Между нами consists of three main components:
- An online, mobile-friendly textbook located at mezhdunami.org, which provides the story line, vocabulary, grammatical explanations and cultural context. The textbook features extensive illustrations, comprehension checks, mouse-over glosses and audio recordings to aid in learning the language. It provides language input in the form of a connected story, with work on comprehension and vocabulary, grammar explanations and information about cultural context.
- A set of printed Ра́бота в аудито́рии (Classroom Activities), which provide opportunities for face-to-face practice in pairs and small groups. These activities can be downloaded for free in pdf format or purchased in a pre-printed version.
- A set of printed Дома́шние зада́ния (Homework Assignments), which allow students to apply the new material that they have practiced in class. These activities can be downloaded for free in pdf format or purchased in a pre-printed version.
The program is organized into nine уроки (units). Each one starts with a list of goals so that you know what you will be learning to do in Russian. You should plan on checking yourself regularly against these goals as you work through the material. They will help you keep track of what you know well, and the areas in which you might need some additional work.
Each unit divided into three ча́сти (parts), with each часть (part) sharing common thematic and grammatical content. These parts are divided into episodes that advance the ongoing story line and provide new vocabulary, grammar and cultural information. Each episode begins with a текст (text), which you should plan to read multiple times. Listening to the audio, looking at the illustrations, and checking the mouse-over glosses for words and phrases that may be hard to figure out from context will aid your understanding of the text. If you cannot recall the meaning of a word you have seen before, you can look it up by checking the Слова́рь (Dictionary).
After reading and listening to the text several times, you should move onto the Вы всё по́няли (Did You Get All of Тhat?) section, which provides comprehension questions with automatic feedback to help you to check your understanding of the text and to learn new vocabulary. These activities are crucial preparation for the in-class work, which is designed to help you use this new vocabulary and to examine new grammatical constructions.
Most of your class time will be spent working through the activities in Рабо́та в аудито́рии, which require you to interact with other students. For example, you may be asked to survey your classmates in Russian and record their answers. You might also be asked to complete the first part of an activity on your own and then to compare your answers with a partner or a small group. Throughout these activities you will be expected to use Russian to the greatest extent possible.
As you work with the classroom activities, you will read and re-read the Немно́го о языке́ (A Bit About Language) section found in the online textbook. This section contains information about Russian grammar and usage encountered in the episode. Be sure to make use of the activities with automatic feedback to see if you have understood the new concepts being presented.
Your work in the classroom will be followed up with written work provided in the Дома́шние зада́ния (Homework Assignments). The assignments for each episode practice new information in the story, as well as vocabulary, and grammar. Some of the exercises ask you to speak about characters from the story, but in others you apply the new material that you have learned to tell about yourself, your background, and interests.
The structure of the lessons allows you to build your knowledge of Russian by practicing familiar forms even as you add new vocabulary and grammatical structures. The language used in the episodes will serve as your model for how to express ideas, but will also show you how Russian grammar works, and how grammar helps to express meaning.
In addition to the components described above, Между нами includes a Teacher's Supplement that provides:
- model lesson plans
- suggested semester and quarter schedules
- a testbank
- teacher materials for use with the Работа в аудитории (Classroom Activities), information gap activities, PowerPoint presentations, etc.
- transcripts of audio homework.