For those who are passionate about learning Russian and want to practice their speaking skills, there is an option from Volunteer Connection. Russian Drop-In Conversation Lab is available every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. over Zoom.
There are a lot of students taking Russian classes who want to improve their linguistic skills. However, that can be tricky while only doing it for school credit.
“The main idea of Russian Lab is to take the language outside of the classroom,” said Isaac Pacheco, a junior studying theater performance and the Russian Lab director.
When students learn a foreign language in the classroom, they think more about their grades. To achieve progress with understanding the language, there should be a place for practice in real life. The Russian Lab is a safe environment where students can start talking without fear of negative assessment.
“Students are scared to speak, as they do not want to be wrong; they want to be right,“ said Lyndsey Breksa, a tutor from the Russian Lab. “But I always tell them that it is a no-judgment zone, and you have to make mistakes.”
The tutors’ attitudes motivates everyone to move forward. Individuals who have a better idea about the aspects and subtleties of the specific tongue can assist with pronunciation.
Along with verbal practice, the Russian Lab is a good place to clarify aspects of the language that may have been unclear during class.
“I do not teach people anything new,” Breksa said. “I help them to practice what they know and help them utilize their vocabulary so they can try what they know in Russian.”
Tutors will not give the answers for homework, but they can direct students onto the right road to understanding different aspects. The main distinction between Russian and English is that, in Russian, there are a lot of different endings to words. These endings depend on the time, amount or person to whom this word is referred. Getting used to these endings is the tricky part for everyone who is learning Russian. Tutors can help with such questions that are confusing or remind students about things that are missing.
“If you are serious about learning the language and getting direct pleasure from what you have learned, you need to go to where that language is spoken,” Rebecca Braun, a senior lecturer at Lancaster University, told the Guardian
That is helpful advice for learning any language. In this case, the Russian Lab gives students a chance to talk and discuss all necessary questions.
“There is not the same word for everything in each language,” Breksa said. “People’s brains think differently in different languages. The earlier you know this, the easier that will be to learn more.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Russian Lab had a lot of great activities to practice the language.
“We usually did Russian movie and games times,” Pacheco said. “Hopefully soon we can get back to things like that.”
Tutors want to show their support and understanding to students who are experiencing difficulties.
“I like trying to help people learn another language,” Breksa said. “I like seeing progress and just letting people know that they are doing a great job.”
All the people who work in the Russian Lab are passionate about it. They provide students with powerful support, and tutors care about those who attend their meetings.
Come to the Russian Lab to feel love and support in another language.