Russian Textbook Recommendations??? Help!

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issemiyaki
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Russian Textbook Recommendations??? Help!

Postby issemiyaki » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:09 pm

Hello,

I'm looking to FINALLY take the plunge into Russian. I already know some Russian, but I'm still very much at level A1.

What textbooks would you recommend? I'm looking for real, hardcore textbooks.

I know the trend here is to shun textbooks, but this time around, I don't think Assimil or Linguaphone is going to cut it. Sorry. I am not looking to fall into the abyss of cases and declensions never to be seen again.

I'm really trying to do this right, and it's not something I want to rush through.

I have seen FSI method, by the way; and yes it is thorough. But it seems to be the let-me-hurry-up-and-get-you-marginally-conversant-in-three-months-because-you-need-to-sound-like-a-diplomat-method. Sorry, just my opinion. Not what I'm looking for.

Again, I'm looking for hardcore textbooks. They can be books used at universities, or ones used at languages schools. By the way, I have noticed a difference, have you? Usually, when you go to a language school, your textbooks are 250 pages, at most, and then a small workbook. When you're studying at a university, the textbooks are sometimes 500-600 pages, have audio supplements, workbooks, charts, you name it. It's wild! Do you think there's any difference in thoroughness between langauge school textbooks and university-style textbooks? (This could be a US-thing.) Or is that just another one of the wicket cash-cow schemes that universities are wrapped up in to cash in on naieve and helpless students who are forced to buy the book in order to pass the class? Just curious.
Last edited by issemiyaki on Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Caromarlyse
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Re: Ideas for Russian Textbooks

Postby Caromarlyse » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:02 pm

I also like textbooks. I liked this series: https://www.tochkaru-book.com/en/.
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issemiyaki
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Re: Ideas for Russian Textbooks

Postby issemiyaki » Sat Feb 06, 2021 5:15 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:I also like textbooks. I liked this series: https://www.tochkaru-book.com/en/.

What did you like about those books?

They are getting a lot of buzz on the internet, actually.
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Caromarlyse
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Re: Ideas for Russian Textbooks

Postby Caromarlyse » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:56 pm

issemiyaki wrote:
Caromarlyse wrote:I also like textbooks. I liked this series: https://www.tochkaru-book.com/en/.

What did you like about those books?

They are getting a lot of buzz on the internet, actually.


What works for one person might not work for another, so I'd take a look at the sample pages on the site and see what you think. Personally, I found them well designed, in the sense that vocab introduced at one point was then repeated in later chapters, so you were subtly tested on whether you'd retained stuff, and of course the repetition helped with retention if you hadn't. I also liked that idiomatic expressions were introduced throughout. Each chapter has a list of vocab (in Russian only), which I found helpful in that I didn't need to go through the chapter again and produce a list myself. I found it well done too in the sense that it worked for an adult learner - I didn't feel patronised, and the content wasn't geared to a student-aged learner, as I've found with other textbooks. I found the audio good, and transcripts of everything are available - I used them as dictation practice as well as using them as provided for in the books. The exercises in the workbooks give translation exercises, which personally I found helpful as a way to ensure I'd learnt the vocab and grammar raised in the relevant chapter. I didn't use these books as my sole route to A2, though, and in particular did a lot of supplementary grammar exercises - handouts from Живая речь A1+ and various other places too. I'm using Я люблю русский язык B1.1 now, which I also like, and I understand that the same publisher produces books for the A levels too, so you might want to check those out too before making a decision.
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issemiyaki
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Re: Ideas for Russian Textbooks

Postby issemiyaki » Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:07 pm

@Caromarlyse:

Thanks so much for your insight. I think we're on the same page.

I just spoke with a university professor who teaches Russian and he broke down the difference for me between university-style textbooks and the manual style books used mostly in language schools. He indicated that "university-level textbooks" are necessarily better, or have any more valuable material in them. It's just that they are more geared towards group work.

So, the books you recommended are ones that language schools would use, which I prefer actually. I have been flipping through Tochkaru, and really like it. I'll also check out: Живая речь A1+.

Thanks so much.
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Re: Ideas for Russian Textbooks

Postby Caromarlyse » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:59 pm

issemiyaki wrote:I just spoke with a university professor who teaches Russian and he broke down the difference for me between university-style textbooks and the manual style books used mostly in language schools. He indicated that "university-level textbooks" are necessarily better, or have any more valuable material in them. It's just that they are more geared towards group work.


Out of interest, what is used at that professor's university for Russian? I have looked at various universities' programmes (in multiple languages, not just Russian) to see which books they use (and get ideas), but have only ever seen the usual suspects; specifically, I haven't noticed a massive divide between what language schools use and what universities use.
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issemiyaki
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Re: Ideas for Russian Textbooks

Postby issemiyaki » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:52 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:Out of interest, what is used at that professor's university for Russian? I have looked at various universities' programmes (in multiple languages, not just Russian) to see which books they use (and get ideas), but have only ever seen the usual suspects; specifically, I haven't noticed a massive divide between what language schools use and what universities use.


He is retired now, but he uses a variety of resources. Here's his website if you want to check it out.

https://www.tips4russian.com/

He speaks amazing Russian.
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Re: Russian Textbook Recommendations??? Help!

Postby leosmith » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:20 am

I prefer concise. I'm not saying I like a textbook that cuts corners - I'm saying I don't like textbooks that are padded up to sell more books. My problem (maybe not yours, I freely admit) is that if the book is too thick, tries to teach you everything, adding superfluous exercises and hundreds/thousands of extra vocabulary items, I have a really hard getting my hands around the grammar. I have a hard time seeing the big picture in that case. I always recommend Penguin as it's well organized and concise, and A Comprehensive Russian Grammar because it is what it's titled.
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Re: Russian Textbook Recommendations??? Help!

Postby David1917 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:03 am

Penguin Russian Course

The oldest Colloquial Russian (Trubner's)

Cortina Russian (add this because it's free and has tons of pattern drills that aren't the style of FSI)

Terrence Wade Russian Grammar
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