March 6, 2013
Russian language seminar in Washington, D.C.
According to the 2009 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census, there are almost 1 million Russian speakers in the United States, making Russian the eighth most spoken language in the country. However, for many Russian families, it is hard to find a place where their children can learn their native language, and many parents fear their children will eventually lose their connection to their homeland by growing up in a foreign country.
To help improve Russian language education in the United States, the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., held a seminar on Feb. 27 for Russian language teachers who work in either public or private schools or at community centers that also offer classes in subjects such as Russian, math, chess and ballet.
I had the pleasure of being one of about 30 people who attended the seminar, and it was wonderful to see how eager the teachers were
to share their experiences and exchange ideas about new ways to present information to students in the classroom.
As a speaker of both Russian and English, I believe it is important that children learn the Russian language in order to remain connected to their homeland. That’s one of the reasons that I published two of my Growing Through Arts® books, The Peter and the Wolf Symphony by
Aleksandra® and The Cinderella Ballet by Aleksandra®, as well as an illustrated Alphabet Set, in Russian.
At the seminar, I shared my Russian-language children’s books and alphabet set with the teachers, and many of them said they would be useful tools in keeping children engaged and excited about learning Russian.
I truly hope the teachers who attended the seminar left feeling inspired to try new teaching techniques and passionate about helping children stay connected to their homeland by learning their native language.