Some Russian online resources

Here are a variety of online resources that may help you learn Russian.

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Learn Chinese with images

All about Chinese is unique. It is so special that I found myself scrolling through the pages, looking at the pictures and the words as if it had taken me back to my own college days. It has its innocence, simplicity, quietness, romance, cuteness, sweetness, and beauty. If you are also interested in painting and photography, I’m sure you will adore this site as much as I do. Below are some examples. (all images from Continue reading

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French Grammar Central

French Grammar Central is developed by Robert D. Peckham from University of Tennessee Martin. It is one of the most complete grammar study guides I have ever encountered.

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Russian Language Mentor

The Russian Language Mentor has a great collection of resources spanning 14 categories:

  • Developing Language Proficiency Reading
  • Developing Language Proficiency Listening
  • Developing Russian Cultural Literacy (in English)
  • Cultural Literacy Interactive Research Index
  • Grammar Review and Mailbadg
  • Crossword Challenge: Building Vocabulary
  • Fundamentals of Case Grammar
  • Internet Resources (Link to SEELRC Webliographies)
  • Developing Scientific and Technical Literacy
  • Intermediate Russian Grammar Exercises
  • Country Study eProtfolio
  • The Irregardless Gallery at the Boris and Gleb Tea Room
  • Virtual Slavic Club
  • Reading Listening Library

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When I worked at a different institution, I sometimes heard people say that we should not keep students from multitasking, because that’s how students today learn. The current generation of students grew up in a world surrounded by technology, and using technology has become part of their lives as much as eating and sleeping. In class, students may simultaneously be using social media and text messaging, and yet they could be on task and spell the most difficult foreign words at the same time. This is a case where it may be difficult to tell students “you could have done better if you hadn’t done these things.” It seems to be difficult to evaluate the disadvantages and the effects of multitasking, yet it’s not too difficult at the same time. Continue reading

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Knowmia has a collection of over 8,000 videos. It is designed mostly for high school teaching and learning, but I do find the Chinese language collection to be beneficial to our students. The reason I recommend the Chinese class collection to our students but not necessarily the French and Spanish collections, is that the lessons in French and Spanish collections tend to cover grammar and vocabulary that professors usually cover in classes. It might be helpful for students who are learning the language on their own, but probably less so if they are already taking the language classes. In the collection of the Chinese lessons, although there are also lessons on the basic vocabulary and grammar, there are also many lessons focused on stories and culture, focusing on food, transportation, family lives and festivals.

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Webcast in Russian: NOVOSTI NEDELI

Webcast in Russian: VOVOSTI NEDELI is a project of the National Capital Language Recourse Center. The NCLRC offers webcasts in three languages: Arabic, Chinese and Russian, among which the Russian webcasts appear to be the most developed ones with exercises associatedwith each webcast.

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杨澜:The Generation that's remaking China

Microblogs came into China in 2009 and this social platform has grown tremendously in the past several years. With most Microblog users being young people (defined as under 30), and of this generation (born in the 80’s and 90’s), microblogs have shown great influence in China in both social and political aspects.

Yang Lan (Wikipedia), a famous journalist, TV show host, and entrepreneur gave a TED Talk on this phenomenon. (For more on social media and how it can affect change, see this TED Talk from Clay Shirky.)

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I learned about Duolingo at the CALICO conference in May 2012. James Paul Gee mentioned Duolingo briefly in his keynote speech. In the summer, one of our French students mentioned that he had enjoyed studying with Duolingo. Duolingo provides excellent exercises for language learners although students might find learning a little challenging if they start to learn a foreign language only through Duolingo. Duolingo may be an excellent choice for students who are taking language classes and who are looking for supplemental materials to study.

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Spanish Proficiency Exercises

“Spanish Proficiency Exercises is a compilation of brief video clips in which native speakers of Spanish from various locations throughout Latin America and Spain demonstrate various language tasks.” This project is developed by University of Texas at Austin. (link to project) You can access this great resource for free without registering for an account.

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