Learning Ukrainian: progress report #3

We have, as they say, good news and bad news. The good news is that my Ukrainian lessons are progressing well in their third week.

The bad news—speaking as a teacher—is that pedagogically speaking the lessons are not designed nearly as competently as the German lessons were.

Maybe that’s to be expected. I’m sure that Duolingo has been offering German lessons for far longer than they have ben offering Ukrainian lessons, so they have had time to polish them. Also, since German is easier to learn than Ukrainian (a relative statement, of course, since German is not exactly easy), the lesson writers may feel more pressure to simplify the latter. And they may feel pressure to provide lots of repetition. Although of course repetition is necessary when learning a foreign language (practice may not make perfect, but it does develop automaticity), more variety in vocabulary would still provide sufficient practice in syntax and morphology.

Anyway, as you see, I’ve now completed 32 lessons and learned 90 new words in the past week. The supplementary grammatical material is interesting and always helpful, despite annoyingly perky oversimplifications like “How do I make a word Accusative? It’s super easy! Just change the ending.” But I have to remind myself that I’m not really the audience here: they don’t expect learners to know Latin and linguistics, both of which make an enormous difference when attempting to learn Ukrainian.

Categories: Linguistics, Teaching & Learning