Russian teacher Maria Yagunova

Maria Yagunova

Teaching Russian is my passion, I’m always so excited about my work. I love learning languages too and I never stop doing that. So I also want to show students that learning a language (even Russian) can and even has to be fun. And I prefer to give you a vision of the Russian way of thinking,  to help you feel the language, so that it will never be unbearably hard anymore. I think having a sense of humour is vital for studying, but if you are incredibly serious it’s fine too. The best thing about my work is seeing your progress and being proud of my students.

When I was a little girl I heard the word “polyglot”. Who is a polyglot? – I asked. Since then I decided that speaking foreign languages is a great superpower! I have always been interested in foreign languages, but I couldn’t imagine that Russian, my native language is also a foreign language other people can study. When I had to choose a university I was thinking about studying linguistics and major in English, until I saw “Russian as a foreign language” among other linguistic specialisations in a brochure of the University I was about to enrol. Then at that very moment I realised – this was it. That’s what I want to do in my life. Now I have a masters degree in Philology (majoring in teaching Russian as a foreign language) and quite an experience in doing that. I participated as an instructor in US state programs, such as CLS (Critical Language Scholarship) and Fulbright, worked for Chinese-Russian exchange programs, worked with corporations and taught successful exam preparation courses.

My favourite topics are verbs of motion, prefix verbs, syntax. I’m also into etymology and language history. It helps us understand ourselves and it helps you understand us. I enjoy discussing different things in class: it’s amazing how different our backgrounds can be, and yet how much people from opposite sides of the planet have in common. For the same reason I love travelling and try to travel as much as I can, to explore the world and meet people, to learn new things and experience new cultures, which is like a language – it stays with you forever, like a superpower.