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“I want to become an astronaut”

That was the reason why one of the children in the enrichment classes of the Hondsrug College yesterday thought he should learn Russian. He already knew that to become an astronaut, you have to be able to speak Russian. Russian is – as Oksana Grynazhuk – indicates in her lessons – the first language spoken in space. By the first human in space: Yuri Gagarin. By the way, in Russian you don’t speak of “astronaut” but of “cosmonaut”.

The first Russian lesson for gifted children of our Russian teaching program has started again. Indeed, with somewhat smaller groups in the classroom compared to previous years. In the attractive enrichment program at the Hondsrug, there is plenty of attention for what gifted children want: challenge with the subject matter. But also be active in your own learning process. Although we have been running the curriculum for about five years now, we keep finding new elements to challenge these gifted children.

Already in the first lesson they are asked to write their own name in Cyrillic, for example. The last lesson is formed as usual by challenging the children in the game simulation LEARN Game Russian to always communicate in Russian. With the so-called “word fan” (an idea originally conceived by Gerda Cramer) as a tool. The things they learn in the four (!) Lessons for this – you imagine, single colors, numbers, small talk – are applied in the game environment of LEARN Game. All this according to the framework that has been determined for these kinds of first steps at European educational level: the Common European Framework level 1. Although we limit ourselves to writing our own name when it comes to writing. After all, you can’t do everything in such a small crash course in Russian. Priority lies with being able to communicate verbally at a basic level. To this end, we use all kinds of ‘playful learning systems’.

We do not limit the Russian lessons to just the language. The Russian culture, the collective Dutch – Russian history, the country and some Russian customs are also discussed. This reinforces the challenge for these, above all, curious children. Oksana considers it a privilege to be able to do this work with these gifted children. The passion to learn things radiates from them. True? At the school on the Anna Pawlona avenue… .and who was Anna Pawlona?… That is also discussed in the lessons of Oksana.

This post is also available in: Nederlands

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