Kristina’s approach to teaching Russian is very well worked out, and I only wish her books and audio recordings had been available a couple of decades ago when I was first studying Russian. I’ve studied many languages to various levels, and Kristina has managed to produce some of the best language-learning material I’ve seen, and she has clearly thought through the problems of previous methods. In particular, she understands the need to offer learners material that they will be strongly motivated to read and study (as opposed to, say, antiquated dialogues about buying a stamp in a post office, or at a higher level, dull news reports on alcoholism statistics in Chelyabinsk).

Her inclusion of accents is very welcome, even in a book marked as “advanced”, since I’ve been told (by a Russian) that even senior academics in Russian/Slavonic Studies departments still regularly mis-stress various words in their conference papers (normal words, not just surnames) – so this is a serious problem that besets even those whose Russian is at a very high level, and Kristina is trying to prevent her students from going the same way as their predecessors.

In books for language learners that have a gloss, the editors often seem to misjudge or simply overlook what the learner needs to see explained, with the result that easy phrases are covered unnecessarily while opaque idioms are left without any key. Again, Kristina has judged her explanations very well, and has obviously taken care of this aspect of the book.

I’ll admit that I haven’t yet begun to compare Kristina’s version of the text to Dostoevsky’s, but given the hard work and expertise she shows in other areas, I have little doubt that she has carried out her editing of the original with the same care.

I look forward to learning from many more of Kristina’s books and videos, and I hope that others who have benefitted from her teaching will support her excellent work by continuing to purchase her books.

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