Teacher Interview – Yuliana!
Yuliana Muzychenko – Russian language teacher
Today for our readers of the Liden & Denz blog, as part of our #meetourstaff initiative, I interviewed Yuliana Muzychenko – in Russian.
Where are you from?
I am from Saint Petersburg – but I was born in Leningrad. Back then it was Leningrad.
When did you decide to become a teacher?
Actually never at all! Seriously – because I am a philologist, teacher and translator. It so happened that I was invited to teach at the university, and that’s how I became a teacher.
When was that? Or should I not ask?[Laughs] Yes, it was quite a long time ago [laughs].
What are you most proud of?
When it comes to your work.
Well, I feel very proud when I see results, and students begin to speak Russian properly.
Do you speak other languages?
Yes: English and French, and a little Spanish.
What is your favorite dish?
Hm… Well I love to eat in general [laughs]. But my favorite dish, hm… Chicken Teriyaki!
Do you know any jokes? Like classic jokes, something you always tell at the bar.
Well, know I don’t have a standard joke, but I can always recount something funny my students have said – those are always good jokes.
What do you think is the most effective learning method for your students?
Hmhm… Well of course, the first is discipline – that students always come to the lessons, and do their homework, and study the vo-ca-bu-la-ry [original: сло-вааа.] If you do what the teacher tells you, you will always have results. Of course, the communicative method is very good, but the grammar always needs to be present, too.
Do you know of any online apps for learning Russian?
Well I never have used online lessons, I only use sites like Youtube, where students can watch some cartoons for the lesson, or on themes of the lesson, or scenes from movies.
What is most difficult about learning Russian?
What’s difficult to you?
Well… everything.[Laughs] No-oo, that’s not true. But of course I realize what can be a bit difficult are verbs of motion, and of course cases. That’s all. And I mean, for beginners. Because not all languages do have cases, or prefixes.
Why do you think Liden & Denz is the best place to learn Russian?
The school is right in the center, very convenient – after lessons the students can go out and walk around. As for the school itself, there are good teachers working here, who get along very well with their students. The classrooms are really nice, the study material is very good.. And overall, it’s a very good collective.
Which extra-curricular activities would you recommend outside the classroom?
Read books, small books, for children, like storybooks, at home; watch cartoons, like Smeshariki – do you know Smeshariki?
Oh it’s a very funny cartoon – little round people. It deals with easy topics, you can find it on Youtube. Anyway, to go on, watch films, listen to the news, and read newspapers. Probably not the commercial ones, though – It’s better to pick up one of the easier ones, like Metro.
Aren’t there a lot of grammatical errors in Metro?
Well normally the students don’t see them [Laughs].
[Laughs] I say that because the Metro editions in other countries are full of mistakes.
I myself had never noticed, I don’t think it really happens.
Maybe because there is a higher linguistic standard in Russia..[Laughs] That’s possible.
How should students prepare before arriving in Saint Petersburg?
Well there isn’t anything absolutely necessary. As you probably know, in this city, if you know the Cyrillic alphabet that’s a good thing, but you certainly can come here as an absolute beginner, everything will be fine.
True. Three must-see-places in the city?
Hm. [Clears throat] Well of course the Hermitage. That’s a must. Then, the Petropavlovskaya Fortress, because it is on the opposite shore, it served as a prison, and it was the first part of the city. And you have to go to the theatre.
Well you can go to the Mariinsky, or the Mikhailovskij, of course, though the tickets are expensive. If you buy the tickets early on, however, it can be cheaper, plus there is the Student Wednesday, once a month, when students can buy tickets for 50 or 70 percent less.
Great, we’re done! Thank you!
Excellent! … Did you understand everything I said?
I think so…[This interview is brought to you by Esther, intern and student at Liden & Denz]