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About Us

20140619_172401It’s common that the only books and sites to teach the child Russian are those from Russia, made for kids who are learning Russian as a native language. Even if the resources themselves are great, they require a lot of modifications. Those changes are not always done when teaching Russian to kids living abroad, which leads to issues that could have been avoided (the main being lack or interest or desire to use Russian).

Teaching Russian to Kids as a Foreign Language or Russian for Heritage Learners is quite different from teaching Russian to kids who are native speakers of Russian. In addition to the differences in the approach to teaching the language, there are additional factors you need to consider: Russian culture, history, geography and realities need to be introduced in an approachable and interesting way. You need to remember about the transference from the other language(s) they speak in their everyday lives and how to approach those corrections. And it is always important to include activities that are of interest to the child as well as are appropriate for their age and level of development. The goal of our company is to take into consideration those specific challenges and create books and online resources that will help parents, grandparents, teachers and kids learn Russian and have fun.

About the Russian Step By Step for Children Team

Natasha Alexandrova

Author

Natasha1Natasha has taught Russian for over twenty years, first in Ukraine and now in the U.S.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics and a Master’s Degree, and has attended many teaching conferences and seminars.  In the process, she has learned much from her colleagues.  Before beginning her career as an author, Natasha was a head teacher, observing countless lessons.  In this capacity, she provided feedback to the teachers on improving their lessons, and to the students on how they could best benefit from the program.

As a teacher, Natasha watched students struggle to learn Russian from complex textbooks that presented too much too quickly.  The students had no time to internalize the information.  She soon began to develop her own way of presenting the material, and realized that there is a very simple method of learning any language:  divide complicated material into simple pieces, and master it step-by-step.

Natasha’s years of experience have culminated in a book series of her own – Russian Step by Step.  The books are easy to follow, and, at the same time, they teach real Russian.  In RSBS books, students will find dialogues from everyday life, exercises to help master those dialogues, and text to help remember them.

The series has branches for both adults and children.  The adult series is aimed at non-Russian speakers who want to learn either alone, or with the help of a teacher.  The many hours of audio included with the books help students to learn proper Russian pronunciation.

The children’s series is aimed at bilingual kids, or those whose Russian-speaking parents or grandparents want them to both understand and communicate in Russian. The books take into consideration the specifics of this audience, and make sure the kids have fun while learning.

Anna Watt

Project Manager, Marketing/PR/External Relations Instructor and Voice Actor

AnnaWattAnna wears many hats at Russian Step by Step, and as the company grows so do her responsibilities. She is currently the Project Manager for all the new books that we are working on and the updates to the existing books and audiotracks. She is also the Marketing, PR and External Relations Manager. Anna is always eager to talk to the teachers, administrators, partents and studnets about their needs, wishes and suggestions. During the earlier years, Anna also worked as an editor, instructor and voice actor for Russian Step By Step. If you are reading the blog, visit our Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pages – you are most likely reading the content that Anna wrote or put together.

Originally from Russia, Anna has a Bachelor’s in Education and Linguistics from Moscow State Pedagogical University in Moscow, and a Master’s Degree in International and Interactive Communication from University of Lille 1, IAE Business School in Lille, France. Anna speaks fluent Russian, English and French and also knows some Spanish, German, Japanese and Italian. Her education, work experience and many years of teaching and tutoring both in the actual classroom and online helps her understand the needs of students as well as the design, management and promotion of language courses, textbooks and learning materials.

As a voice actor Anna has contributed many tracks to the audio components of this course and you can see her on the videos as the lead teacher. Anna is very interested is supporting and promoting the study of the Russian language, as well as introducing Russia’s language and culture to a variety of people world-wide.

If you notice any issues or mistakes in the digital or audio components, are interested in reviewing Russian Step By Step Series or in purchasing large quantities, please contact Anna at info at russianstepbystep dot com.

Olga Glenn

Customer Support Agent

S1Olga Glenn is originally from St. Petersburg and has a degree in psychology. Since immigrating to the U.S. Olga has taught small children in a Russian Immersion program. As a mother, she now enjoys staying at home with her son, while providing customer support to the Russian Step by Step website and publishing.

Olga is an active and outgoing person and enjoys many hobbies including reading, modeling, following the latest fashion trends and meeting new people.  Her photo here is from one of the shoots she did in St. Petersburg. If you have received an email from us, you have most likely communicated with Olga already. Please email to info@russianstepbystep.com if you need any support.

Elena Litnevskaya

Illustrator

Elena_sm1Elena was born in the city of Omsk in Siberia, and has loved drawing all her life.  She decided early on that her profession must include pencils and paint brushes. So she became a graphic designer and then an illustrator.

Now Elena works at a design studio in Moscow, mainly with acrylics and oils. Vector characters for books and magazines she dreams up at home after work.

Elena says that she has really enjoyed working on the RSBS project, and hopes that her drawings will help you to learn Russian.

Anna Alexeeva

lllustrator and Graphic Designer

AnnaA1Anna Alexeeva is a freelance artist living in the East Bay area of California since 2010. She was born in Minsk, Belarus.

Anna’s main focus is graphic design and illustration, but she also has a passion for the fine arts. She loves to experiment with any medium that can bring her ideas to life, from digital pen to oil.

Anna loves to study the world and view things from different perspectives, finding something special in everyday life and enjoying simple things.  In her free time, Anna enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Some of her hobbies include painting, yoga, camping and snowboarding.

 

Olesya Tsurikov

Editor

O-sm1Olesya has been interested in foreign languages since her childhood. She moved to California from Kiev, Ukraine at the age of  fourteen,  and is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, English and French.  Olesya is learning a little Spanish now as well. Being a native speaker of the Russian language,  she makes equivalent translations from Russian expressions into English. Olesya hopes that her humble work will help you in your journey to learn Russian with RSBS.

If you spot a mistake in the book, please let us know by sending an email.

 

Vsevolod “Sam” Tsurikov

Technical Support

SamSam and the Web were born in the same decade, so, he decided to develop his skills in the fast-growing sector of Web development.

His main task in the Russian Step By Step project is to create efficient and user-friendly websites.

He also provides technical support for internet users and online lessons.

If you have any questions or corrections for the website please contact Sam.

 

Donald Watt

Consultant

DonDon earned his Ph.D. From the University of Pennsylvania.  During his academic career he was Director of an Arkansas university’s Russian-American exchange program, and served as a Visiting Professor at Moscow State Pedagogical University.  In addition to his teaching in international politics, he has served as a college dean in Arkansas and vice president for academic affairs in South Dakota.  He has had more than seventy articles published.

Having (somewhat) learned Russian, while in his forties, via informal tutoring by visiting Russian professors and students, he understands the need for Russian Step by Step for those without this opportunity. This has been recently reinforced, as when reading aloud in Russian to his two year old granddaughter, she felt the need to correct him.  Currently, Don is a Fellow at the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service.

Trilla Watt

Copy Editor

Trilla1A cum laude graduate of Mount Union College in Ohio, Trilla majored in both history and political science.  Her avocation of the subsequent years has been the study of British social and political history and of European royal and noble genealogy.

She has held a variety of positions, all of which included components of writing and editing.  Married to Dr. Don Watt for the past forty-two years, she has also been the unpaid editor of a great number of academic papers and articles.

It is Trilla’s belief that the study of languages is vital to the education of anyone.  Even those who never become fluent in a language other than their own will learn a great deal which will help them to understand and use their native tongue.

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