Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Day

May 4 is Teacher Appreciation day in the USA. In the spirit of the day, I want to write about something that happened in early March. We met some long-lost friends of Alla’s family, whom I will call Olga and Hans. Hans is German, and he’s lived in Belarus for ten years. He and Olga started out with a little bit of English in common, and they have taught each other their native languages. I don’t speak German, so I can’t tell you how Olga is doing in that language, but I was surprised by Hans’ Russian.

He asked me about my classes, and then explained that he hadn’t taken any classes because he wanted to learn “real” Russian. I didn’t catch the adjective he used to describe the alternative, but I think he could have used a little formal education. He has a reasonable vocabulary by now, but he knows absolutely no rules of grammar. My grammar is shaky, but I sure could identify a whole lot of problems with his, and I suspect that my vocabulary is no worse either.

Anyway, it made me feel pretty good about my choice of educational plan, and I even feel OK about my progress when I compare where I am after a few months’ classroom time to this result of several years of immersion. Let’s hear it for professional teachers!

No comments:

Post a Comment