Showing posts from October, 2018

8 more common mistakes Russian learners make. Third post is the charm.

This is now my third post about common mistakes Russian learners make in English, so I’ll get straight to the point.

1 Actual problem
All these mistakes are actually a serious problem. They travel from generation to generation of learners and are rooted so deeply in their minds that they are almost impossible to weed out. ‘Actual’ means real, not imaginary, existing in fact; it does not mean актуальный (=currently important). The adjectives you can use with problem include but are not limited to: serious, growing, major, pressing, and urgent.

2 Big number
A large number of mistakes have their roots in translation. Sadly, a large number of people keep learning English through translation even at high levels, so the mistakes persist. A large number of learners pin their hopes on explanations. However, a large number of times explanations are of little help. A large number of repetitions of the correct version is what really helps.

(More about the intricacies of number in this great Lo…

The challenges of teaching software developers

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love teaching software developers. They are smart, kind, and have a great sense of humor. But there are certain challenges to teaching them. In this post, I want to talk about these challenges and provide some ways of dealing with them.
1. Their English level is a mess. Level placement is a challenge. There is usually a huge discrepancy between their productive (e.g. speaking) and receptive (e.g. reading) skills. If you choose an Intermediate coursebook, you may soon start doubting your choice because even though the grammar is a perfect match, the reading/listening materials are too simple and uninspiring.

This issue can be fixed by substituting or supplementing the materials in the book with the articles/videos in the original.
2. They are extremely smart. I mean, extraordinarily smart, which can play both ways. On the one hand, you don’t need to explain things too much. All they need is a concise and precise explanation. On the other hand, due to…