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Level 1
Learn Russian on Kids' Poetry
Day 1 - Phrases
This module will be a bit different :) Don't be surprised if you will not find here some typical tasks or if you see unusual order of the tasks.

Listen to the phrases and repeat them as usual. Do it many times to get used to them.
Don't think about printed text at this stage and just find yourself in the music of Russian sounds.

We don't have the poem right now. We are just preparing to meet it!

Day 2 - 3D listening
Today we continue listening to the Phrases for preparation, but we also add listening to the whole poem and trying to understand it. To make it more useful and fun, I give you 3 different audios of the poem, read by 3 different people:
  1. Me (which you already got for the Starting task)
  2. Alexey (a man)
  3. Elena (a woman)
Why so? It creates a kind of 3D effect in listening as you won't get used to only my voice, but learn to understand Russian speech in general, at different pace and with different intonation.

Add these audios to your playlist with Phrases and alternate them, or listen to the phrases for a few times and then finish off your listening with these 3 variants of reading of the poem. As usual, I recommend to have several sets of listening a day (not only one), and in each set you should add 3D listening of the poem (those 3 files I mentioned above).
Day 3 - Q&A
Questions and Answers. Probably it's the most challenging task during the week, try to do it as regularly as you can!

In the Day 3 audio you'll hear me saying the phrase and then asking a question about the information in this phrase. After the question I will stop. You say the answer, just 1 or 2 words. If you don't know the answer just guess. Say any answer, but you must answer every question. Use your pause button if necessary. And - say all the answers out loud, not just think!

Saying a correct and exact answer is not important - the most important thing is speed. Try to answer very quickly (remember, one or two words is fine). Speed is your goal. You want short fast answers, not long answers! In the beginning, this may be difficult. That's OK.

Now Q&A is your priority among other audiofiles for the next 3 days. Listen to it as many times in a set as will allow you to see the progress. Make several sets a day. In each set listen to the whole poem at least once. I am convinced that amount of time, spent for listening to Q&A, and your perseverance is a key to fluency here. The goal of this task is to say the answers quickly and clearly, without thinking.

BTW there are 2 versions: with and without background music. Which one did you prefer for learning?

What about phrases? If you can understand their meaning at once and repeat them confidently, you may not include them in your playlist today. But if you're not 100% confident, continue listening to them at least once in a set.

In addition to diary, I will ask you to record yourself while doing Q&A task (just for understanding how you do it, it's not the exam).

ADVICE.

First, try to only listen. Even if you really want to open the text, stop yourself and don't use PDF transcripts first. Try to listen to the Q&A without the text. If you understand it, you don't need the text ― just continue to listen. Use these text transcripts ONLY when you don't understand something. I bet you already know all you need from "Phrases". There are a couple of new words, but they are not essential for answering. Try to guess the main idea and answer. Finally you can check them in PDF (they are given there with translation).

FOCUS ON LISTENING, not reading. At least 90% of your practice should be listening only!

Let's begin. Here we go :)
Day 4 - rhymes
Today you continue listening to Q&A audio, practicing answering as quickly, as you can. You also continue listening to the poem (3D listening).

What's more, we will work with Rhymes today, as it is one of the main things in the poem structure and it allows us to feel the rhythm of the poem. Firstly, it's very important to make the right stress in the last word of each line. Secondly, you may notice that the last words in the line are emphasized - we say it more clearly and loudly than other words.

Your new listening will be (see the audio files):

  1. Day 4 - Рифмы (rhymes). You repeat the rhymed words, trying to emphasize the stress. Exaggerate! Make the stress very strong, even too strong when you say the word! Firstly you say words one by one, then by pairs, and in the end block of four.
  1. Day 4 - Закончите строку (Finish the line). Your goal is to finish the line saying the last word out loud. I will say everything else. First time you finish only the 2nd and the 4th line, then - all the lines. It would be great if you try to catch the rhythm! Don't use PDF here, say all the words by heart.

Eventually, you'll listen and interact with Q&A, the poem, the rhymes and the poem without the rhymes one by one. If I were you, I would add these files to one playlist and listen not only on purpose, but also as a background while having breakfast, washing the dishes or going somewhere in the street. Let this sounds soak your dally routine :)

Homwork:
1) Fill the Diary
2) Record yourself practicing the rhymes and send me via email.
Day 5 - Poem by heart
Yesterday we practiced rhymes, and now we are very close to telling the poem by heart, with emphasys! But firstly let's repeat it line by line (and then by 2 lines), trying to copy intonation and emphasize the last word in the line like we did yesterday.

I would like you to alternate those audios with 3D listening. Try to decide, whose reading you like more. Notice intonation of some words or collocations you really like, and try to transfer if to your own pronunciation.

After repeating the lines try to tell the whole poem by heart. Can you do it? Practice more and more. Finally I would like you to record yourself telling the poem with expression (video or audio). Imagine you want to make your neighbour kid laugh by telling it.

Homework: tell the poem by heart with expression and send me recorded video or audio. Do not use the text at all :)