Just to give you more specific examples of our teaching methods we use, here is list of KEY features that we have found to be fundamental to language acquirement and progression:
Use Russian from the very first lesson and use it ALWAYS
Total immersion works because your brain switches off the ‘English’ mode and switches on the Russian speaking part of it. This feature gives you constant exposure to the language. The more you hear and speak it, the better it is for language acquisition. The so called ‘Input’, how much you hear of the language equates to ‘output’, how much you can say.
Use mime, pictures, gestures and any body language that will help comprehension rather than translation. We believe language acquisition takes place if you are encouraged to discover things for yourself, as it leads to better retention in the long run.
Can be used for low frequency words only. This is to ensure that you are not left guessing the meaning of infrequently used words for too long.
Repetition, repetition, repetition…
If our heads were computers which could be loaded with certain information, learning languages would be a walk in the park. However, the human brain tends to forget something that is rarely used. Therefore, repetition signals the brain that this word or phrase is important and needs to be retained for future use.
Encourage learner’s autonomy
In Russian we have a saying “Даже птицы, высидев и выкормив птенцов, учат их летать”. “Even birds having sat on the eggs and fed the chicks, teach the chicks to fly”. That is to say you won’t always have a teacher by your side. We encourage you to use the context and your intuition to make an educated guess where you don’t know a word or a sentence. These skills will always be with you and you will never stop using them.
Create friendly, warm comfortable environment
Research has shown that our brain works better if there’s no tension in the body. It doesn’t mean to say you should be half asleep but certainly not uncomfortable. We realise the importance of this and try to create the environment in which you will feel relaxed and happy.
Some polyglots (people who speak many languages) say that in order to learn a foreign language they make 100 mistakes a day. Mistakes are good because it means you feel confident enough to make them. Some people are confident regardless of the situation, others are confident when they feel at ease in a small group of familiar faces and in a non-judgemental environment.
We will only teach what’s interesting to you. Anything that is relevant to your situation and language requirements will be relevant and will motivate you. This is why it is important to understand your requirements when we first meet. Of course we aim motivate you with our enthusiasm and desire to see you progress, but the best students are self motivated!