JoAnne Van Tuyl, Associate Professor of the Practics
Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Arts & Sciences
Russian isn’t more difficult to study than French or Spanish, it just takes longer. Beginning Russian students face the challenge of learning about 1,000 words, most of which do not resemble any word they have heard before. These realities form the background of Prof. Van Tuyl’s project to create “Audio flash cards” to speed up and significantly strengthen students’ mastery of basic Russian vocabulary. In this project, each vocabulary word or phrase is recorded in its own audio file which students can include in their own playlists for parts of speech, words from the same chapter, or according to the student’s personal “rating” of difficulty level. Vocabulary files can also be accompanied by a relevant video file, or photo.
With their exposure to Russian no longer limited to classroom time and textbook reading, students have the ability to hear and practice the language while riding the bus, lying in bed or doing their laundry. Prof. Van Tuyl has found that, by increasing their exposure to spoken Russian with iPods and audio flashcards, students gain basic Russian lexical proficiency more quickly and with less stress than was possible before.
Project start date: August 1, 2005