could utilize a review day to learn more and review the whole set to offset this, which is why I made the review days in the first place (tricky tricky, I know). I don't want to burn out, however.

Anyway, no soap box today. Good luck in your language studies.

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