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What is Master Class?

Master class focuses solely on pronunciation, teaching you to sound authentically Russian when you speak. 

 

I will explain the rules of Russian phonetics in English and work with students individually and as a group to help you reset your default mouth position and apply the rules of phonetics. 

 

Teachers can register for free and observe in the background.  Join us and feel new confidence when you speak!

See the syllabus for more info or take a look at some past classes.  You can email me with questions at kiradimattia@gmail.com and you can register below.  See you there!

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Eligibility & Cost

 

Who is eligible?

Master Class is designed for college students, graduate students, and adult professionals, but highly-motivated high school juniors and seniors age 16 or older are also welcome.  This course assumes a degree of tech-savviness where students make video and audio recordings of themselves, navigate new websites, and manage several different passwords; if you struggle with computers, register as an observer the first time around!

What does it cost?

The fee for attending Master Class as a student (Zoom video on, interacting with Kira) is currently $29 per class meeting (normally $39) for part- or full-time students and $39 per class meeting (normally $54) for adult professionals.  Taught in a university setting, this course would be (and has been) much more expensive.  This is outstanding value for a one-of-a-kind experience that could transform your Russian for life.  : )

 

The cost of the textbook for students is $18 (digital rental) / $36 (hard copy) plus tax and shipping.  Digital rental lasts 180 days; observers are not required to purchase the book in any format.  Click on Unlocking Russian Pronunciation to preview or purchase, or request a review copy.

 

Included in the cost of the course: Student participants will receive individualized goals and feedback on recordings at the beginning and end of the course.  Students can also attend four optional Monday afternoon "check-in" group coaching sessions/office hours for personal coaching or homework help. 

Refund policy: Refunds are available up until the first class meeting. 

A note about funding for college and graduate students: Colleges and universities often have funds available to students for supplementary educational experiences.  Ask your department chair about similar opportunities at your institution. 

What will we learn? 

There is SO MUCH that can be done in 5 weeks!  Take a look at the syllabus below for detailed descriptions of what you will learn and be able to do in that time. 

 
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Register & Prepare for Class

The registration deadline is Wednesday, 1/19/2022 and the first day of the Jan/Feb 2022 session (five evening classes) is Thursday, 1/20/2022.  You can use this button to register for all of the class sessions at once.  It will take you to a short questionnaire; you will receive an email with a Zoom links once admitted.  You must have a Zoom account and be logged into Zoom in order to attend class.  If you are registering as a student, be sure to complete Steps 2-5 on this webpage. 

Step 1: Register on Zoom

Step 2: Pay the Course Fee (if attending as a student)

If you registered as an observer, there is no fee.  If you registered as a student (Zoom video on, interacting with Kira) please use the buttons here to pay the course fee.  The course fee is refundable up until the first class meeting. 

(Select the appropriate amount based on your employment status.)

Step 3: Purchase the Book (if attending as a student)

Click the button to purchase the book.  You will also need:

  1. A Zoom account (free to sign up; always log in through your account)

  2. Paper and pen/pencil

  3. A way to record yourself during class (your phone or any program on your computer like QuickTime – free for Mac & PC)

  4. A mic if your audio quality is poor (clip-on mics can really help!  Try to troubleshoot this with a friend before the first class)

  5. The best internet connection you can possibly get (sit near a wifi router, use the newest device you have, close other programs & tabs)

Step 4: Watch the Orientation Video

This video will help you get the most you can out of the course. 

Step 5: Download the Password Cheat Sheet

Download the password cheat sheet now and start filling it out – it won't take long and you'll be ahead of the game on Day 1!

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Class Dates & Times

 

Class Dates & Times

Classes are 1.5 hours long except for the first class, which is 2 hours long.  Students are expected to attend each class.  If you must miss a class, email Kira in advance!  Check your email for a Zoom link after registering. 

Class Meeting #1 – Thursday, 1/20/2022

7:00-9:00 p.m. ET (New York)

First class is longer – 2 hours!

Class Meeting #2 – Thursday, 1/27/2022

7:00-8:30 p.m. ET (New York)

Class Meeting #3 – Thursday, 2/3/2022

7:00-8:30 p.m. ET (New York)

Class Meeting #4 – Thursday, 2/10/2022

7:00-8:30 p.m. ET (New York)

Class Meeting #5 – Thursday, 2/17/2022

7:00-8:30 p.m. ET (New York)

Optional Coaching Sessions / Office Hours

Group coaching sessions/office hours are 15-45 minutes long (depending on attendance) and are optional.  Kira will work with one student at a time while everyone else practices at home on mute.  Past students have reported that these sessions really helped them apply what they learned in class, and they're a great time to get individual questions answered.  You can register here if you are a current student or observer.  Check your email for a Zoom link after registering.

Check-In #1 – Monday, 1/24/2022

4:00-4:45 p.m. ET (New York)

Check-In #2 – Monday, 1/31/2022

4:00-4:45 p.m. ET (New York)

Check-In #3 – Monday, 2/7/2022

4:00-4:45 p.m. ET (New York)

Check-In #4 – Monday, 2/14/2022

4:00-4:45 p.m. ET (New York)

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Syllabus

 

Week 1 – Sound & Identity

(Join Kira's Master Class for access to these links – register above!)

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If you miss a day, don't try to catch up!  Just jump in where you are.  Less is more.  Don't burn out!

Friday

Baseline Oral (5 min)

Daily Practice Video - Day 1 (13 min)

 

Saturday

Daily Practice Video - Day 2 (13 min)

Sunday

Daily Practice Video - Day 3 (13 min)

 

Monday

Daily Practice Video - Day 4 (13 min)

Tuesday

Daily Practice Video - Day 5 (13 min)

 

Wednesday

Skills Check 1 (10 min)

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What are we learning this week?

 

This week we'll reset our default mouth position, or the position of our jaw, tongue, and lips, so that everything we say will sound instantly more Russian. 

We'll also learn the "Secret Code", or Kira's system of transcribing (or spelling) how we actually pronounce words.  You'll finally understand what the heck is going on in all those words!

This week you'll also have a chance to make your baseline oral recording and receive individualized goals and feedback on your pronunciation.  It's a great opportunity to figure out how and where to spend your energy so that you can make the most significant gains in your ability to speak clear, authentic-sounding Russian.

Week 2 – Hard & Soft Sounds

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If you miss a day, don't try to catch up!  Just jump in where you are.  Less is more.  Don't burn out!

Friday

Daily Practice Video - Day 1 (22 min)

 

Saturday

Daily Practice Video - Day 2 (22 min)

Sunday

Daily Practice Video - Day 3 (22 min)

Monday

Daily Practice Video - Day 4 (22 min)

Tuesday

Daily Practice Video - Day 5 (22 min)

 

Wednesday

Skills Check 2 (10 min)

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What are we learning this week?

 

This week we'll learn about hard and soft soundswhen to pronounce them and how to pronounce them. 

People who have grown up speaking English in the US tend to pronounce all of our consonants somewhere in between hard and soft Russian consonants.  Our challenge is to learn the more extreme tongue positions that Russians use. 

 

The good news is that with some theoretical knowledge and some coaching, most students are able to make huge gains in this area and their speech becomes much more clear and precise

One of my favorite parts of this week is reframing the nature of mistakes.  Should we really feel as much shame as we do over them?  It might be time to revisit our childhood misconceptions about them and free ourselves to play and experiment in life with joy and confidence. 

Week 3 – Vowel Reduction

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If you miss a day, don't try to catch up!  Just jump in where you are.  Less is more.  Don't burn out!

Friday

Daily Practice Video - Day 1 (14 min)

 

Saturday

Daily Practice Video - Day 2 (14 min)

Sunday

Daily Practice Video - Day 3 (14 min)

Monday

Daily Practice Video - Day 4 (14 min)

Tuesday

Daily Practice Video - Day 5 (14 min)

 

Wednesday

Skills Check 3 (10 min)

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What are we learning this week?

 

This week we'll learn about vowel reduction, or what happens to some vowels when they are unstressed, or not emphasized, in words. 

This week is a blast!  Most Russian students know some rules, like what to do with unstressed "о", but many students have never heard of most of the rules, like what to do with unstressed "я" or the vowels in grammatical endings, particles, and unstressed -ча and -ща. 

 

A little bit of knowledge can be completely transformative for your Russian! 

Week 4 – Voicing Rules

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If you miss a day, don't try to catch up!  Just jump in where you are.  Less is more.  Don't burn out!

Friday

Daily Practice Video - Day 1 (15 min)

 

Saturday

Daily Practice Video - Day 2 (15 min)

Sunday

Daily Practice Video - Day 3 (15 min)

Monday

Daily Practice Video - Day 4 (15 min)

Tuesday

Daily Practice Video - Day 5 (15 min)

 

Wednesday

Skills Check 4 (10 min)

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What are we learning this week?

 

This week we'll learn about voicing rules, or what happens to consonants at the ends of words and in consonant clusters. 

Don't know if you've noticed, but Russian is a very consonant-rich language!  This means that it has lots of consonant sounds and relatively few vowel sounds to learn, as opposed to other languages with more vowels and fewer consonants. 

This week you'll learn exactly what to do when you come across long strings of consonants...so your brain doesn't freeze when you see three or four in a row!

Week 5 – Individual Phonetics Topics

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If you miss a day, don't try to catch up!  Just jump in where you are.  Less is more.  Don't burn out!

Friday

Daily Practice Video - Day 1 (19 min)

 

Saturday

Daily Practice Video - Day 2 (19 min)

Sunday

Daily Practice Video - Day 3 (19 min)

Monday

Daily Practice Video - Day 4 (19 min)

Tuesday

(When this Tuesday falls just before Thanksgiving, skip this assignment and do the Final Oral today instead)

Daily Practice Video - Day 5 (19 min)

 

Wednesday

Final Oral (10 min)

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What are we learning this week?

 

This week we'll learn about individual phonetics topics.  We'll cover:

 

  • prepositions that lose their stress

  • how to pronounce words with ъ and ь in them (like подъе́хал and статья́)

  • word-initial и

  • how to pronounce -тся and -ться

  • how to pronounce unstressed -ее, -яя, -чая, -щая (like дома́шнее and горя́чая)

We'll also talk about Russian prosody, or how to make your speech sound more authentically Russian at the sentence level

This week you'll also have a chance to make your final oral recording and receive feedback on your pronunciation after 5 weeks of learning new knowledge and skills.  If past results are any indication, with dedicated practice you can look forward to a huge shift your ability to speak beautifully clear, precise, authentic-sounding Russian.  I'm looking forward to celebrating your progress with you!

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 Videos of Class

 

Week 1 – Sound & Identity

10/21/2021

Week 2 – Hard & Soft Sounds

10/28/2021

Week 3 – Vowel Reduction

11/4/2021

Week 4 – Voicing Rules

11/11/2021

Week 5 – Phonetics Topics

11/18/2021

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PPT

 

Master Class with Kira

Copy of HW with Dr. Di - Patreon banner.

Week 1

Copy of HW with Dr. Di - Patreon banner.

Week 2

Copy of HW with Dr. Di - Patreon banner.

Week 3

Copy of HW with Dr. Di - Patreon banner.

Week 4

Copy of HW with Dr. Di - Patreon banner.

Week 5

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Resources

 

(Green links are available to current Master Class participants – register above!)

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Orientation Video

Flipgrid Tutorial 0:59

Unlocking Russian Pronunciation – Lessons 1 & 2

Unlocking Russian Pronunciation – Instructional Videos

Class Folder

Song Lyrics

Шпaргалка 

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FAQ

 

What if I need to miss a class?

The textbook comes with access to many hours of video lessons where I teach exactly what I will be teaching online in the master class, so missing a class won't be a problem if you watch the videos for the class you miss and do the homework.  Handy, huh!  You can also watch videos of the master class session you missed once they are posted at the bottom of this page – just click the button that says "Videos of Master Class" or scroll down.  Please email me before you miss the class (if possible!) and let me know that you know how to make up the work.  Use the buttons here to navigate to the videos and quizlets.  (Observers can come to one class or all of them and you don't have to notify me in advance – please just join right at the beginning of class!)

What are the expectations about video on or off?  Who will participate?

Good question!  At the beginning of each class session, everyone has their video turned on so that we can all see each other and say hello.  Then I ask observers to turn their video off and only students leave their video on, so that they are in the foreground.  We will sing a little after class ends, and everyone is welcome to turn on their video at that time if they stay.

Can I record the sessions?  Will you?

I will record the sessions and make them available to participants, including both students and observers, so that they can become a learning tool for everyone – me, included!  I plan to use them to become a better teacher.  It's also possible that other teachers will want to see excerpts or whole sessions – to understand more clearly how pronunciation is learned and to think about how we can do a better job teaching it.  I may also use video or audio clips or transcripts from the sessions professionally in the future (such as in presentations to other teachers and/or students) and I may allow other researchers to use them as well.

What are the certificates like?

If you are interested in receiving a digital certificate of completion at the end of the course (see the examples below), you will have to attend or make up all of the class sessions, submit a Baseline Oral and Final Oral (see the syllabus above), and answer several questions that I will ask you at the end of the course.  You should submit your Baseline Oral recording within the first day or two of class at the latest; otherwise, you won’t be able to hear your progress as easily.  

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Do you accept donations?

I am grateful for any donations that come my way!  I spend tons of hours creating resources for students and trying to make my Master Class the very best it can be, and donations are a very welcome expression of appreciation.  : )

How can I sign up for your Patreon Podcast?

Join our Russian Pronunciation Club on Patreon and sign up to receive audio exercises and pronunciation tips delivered directly to you multiple times a week via text and/or email through the Remind app (or simply log into Patreon to access the same resources.)  I’m sooo excited about this initiative!!!  A few minutes a day of focused practice can make a huge difference in long-term mastery, and I thought that regular texts (or emails) from me would be the best way to make it easy and fun for you.  I will tell you how to sign up for texts and/or emails on the Remind app in my welcome email when you become a Patron at the $5/month level.  I hope a bunch of you try this option out!!!

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