Sunday, March 15, 2015

How To Make Most Out Of My New Podcast

At the end of this February, I launched a podcast for students of Russian. The podcast is in Russian. Each episode lasts five minutes and is dedicated to one selected topic. I think the podcast would be most helpful for intermediate and advanced students, but beginners can also enjoy it.

How can one work with the podcast to make most out of it? I recommend to take the following steps:
  1. Listen to an episode from the beginning to the end; don’t stop playing the audio file even if you can’t understand the majority of the words. Let your ear get accustomed to the sounds of the Russian speech and Russian intonations; listen to it as if you are listening to instrumental music.
  2. Go to my blog where I publish the full texts of each episode; read the text and make a rough translation. At this point, it is fine not to translate each word, but rather to grasp what each paragraph or sentence is about.
  3. Listen to the episode again and read along, trying to follow the text while listening.
  4. If you have some extra time, write down the words that you think are useful and important, add them to your flash cards (if you use ones).
  5. Listen to the episode again. Pause after each sentence or paragraph and repeat after me at your speed.
FAQ about my podcast:

Q: You are reading too fast, could you please read a little bit slower?
I believe, artificially slowed audio recordings are not that helpful. My reading flows at the natural pace. This is what you have to cope with if you try to listen to the Russian radio broadcasting or watch movies in Russian. Don’t get frustrated if you feel that this task is very challenging for you. It’ll get easier and easier with every new episode. Also, you can always repeat the episode and read the text, so work with the audio file in the manner you would work with a multimedia language course. The only difference is that slower recordings can’t prepare you for the real life conversation, while my podcast can.

Q: Why five minutes?
Because I think, it is just right: not too long, so you can work with each episode without being overloaded with new words, and it is not too short, so I can tell a story in each episode.

Q: Is your pronunciation standard? Or do you have any accent?
My pronunciation is standard. Probably, I have some slight Siberian accent - my vowels are a little bit shorter than those of people from Moscow. However, I have a few years of experience in working at a Russian radio station, so I was trained to articulate sounds properly when recording.

Q: Do you use simplified Russian?
No, I use normal Russian. I try to simplify sentences and not to use too complex syntax structures, but the vocabulary in my podcast is just normal.

Q: Where do you record your podcast?
In my home studio. All the credits regarding sound engineering go to my multi-talented husband. Music jingles are made by my good friend and aspiring musician Chris Ferguson.