All episodes and learning materials are arranged according to the different levels of proficiency and performance in Russian. To use the materials of this website effectively and efficiently, first learn where you stand in your language learning, then make sure you watch the episode designed for the level of your performance in Russian. Next to the title you can find a label of the episode, for example (Novice Mid), or (Advanced Low). There are ten different levels of proficiency: "novice", "intermediate", "advanced", and "superior", of which the first three are subdivided into "low", "mid", and "high". Labeling is based on the levels of proficiency recognized by ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), however note that ACTFL level and your college level Russian placement may not correlate reliably. Keep in mind, resources of this website are not designed for any type of assessment, but rather for development of three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.
One of the challenges for the students of Russian is to master the elusive art of chatting. The tricky thing with colloquial Russian is that it doesn’t quite fit all the grammatically consistent forms of the classroom language. There is a big difference between studying Russian and talking to people in everyday situations. I am willing to risk a little, and bring a real crisp language into the classroom; I think it is much better preparation for what students will need outside the classroom. This objective makes me to teach students small talk and cultural specific expressions that can be just as important as correct grammar. Having used this video podcast as a learning tool, I expose students to the language of real life and give them a chance to learn Russian intonation and gestures as well. I use video to instruct students in the oral skills they’ll need for chatting. The possibilities for using this video podcast series in language classes to support instruction are endless. There are also plenty of positive, potential advantages of this medium for curriculum integration.