I’m happy with how my beginning kids are doing in learning the basics of a bunch of Russian “Big C” Culture tidbits. As always, I struggle with asking them for output.
I took a page from Bryce Hedstrom’s Getting Acquainted discussion, and started with just a little bit of information about each of the pictures the kids are going to need to know. Then I added a little more information and use of a few more questions and answers for each further picture. It’s allowed me to give them a lot of high-frequency vocabulary to talk increasingly more deeply about a number of different cultural icons. We’ve talked about important leaders, writers, composers, souvenirs, monuments and cities. It’s like a mini-tour of the high points of Russian culture, and it’s been pretty much CI. We’ve listened to bits of Russian music (I hope they’ll be able to recognize both the compositions and the names), and we’ll watch some tiny film clips over time.
I’ve never been able to figure out how to do this in the past. Luckily we have pictures that all Russian teachers got with our contest materials, so that helps me keep a narrow focus. Next I want to figure out how to use Michael’s cultural lesson style to work on these even more efficiently and interestingly.