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How to Help Children to Learn Russian

The present article is addressed, first of all, to bilingual families, where one of the parents is Russian native speaker or can speak it on certain conversational level. You've got a baby and you would like to turn it to national culture through teaching Russian language? 

Certainly, you need to take into account an important factor of your location – whether you are in Russia or no. Let's decide upon more complicated variant – you are abroad, which means you don't have possibility to create natural language environment for your child.

Principles of studying foreign language differ among children and adults. An adult faces this issue consciously, and a child does it unconsciously. Learning language for an adult is a means of achieving a goal (building a carrer, education, leaving for another country to start a family etc). For a child it is just a means of communication with other people and satisfaction of growing cognitive process. 

In fact, the best time for forming linguistic foreign abilities is up to 10 years old. The younger children are, the simpler and easier everything new is sunk. It is proved that children aged between 0 and 6 years old are able to absorb as much incoming information as for learning which 60 years would be needed for an adult. 

Hereafter are some recommendations, which can help you to get around a cherished dream – to communicate with your baby in Russian:


  1. Surround a baby with Russian speech – communicate in Russian (the way you talk to it every day, that is explaining you actions with words – ''я умываюсь'' /I wash my face/, ''я чищу зубы'' /I clean my teeth/, ''я пью молоко'' /I drink milk/, ''я ем кашу'' /I eat porridge/) and try to cut translation to a minimum;
  2. Read Russian fairy-tales, turn on cartoons, show stories using toys with obligatory children's participation, play songs and audiobooks for kids; the Internet resaurces with games can also be helpful;
  3. And, of course, play, play, and again play! Game is a major kind of studying activity for a child. Do you want to give the names of fruit and vegetables? Organize mutual trip to supermarket to get products you need, and then organize a toy shop at home, where your child will buy or sell his favorite apples or carrots.
  4. After your son or daughter begins to understand you and becomes able to answer with the help of short expressions, it is time to come to the alphabet and showing demonstrativeness with a short descriptive text. The main thing you should remember is no theory! Everything should be easy and unconstrained. Avoid difficult words like ''слово-исключение'' /an excepnion/. You shouldn't explain a kid that the word ''друг'' /friend/ has the form ''друзья'' /friends/ in plural, and it should be just remembered. Your child, at the very least, won't understand you, and won't want to continue this occupation, as maximum. It will be easier to say, for example, that there are magic words, which like to grizzle, when there are a lot of them.

As a matter of fact, these recommendations will also come useful in case a baby is a native Russian speaker and emigrates together with its parents. The only difference lies in the need of not mastering a language, but making some efforts to not forget it!

You can find Russian language schools and teachers:

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