- Russian letters
Учительница: OK, I'll read the Russian alphabet for you: Play А, Б, В, Г, Д, Е, Ё, Ж, З, И, Й, К, Л, М, Н, О, П, Р, С, Т, У, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Ш, Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, Я.
Ученик: You have such funny looking letters. I can't remember them!
Учительница: Let's learn the vowels first, there are only ten of them: Play а-я, о-ë, у-ю, э-е, ы-и. Look how I wrote the same sounds another way - I used only six vowels and one semi-vowel й now (я=йa, ё=йо, ю=йу, е=йэ): а-йa, о-йо, у-йу, э-йэ, ы-и.
Ученик: I have noticed that Russians pronounce their vowels differently!
Учительница: Of course, it would be good if you read more about stress and Russian vowels and Russian phonology. The key to learning about Russian vowels is to repeat, repeat and repeat them after native speakers. That is how Russian children learn to read in school. Тhe first vowel all Russian children learn at school is A and the second one is У. You can make two meaningful words out of them: Уа! and Ау! Notice, that both words have an exclamation sign.
Ученик: What do they mean?
Учительница: Уа! - is how babies cry to gain the attention of their mothers. Ау! - is what you shout when you are lost in a forest.
Ученик: These words are exactly what I need!