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7- Step Comprehension Boosting System

My unique method is focused on developing listening and reading skills and memorizing a lot of words and grammar structures in simple steps

It is based on your brain's ability to

  • To focus on one task at a time
  • To choose the easiest task to work on (i.e. if you listen to and read the same text, your brain will not focus on listening as the harder task but will be more focused on reading instead)
  • To build strong neural connection through multiple repetitions via multi-sensory channels.


That's why in each lesson, you will

  • Train each skill separately, so your brain is focused on one task at a time.  
  • Start with the most challenging skill - listening so your brain will have no way around but rely on your ears. 
  • Use a lot of colored graphs (infographicsmind maps) and an interactive spaced repetition app with recorded pronunciation to make memorizing new words an easy and fun task, because you will interact with each word multiple times with certain intervals via all your sensory channels.

Step 1. Listen to the audio at normal speed

Follow the flow of speech and allow your brain to understand as much as it can.


Rely only on your ears. Don’t use a transcript!

Focus on:

  • Catching the gist from the elements that you understood. Pay attention because familiar words may sound different because of pronunciation rules (movement of the stress, vowel reduction, and consonant alternation).
  • Guessing from the context and your real-life knowledge about unfamiliar elements


Don’t panic if you don’t get much: Remember

  • It’s fast speech
  • There are 20-30 unfamiliar words


What are you learning at this step?


You’re developing your listening skills: 

  • Becoming accustomed to the natural speed/ speech patterns. 
  • Not shutting down when you listen to fast speech with a lot of unfamiliar words
  • Try to figure out as much as you can from familiar elements and guessing.


Congratulate yourself for taking this challenging step!

Step 2. Listen to the audio at slow speed

Now, when the speed is more comfortable, try to recognize all familiar words (still remembering about pronunciation rules) and guess on the rest. 


Still rely on your ears entirely: don’t use transcript. 


It’s normal to not understand much at this step: Remember there are 20-30 new words. 


What are you learning at this step?


You’re developing your listening skills: 

  • Recognizing all familiar words even if their forms sound different because of pronunciation rules
  • Figuring out as much as you can from familiar elements and guessing


Congratulate yourself for taking this challenging step too!

Step 3. Read the transcript 

Now read the transcript. Don’t use a dictionary or the vocab/grammar breakdown part.


Focus on understanding more details from seeing the words in writing. 


All the underlined words are new to you. Try to guess their meaning from: 

  • their familiar parts (root, prefix, suffix, ending), 
  • their position in a sentence
  • the context 
  • your real-life knowledge


Congratulate yourself for understanding a little more!


What are you learning at this step?

  • You're developing your reading skills, i.e. ability to understand written text without relying on a dictionary.  

Step 4. Understand and translate the full transcript 

  1. Read transcript again and use vocab/grammar breakdown to completely understand it. 
  2. Re-read it until you can translate it without looking at the vocab breakdown.


Please note: 

In the breakdown, all of the words are divided into groups to guide you in what situations you can use them:

 

  • Topical (in one specific topic)
  • General (in many topics when speaking neutrally or formally)
  • Colloquial (in many topics when speaking informally)


Some lessons also include:

  • Connectors (conjunctions and other connecting words)
  • Idioms 


Each group of words is given in alphabetical order. 


What are you learning at this step?


You started to learn new vocabulary and grammar: 

  • During reading with the vocab breakdown, you observe new words and grammar structures in their natural context 
  • During re-reading without the vocab breakdown, you recognize new words and grammar structures in their natural context
  • In the vocab/ grammar breakdown, you learn the situations when each word would be appropriate to use.   

Step 5. Learn new vocabulary

View the vocabulary infographics and mind maps. 


Pay attention to how the new words are related to each other and the words that you already know: 

  • organized in clusters with the same root,  
  • express similar or opposite meaning. 


Go to a vocabulary list for this lesson in a Quizlet app:

  • Use digital flashcards to memorize the meaning of the words: Russian to English and English to Russian. 
  • Listen to the recorded pronunciation for each word and mimic it. 
  • Play interactive games to make learning more engaging. 

Step 6. Learn new grammar

View infographics and/or grammar notes with new grammar structures and practice them.  


Pay attention to the vocab infographics that has the grammar features of the new words included (i.e. cases, verb forms). 


Go back to the script and highlight all the new grammar structures there. Analyze why they were used there. 


Use new grammar and vocab by answering:  

  • comprehension questions for the text 
  • asking prep questions about yourself

Step 7. Re-listen to the audio at normal speed

Focus on understanding most of details. Complete our fill-in-the-blank script to make sure that you catch all the new words.  


Congratulate yourself for your great work!