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Lesson Plan #3

SUBJECT/CLASS: Russian 111 DATE: 8th of November, 2006
UNIT 5: Университет = University TOPIC: Talking about where and what people study.

LESSON OBJECTIVES:1) to teach the students how to ask and to answer 'How are you?' question; 2) to teach them how to speak about their life in university in the context of short informal conversation; 3) to practice the use of verb любить = to love and the correct forms of nouns in the Accusative case.

11:00 am
Как дела? -How are you doing?
I started my class asking the students: Как дела? = How are you doing? I taught them how to answer this question at the lesson before this, so they were more or less familiar with the topic. I asked a couple of people by myself just in order to give the students some time to redirect their attention to language and to start to think in Russian.
Then I offered them to ask each other the same question and to answer it. The question itself and a range of possible answers were provided on a screen (see the Slide-1). Everybody one after another asked and answered this question describing their state of being and getting know how the other people were feeling.
I think in general it is a good idea to start a class with asking students about how they are doing today. It makes them feel that in spite Russian language is the first and the main reason why we all are here nevertheless we are not just impersonal machines who teach and learn but rather people who feel interest towards each other.
And what is more important it is definitely useful to teach them how to ask and to answer this type of questions because usually it is the way all the conversations in Russian begin.
11:05 am
Учиться в/на -- To study in/on
First of all we all together repeated the conjugation of the verb учиться = to study (see Slide-2, the column on the left).
Then we translated into English the questions in the right column of the Slide-2: at what university does (s)he study? What year is (s)he on? What faculty? Does (s)he study well?
Then I split the students into pairs and gave them 5 minutes to ask each other the questions mentioned above.
In 5 minutes they presented their results in form of the short dialogs to the class.
Учиться = to study is a reflexive verb in Russian and its conjugation slightly differs from the conjugation of the 'usual' Russian verbs.
Moreover sometimes it requires preposition в = in (for example, in case of 'university') and sometimes на = on (for indicating the faculty and the year of study).
So, this activity was dedicated to the correct use of these prepositions with different nouns.
11:20 am
Изучать + Accusative case - To study [what?]
First of all, we all together repeated the conjugation of the verb изучать = to study (see the Slide-3, the column on the left).
Then I gave the students one minute to think up (in Russian) two subjects they study; one of these words was supposed to be neuter (i.e. искусствоведение = arts) and another feminine (i.e. математика = mathematics).
As soon as they were ready I started to ask them: Фред, что изучает Сара? = Fred, what does Sara study?
The student I chose (here -- Fred) was supposed to ask the person I indicated in my question (here -- Sara) about the courses (s)he takes. Using the information (s)he got from another student's answer the first person was supposed to provide me with the information to my question.
I made sure that all the students at least once asked and answered the question to their peers and to me as well.
In Russian there are two different verbs to indicate studying: 1) учиться (see the previous activity); 2) изучать = 'to study' as well. The verb изучать is used only when one speaks about the subjects or courses (s)he takes. This distinction between two verbs is not easy to understand for English speaking people because in English there is only one verb - it is 'to study'.The verb изучать in Russian requires the Accusative case of noun, which is used after it. The rules of making the accusative case for masculine and feminine nouns in Russian are very different.
Thus, this activity was focused on mastering the flowing skills: 1) proper use of verbs учиться and изучать; 2) putting masculine and feminine nouns into the correct form of the accusative case; 3) building the vocabulary for speaking about one's university life.
11:35 am
Любить + Accusative case - To love [whom? or what?]
As we always did, first of all we all together repeated the conjugation of the verb любить = to love (see Slide-4, the column on the left).Then I gave the students a couple of minutes to think up: 1) two subjects they like to read (e.g. книга = book and газета = newspaper); 2) a type of music their boy-, girl- or just friend likes to listen to (e.g. рэп = rap); 3) two items of any kind their parents like or love (e.g. кошки = cats, собаки = dogs).
When they were done I regrouped them. Everybody found a new partner to speak to. They had to ask each other: Что ты любишь читать? = What do you like to read?; Какую музыку любит твой друг? = What music does your friend like?; Что любят твои родители? = What do you parents like? and to answer the same questions.
In 6-7 minutes they presented the results to the class: everybody explained what her/his partner likes etc.
Verb любить is very important in Russian. In spite it has meaning equivalent to English 'to love' it is used very often in the meaning of English 'like', i.e. very often.It has an atypical and irregular form in the first person, singular -- люблю. That is why it is so important to practice it as much as possible to make the students remember the right form of it.
And the same as the verb изучать (see above) любить requires the Accusative case to be used after it.This activity was mainly concentrated on practicing the Accusative case of Russian masculine and feminine nouns.

HOMEWORK: Our students had no homework this time because the were supposed to review the material and to prepare for a quiz.

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