Last year I toyed with a new method for learning vocabulary during intensive listening and reading called study-and-click. In my initial experiments, I reached 92% reading scores with Spanish in 86 hours over 12 days, and later went on to hit 95% with Swedish in just 55 hours over a much more relaxed 19 days. Having got my feet wet in some level 1 languages (which the FSI designate as being the easiest for English speakers), I think it’s time to up the ante and dive into something a little harder. I intended to give this a try last year with Russian, but with one thing or another, just didn’t get a real chance. But now it’s the start of a new year, I feel overly optimistic and primed for another crazy little challenge to kick things off, so I’d like to give Russian a second go.
With previous study-and-click projects, my original aim was to achieve consistent B2 level reading scores (approx. 90%) in as few hours as possible, with an extended goal of hitting C1 (approx. 95%) if time permitted. This year I want to top this, and have therefore added a further twist… Not only will the challenge be in a more difficult language this time round, but I also want to move from high beginner to high advanced in reading (A2 to C2, approx. 98%), with a view to reading contemporary Russian novels for pleasure completely unaided by next month. If I could achieve this, it would be a big tick next to one of my top language goals this year, and may even offer some answers to people in the same beginner boat who would like to learn how to read Russian and acquire a large passive vocabulary quickly to bootstrap other language areas.
As for the title of this ambitious endeavour…it simply means “well, just you wait!” in Russian, which is the catchphrase of a frustrated wolf who constantly chases after an elusive hare in the much-loved Soviet cartoon series by the same name (just think Wile E Coyote and Road Runner here). This is how I’ve felt about reading in Russian for years…I really want to catch those Cyrillic-charged words and delve first-hand into Russia’s great treasure-trove of literature, but the prize always seems so far beyond my reach or something heavy falls on my head before I’ve even got started (lol). This year, starting tomorrow, with my clicker, audio, and parallel texts in hand (and of course a bit of Lego on the side too), I’m hoping to change all this…well…I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Nu, pogodi!