Teacher of the Month: Max D.

Tell us about yourself! Where do you live and which languages do you teach?

Hey! My name’s Max. I’m originally from southwest Russia, from a city called Belgorod, but now I live in the Czech Republic, in a city called Brno. I am a teacher of Russian and French languages.

Brno, Czech Republic

What made you decide to become a language teacher?

Since my school years, I’ve been interested in learning foreign languages. So far I can speak English, French, Czech, and Italian at a good level and I’ve recently started to learn Spanish and German languages. So when it came to the deciding my future profession I chose my passion for studying foreign languages as my major.

That’s how I came up with the idea to study French and English linguistics at university for my Bachelor's degree and then teaching Russian as a foreign language for my Master’s.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I really enjoy reading books, doing sports, traveling, going out with my friends, and, of course, learning foreign languages.

What’s your favorite thing to do where you live? If someone was visiting, where would you recommend they go?

Brno is a very beautiful city - very warm and charming. I really like to walk around the city as it’s very compact and all the nicest sights are very close to each other and concentrated in the center of the city. The city has a lot of beautiful parks and open spaces.

If someone’s visiting Brno for the first time, I’d recommend they visit the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, Hrad Špilberk (the city’s castle), The Church of St. James and the Brno Ossuary, the Capuchin Church and Crypt, the Old Town Hall, the Labyrinth and Mint Master’s Cellar.

Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul

Just outside the city, you can take a trip to the Moravian Karst and Caves, a boat trip to the Veverí Castle, or a trip to the Zoo of Brno. To recharge a little, visitors can go to various parks and gardens, which they can find almost in any part of the city and around it.

Veverí Castle

Do you have a favorite app or tool you recommend to students to complement their studies?

I use Quizlet a lot for my teaching job and I know my students enjoy working with this app while reviewing new words or taking some tests. I know a lot of my students use Duolingo and they say it’s very helpful, especially for learning new vocabulary.

I’d also recommend the website LyricsGaps - students can upload their favorite songs and practice their listening and writing skills while listening to the songs they like.

Can you recommend a Russian or French film?

For Russian learners, I’d recommend watching some famous TV shows, which are full of useful vocabulary and slang. Those would be Кухня (Kitchen), Мамочки (Mothers), Как я стал русским (How I Became Russian), and Лондонград (London).

For French learners, I’d recommend seeing the movies Les profs, Intouchables, Taxi, and Amour et turbulences. Those are the most recent ones I’ve seen myself. They're full of nice vocabulary and are very interesting and funny.

What’s one of your favorite words in French or Russian?

My favorite word in Russian would be ЧУТЬ-ЧУТЬ /chut’-chut’/ which means a little. All my students adore this one and use it a lot, so finally, I fell in love with the word as well.

And my favorite word in French would be CHOUCHOU /shushu/ which means DARLING. It’s a very cute word which French people use to talk about their partners (boyfriends/girlfriends) and it sounds so nice!