The Teacher Pack contains the following:
Sample Syllabus – Assign material to students over 10 weeks
PPT files – For use in classes if you want to teach this material yourself
Goals Menus – Set individual goals for students (optional)
Feedback Forms – Provide individualized feedback on student recordings (optional)
Webinar Takeaways – Handout from 2019 ACTR Webinar with strategies for teaching pronunciation
Quizlets are a huge help as students master the transcription system:
The video library is a great resource for students, whether you are teaching this material or they are learning it independently:
Watch Kira Teach from Unlocking Russian Pronunciation
February 2021 Master Class – Day 1
February 2021 Master Class – Day 2
February 2021 Master Class – Day 3
February 2021 Master Class – Day 4
February 2021 Master Class – Day 5
September 2020 Master Class – Day 6
Letter to Teachers
I am writing because I want to introduce you to a variety of resources I've created to help students master Russian pronunciation.
My most extensive resource consists of a video supplement to Russian language courses that is solidly grounded in the scholarship of the field of Second Language Acquisition as it is practiced in both Russia and the US, the ten-lesson video supplement is accompanied by a book published jointly with American Councils for International Education and Kendall Hunt. The video supplement and book are intended for use as an add-on in Russian language courses of all levels. If you currently teach Russian, this resource could make a huge difference in your students’ experience – they want to be able to speak with the comfort and confidence that comes with excellent pronunciation, and this video resource is designed to get them there!
Unlocking Russian Pronunciation is a comprehensive multimedia experience that facilitates the development of speech that sounds authentically Russian. The flipped learning environment poses no instructional burden for teachers - you can simply assign it to students as a resource they use outside of class. It’s something I would have wanted to use back when I was teaching Russian at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges. You can read a review here.
Special features include:
Textbook and Extensive Video Library
Full Answer Keys
Detailed Instruction on Every Topic
Expert Coaching on Phonetic Nuances
The ten lessons of Unlocking Russian Pronunciation could be assigned over the course of a year or a single term; you may find that it works especially well in the second semester or quarter of multi-term language courses. I've created a sample syllabus that you could modify or simply add hand out as-is: it is intended to complement syllabi in existing courses of various types and levels. The sample syllabus makes it clear that students are responsible for studying, practicing, and checking all of their own work. It also suggests some optional practice and assessment activities for you to conduct as the instructor, but the materials were designed to benefit students without any additional input from you. You can learn more from the FAQ for Teachers on the General FAQ of this website. If you think you might like to use Unlocking Russian Pronunciation in your course in the future but are not ready to adopt it, there are two things you could do. You could attend one of the master classes I teach virtually for as an observer (no cost – simply register first!) This would give you a chance to become familiar with the approach and see how it works in action if you want to actively teach the material yourself. You could also consider passing the unlockingrussianpronunciation.org link along to your students. They may be interested in the opportunity to engage in self-paced study of Russian phonetics and learn some wonderful Russian songs. Perhaps if a few of them try it out, they could let you know how it worked for them!
I have also created a visual / audio podcast to demystify Russian pronunciation. In each episode I give detailed instructions on the gymnastics our mouths need to do to pronounce the trickiest - and simplest - words properly. Students and teachers can subscribe to Russian Word of the Day with Kira on my YouTube channel (I recommend this option because the videos contain additional supportive visuals) or on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Google Podcasts for daily bite-sized pronunciation help. Students can also connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @learnrussianwithkira to request a word they'd like to have demystified. The podcast is a wonderful place for students to start improving their pronunciation. The only drawback is that the very short format of the podcast does not lend itself to discussing phonetics topics beyond the word level. Unlocking Russian Pronunciation (book & video supplement) is appropriate for students who are interested in long-term mastery.
I have several other options for students as well. They can join my Russian Pronunciation Club on Patreon where they can receive texts and emails with audio exercises and pronunciation tips from me multiple times a week at the $5/month level. They (and you!) can sign up for Russian singing via Zoom once a month during the school year – no cost to anyone and it's soooo nice to see everyone and feel like a community! Students can also take private lessons with me at $20 for a 20-minute session or enroll in my master class. The July 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 (COVID-19) sessions of the master class will be offered without charge except for the purchase of the 2 texts we'll use (and some "extras" like individual goal-setting and group coaching sessions are available for a nominal fee). Participants can sign up for the master class as students or as observers.
As I mentioned above, if you are interested in adopting Unlocking Russian Pronunciation, I highly recommend attending my master classes as an observer. You can attend just one class or several, and this should give you a feel for how I teach using these materials. And for those who want to teach the material themselves (instead of simply assigning the videos and letting me do the teaching!) I'm creating some teacher materials such as the same PowerPoint files I use in my classes and the same forms I use to set goals for students and provide feedback. Finally, you can also watch videos of my virtual master class sessions (with real live students!) in the Teacher Resources section of this website below. I'm really excited about this new master class initiative, so consider joining in! I may also be available during the school year to attend Russian classes via Zoom and to do a little pronunciation work and singing with your students if you are interested. Feel free to email me at to explore this possibility.
Unlocking Russian Pronunciation © 2019 ACTR is available from Kendall Hunt and is frequently on display at AATSEEL. Please consider requesting a faculty review copy. It's my best effort at creating a phenomenal resource at a price that students should find very affordable (US$36 hard copy / $18 digital rental), and I'm hoping that it will eventually become something of a gold standard for studying Russian pronunciation. Feel free to email me with questions and suggestions at email@example.com, and here’s to new horizons in student acquisition of authentic-sounding Russian!
Kimberly (Kira) DiMattia
M.A. and Ph.D. in Russian and Second Language Acquisition, Bryn Mawr College