Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How Difficult Should Russian 102 Be?

Really, I should be doing my homework, but it's not going to be that difficult, writing out sentences in Russian, practicing verb conjugation.  Instead I decided to take a few minutes beforehand to talk about the conversation I had last night with my study group at the Green Dragon - is our Russian 102 class too easy?

The three of us (girls all) got to talking about how easy it was to earn an A in the class.  And all of us studied at different paces - L, she studied quite a bit, she's a very attentive student and very organized; M, she did all the homework, did study some and I think she said she went to some tutoring sessions at the college.  And we've gone over how much I studied.  Little enough to have called it studying, I studied while I did my homework, but almost nothing more except the few occasions I met with my group or right before finals and that was practicing using what I know, not really studying.

All three of us earned A's in the class, and well deserved, but there were also others who earned A's in the class but who were still struggling with material at the end of the term that L, M and I had down pat.  It could be relative grading, e.g. where was the student in the beginning of the class, and where is the student now?  L wants more tests in the class, more "pressure" to perform per se, as well as what I would like: more off the cuff conversation between each other, more correction of pronunciation, more interaction period along with some more explanation of grammar.  Yes, we have a LOT of interaction, but it's stilted performances of contrived, pre-written exercises from the book.  Some explanation of has happened grammar, but more to say "this is what we do, now do it."

Then again, I've learned a language before, and many others in the class have not, or, do not care how we learn  or even examine the quality of what we learn so much that we do learn something.  In the end, am I learning enough that I will be able to take what I know and extrapolate out from there and move on?  Yes.  Hopefully as the term goes on we will have more of what L and I would both like as well as something I am yearning for - more explanation of the grammar system, which is how I learned Czech after all.

For now - off to do my homework!

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