I see basically two different ways of learning language at the beginning:
1. Memorizing standard phrases.
2. Learning basic grammar.
Generally I do not believe in way #1 despite the fact it's been advertised here and all over the web as the best approach. How many phrases can you memorize? One hundred? Maybe two hundreds if you have phenomenal memory? The problem is that if you learn in Russian simple phrase “I go to school”, you will still not able to say “She goes to school” or “We go to school” because it will sound differently.
Some #1 method enthusiasts follow their logic and state that you do not need to know grammar since Russians in average are not really educated or intelligent people and they do not give a damn about correct use of their language. That’s how far they got in their ignorance following an initially wrong assumption.
Well, I’d say approach #1 is good for some occasions, like you are lazy to learn the language but would like to know a few words or phrases for some reason (like to be able to impress your girlfriend or to be able to pick some really necessary phrases before you travel to Russia and you are limited in time).
If you are serious about learning the language I’d recommend to you the approach #2.
The advantage of it is that you get the necessary TOOLS and learn how to USE them. And that gives you an enormous power to assemble any sentence you want. Besides, you begin to understand the words that do not even know. Why? Because you know the general conception of Russian sentence. And by determining what part of speech you are dealing with you can get an idea about the meaning of the word from the context. And every time this happens it will add a new building block in your language knowledge.
Again, I was talking about the main structure of your course. It does not mean that you do not have to read, speak or listen, but this is a subject for our future discussions. <img title="Smile" src="http://www.italki.com/Scripts/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-smile.gif" alt="Smile" border="0" />
Absolutely. And not only this. As you said a little bit of talk about the culture and poetry and literature. All this is handy.
I was just protesting an approach where thr grammar is eliminated from course completely. I've heard people who speaks Russian fluntly but horrably, since they used that no-grammar approach. It souns like Russian ebonics. It's sounds terrifying and pretty ugly.
I agree that it is impossible to learn Russian without a grammar. But you can not learn it without memorising words as well. I support starting with a text- short and simple. 1st you will learn how to read, basic phonetic rules, then new words, and grammar. I hope this makes sense.