Teacher of the Week: Darya Chernina

Darya-21Meet Darya Chernina, a Russian teacher in NYC and teacher of the week at Fluent City.

What encouraged you to start teaching?

I was encouraged by my mom, who taught for over 15 years in Russia, and a close colleague who was taking a class at Fluent City. Since I am a language enthusiast and have a deep appreciation for my native language, they thought that teaching Russian made a lot of sense. Even though I was slightly terrified, I thought, “Maybe they are right!”

What is your favorite thing about teaching at Fluent City?

Meeting many amazing people in my classes. Many students I meet learn Russian because of love. It may be love for a Russian-speaking person, Russian culture, Russian literature or food, but I am always amazed how it propels students to dedicate time and effort to learning one of the most difficult languages in the world! My students have demanding careers, family, and yet, they still do their homework, come to class, and restrain themselves from throwing Russian textbooks at me. They are wonderful!

What fun hobbies do you have outside of teaching at Fluent City?

I like to explore different parts of the world and learn about other cultures. Last year, my husband and I went to Saint Lucia, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal, and southern Maine (sadly, we did not see a moose). I also like to read, cook and bake.

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

I use http://multitran.ru and the Multitran app a lot myself, especially when I come across an English word I do not know (usually, it happens when I buy fish or exotic vegetables). This e-dictionary gives you many translations for a word you enter, as meaning may change depending on context. Much better than Google Translate, in my opinion, though I am grateful for the latter, as it causes a lot of laughs in the classroom!

Where is your favorite place to find Russian food in New York?

I really like Café Glechik on Coney Island Avenue, not far from Brighton Beach. I have been going there for years and the food is consistently good. In Manhattan, I would say Russian Samovar and Mari Vanna are my two favorites.

Can you recommend a Russian film?

My all-time favorite is Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (it is an Oscar winner)! I also highly recommend all of Andrey Zvyagintsev‘s work.

Finally, what is your favorite Russian word?

Достопримечательность, which means a sightseeing attraction, a landmark or a place of interest. It has19 letters and two soft signs. Most of the students respond to it with, “Oh my god!” which certainly means they like this word as much as I do!

Think you have what it takes to teach at Fluent City? Apply here to teach with us!