Everything You Need to Know
I am not an experienced teacher, but I know Russian basics. Can I teach my children using Soroka books?
Absolutely! You can find all of the explanations for concepts and answers to assignments, as well as extra activities for class and home, in the Teacher’s Books.
Why do you have the Teacher’s Book in English and in Russian? Are they different?
They are the same: The English version is the translation of the Russian version. Initially the Teacher’s Books were written only in Russian, and the English translation was added later, by customer request.
My student already knows some Russian. Can we start with Soroka 2?
In Soroka 2, students continue what they have already studied in Soroka 1. Technically you may start with the second level, but it is not recommended. Please start with Soroka 1. If your student already knows some Russian, going through exercises in Soroka 1 will help you to review the material.
How do you study Cyrillic? Is it difficult to read Russian?
It is not difficult to read Russian at all. It will take your students only a few weeks to learn Russian letters. Follow the introduction in the Teacher’s Book, use the flashcards with the words, and you will see the progress of your student.
I teach my children at home; they are homeschoolers. Can I use Soroka books to teach them Russian?
Yes, you can. Soroka courses provide you with all kinds of materials, including a Student’s Book; an Activity Book; free audio files; and instruction for teachers with ideas for planning, testing, games and more.
In addition, the author has a channel on YouTube and a blog where she answers questions from teachers and parents.
What level of language proficiency are the students going to achieve?
The Soroka language course follows the American Council of Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines. Soroka consists of three subcourses (Soroka 1, Soroka 2 and Soroka 3), which correspond to the ACTFL language proficiency levels – Novice Low/Novice Mid, Novice Mid/Novice High, and Novice High/Intermediate Low.
Is the Soroka course interactive?
Yes, the Soroka course is very interactive and communicative. Throughout the course, the main characters in the stories (who are children themselves), along with their family members and friends, teach Russian through interaction with language learners – conversations and role playing as well as language games are used. It is common knowledge that children learn from each other faster and better.
What methodology is the Soroka course based on?
The course is based on proven methodology and combines two language-acquisition approaches: the Communicative Approach and Total Physical Response (TPR).
The Communicative Approach is when language learners are involved in real communication; their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. In Soroka, there are many conversations and dialogues that permit children to speak Russian without focusing on learning vocabulary or grammar structures. In their turn, vocabulary and grammar structures are learned through conversations, role playing and language games. When it comes to the TPR approach, it is widely used during the course in the form of role playing and games as well as in the introduction and learning of vocabulary and grammar structures through motions and gestures.
Do we learn Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing with the Soroka course?
All four skills of language proficiency are addressed: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Children start learning Russian by listening and repeating after the teacher first. Moving from lesson to lesson, their Listening ability improves – they can understand what they hear. Now we are talking about listening comprehension, not just hearing. The Soroka Russian language course provides many opportunities for children to listen to Russian-speaking children talk through audio exercises.
The next skill of Speaking follows Listening in no time. From the first lesson children start accumulating vocabulary, which they put to practice through Speaking exercises such as conversations, role playing and language games.
The other two skills – Reading and Writing – go hand in hand. As soon as children learn the Russian alphabet, they start reading the vocabulary they learn in Listening and Speaking. In this way they start working on their reading comprehension and building up their Russian vocabulary.
Writing skills follow quickly: The Russian letters are written in the same way as letters in many languages except for Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. During the very first lesson, children learn how to write their names in Russian.
Who is the author of the Soroka course?
Marianna Avery is the author of the Soroka course. She lives in the United States, teaches languages to children (both Russian and English as a second language) and self-publishes her books. You can follow her on her blog in English at https://sorokad.com/en and on a YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/sorokadigital (please turn on English subtitles).