Every week we fill out a time sheet of how many hours we spend in language study. One area we can log minutes in is listening +, which is defined as listening with another dimension of thinking, for example listening to lectures or podcasts while following along with a transcript or watching movies with subtitles in our target language, Russian. I have classified my Russian language classes as listening +. I attend the classes of one teacher at the university, so I get to sit in with other local students, mostly freshmen between the ages of 16-18. I don’t always have to speak but I do have to be able to follow along enough to answer when called upon. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite times of the week because it is this wonderful opportunity to listen in on how and why they think the way they do. It’s language learning, with the added benefit of culture learning. It’s been fascinating to hear their opinions in the areas of family, love, friendship, homeless people, and sin, just to name a few. The teacher usually reads a story in parts and asks the students questions after each part to summarize what they just heard, to get them to articulate what they think about that particular part, and to give an opportunity to guess as to what will happen next in the story. Every week I am given a chance to look through a window into the thoughts and ideas of these wonderful students. My next few posts will be about these stories, the thoughts from students about those stories and how they relate to them.