A Russian Courage Kebab

A Russian Courage Kebab

Adam McGarityBy Adam McGarity, World Language Faculty Coordinator

There’s no way around it…learning a language is hard work.  And sometimes, when you you’re exhausted in класс, buried in a textbook, or cross-eyed in front of a компьютер screen, it’s easy to forget that language is all about human interaction.  Fortunately, as a Russian teacher, part of my job is to make sure that my students are prepared for real situations по-русски.

So, recently, during our final Russian Level 1 class, my students got the chance to use their new русcкиe skills in a surprising place.  We had a meal at Petra Bistro, a nearby Mediterranean ресторан, with a distinctly Middle-Eastern feel.  The food was great, but more importantly, our waiter Dorin served us по-русски. He described dishes, took orders, and patiently helped us find the vocabulary resting on the tips of our tongues. I’m proud of my студенты for mustering the courage to use Russian in a real situation with someone they just met.  ”Please”, “Thank you”, “I want to order…”, and “How do you say…” were just a few rock-star examples of the русские фразы that my students used during our meal. To all of them, I say “Молодцы!

In closing, I urge all of our students at CityU to study hard. But also remember the foundational reason for language – human connection and interaction.  In a multi-lingual city like Seattle, there are plenty of chances to use your languages.  So get out there, dig for opportunities, and find the courage to use your language in real situations…because that’s where the real treasure of language learning awaits.