On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Andrey Kneller, a Russian-born poet, translator and math teacher. Andrey was 10 years old when his family moved from Russia to New York. He grew up reading and speaking Russian fluently. At fourteen, he started writing his own poetry and not long after that, he started translating his favorite Russian poets into English. He has published 9 books of translations and his own poetry book.
Episode #5 Quick Guide
On this episode, Andrey discusses with us:
- His childhood in Russia and life after moving to the United States;
- How intentional he was to retain and preserve his Russian;
- His decision with his wife to speak to their daughter exclusively in Russian while speaking English to each other;
- Why he feels that language has the power to keep his family connected and forming meaningful relationships;
- How difficult it was as a father to see his daughter struggling to communicate with her peers in English and how he helped her through that experience;
- A really funny story related to animal noises;
- An incredibly proud parenting moment that moved Andrey and his wife to tears;
- And how he is looking forward to enjoying the last bit of good weather to play outside with his daughter.
Once we hop on the Autobahn at Bilingual Avenue, Andrey shares –
- A favorite resource: Technology specifically the iPad for Russian apps and YouTube for old Russian cartoons (see below for links to the cartoons)
- Best advice received: Be consistent
- What has held her back: Being away from family and specifically the grandparents
- Great family habit: A thorough bedtime routine that includes reading in Russian
- Favorite Books: Karlsson Who Lives On The Roof (карлсон который живет на крыше)
- Best Advice to others: Take your time, slow down and enjoy the moment! Kids will learn at their own pace.
Summary of links Andrey mentioned on the show:
- Russian Cartoons
- Andrey’s Poetry
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