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'Online learning of Serbian language is efficient and saves your time.' - L. N. Lagrini

Serbian Lessons for Children

From my teaching practice I have learned that giving online lessons of Serbian language to children is very different than teaching the adults. Programs and approaches must be differentiated. This is what I concluded so far: 

1) The length of lessons 

Lessons shouldn't be longer than 45 minutes. That is good enough time for a child not to lose a concentration, to stay focused, and to still enjoy in lesson. For very young children, it's good to have a combined lesson. For example, I have an adult student, we have lesson for one hour and 15 minutes, and after that I give a lesson to her 5 years old son - 15 minutes for him. 

2) Child has to like the teacher (and then the lessons)

More than it is the case with the adults, personal connection must be established and present. It's not always easy for a child to make a connection with new person via Skype. But with good explanation and preparation by the parents, it's possible and successful.  

3) The age of a child

When is it the best to start with learning Serbian ? It depends on a child. It also depends on their previous knowledge and if the parents (parent) speak Serbian in a house and how often. 
Even when child is in the age of 6 it's possible to do short lessons. The ideal age for my lessons is 10-11 and older. Then, the child is familiar with some grammar concepts and the level of English is good enough for understanding my explanations. 
It's known fact that children learn language much faster and more efficient than adults, so, most likely, I will never start from zero with a child. Simply - the child already has some vocabulary, picked up from a parent. 

4) English language 

I teach in English language (and during time I introduce more and more Serbian), so some level of English is needed. 

5) Games

Learning has to be fun! No doubt about it. So, we use games: Kaladont, Pozitivna geografija, Leti leti, Vesalice, etc. I also send to a child instructions for the board games that they may play with friends. Different types of games are excellent tool for language learning. 

6) Cartoons

For younger children, I choose suitable cartoons. We watch them together and then talk about it - what did the children remember, how they like it, etc. 

7) Flash cards

Flash cards are very good tool for teaching children and they are useful for the adults as well. They are great for expanding vocabulary and children much easier memorize by looking pictures. They are also suitable for playing games with a child.

8) Positive atmosphere and attitude

This is very important. If child doesn't like the lessons, if they are only forced by parents to take them, that will not bring the good result. Luckily I didn't have any experience like that in my career. Learning Serbian language is something extra for the child, beyond regular obligations they have in a daily school. So, if we want to be successful, we need to like it and to have fun, both - teacher and a child. 

Do you have some questions about this topic ?
Write to Serbian Teacher Online

Lidija Novakovic Lagrini

How to motivate yourself to continue with learning Serbian language

If you have been started with learning Serbian, that already means that you have basic motivation and a reason for learning this Slavic language. But Serbian language is not easy and you will experience ups and downs in your motivation for learning.
Let's see what can we do about it.

1) What is your goal with learning Serbian ? 

To be able to communicate with friends and family in Serbia ? To start your business in Serbia ? To study in Serbia ? Keep that is mind when you have motivation crises. Never forget your goal. And remember that big and important goals are never reached over the night. 

2) Appreciate small improvements. 

If you had problems before with mixing up pronouns (on ona ono oni one ona, ah, it really sounds so similar) and now you don't - appreciate that. If you don't make mistakes in 3rd person plural of present tense - appreciate that. If you are confident about your accusative, but still not totally comfortable with your locative, appreciate your accusative. Every small step is bringing you closer to the success.

3) Be realistic - new language is a new world. Give yourself time. 

There is so many new stuff to learn. Vocabulary, grammar rules, words order... It takes time. For someone a year, for someone three years. It's individual and don't pressure yourself about it. You need as much time as you need. 

4) Visualize yourself at the end of the road.

Imagine the moment when you are communicating with a family, working in Serbia, or study on one of Serbian faculties and you don't have any problems in understanding people around you. You feel good and accepted. 

5) Have fun with it.

Watch movies, play games, read comic books. Put stickers on your clothes and on house objects with words for them. Talk with children. Fun will increase your level of motivation.

6) Approach to the language from the different angles.

Similar to the number 5). Input as much variations as you can - when you are bored of grammar, take a walk and guess the names of things on your way. Do exercises and when you are bored with that, join some Serbian chat and contribute (say something :) ). Write a letter to a friend in your (limited, doesn't matter) Serbian, surprise him. 

7) Do a little bit every day.

Then you will constantly renew your motivation.
Make it to be a part of your daily routine. Give yourself small daily homework. Be free to use my blog for that purpose. 

Serbian Teacher Online
Lidija Novakovic Lagrini 

Comparison of Adjectives - Exercises for Advanced Learners of Serbian Language

Are you an advanced learner of Serbian language and you need some challenging exercises to practice your skill ? Then this is the right post for you. 

Use the right form of comparative or superlative:

1) Moja devojka je ______  (lep) od tvoje.
2) Nikad mi nije bilo ______ (dobar) nego sada.
3) Ana je moja ______ (dobar) drugarica.
4) Žuta paprika je _____ (ljut) od zelene.
5) Ovo ćebe je _____  (mekan) koje imam.
6) Ana je visoka, ali njena sestra je još ______ (visok).
7) Taj film mi je ______  (interesantan) od istoimene knjige.
8) Dijamant je ______ (tvrd) od bisera.
9) Ona je ______ (popularan) devojka u našoj školi.
10) Tvoji roditelji su ______ (tolerantan) od mojih.
11) Kada se ošišam, kosa će mi biti ______ (kratak) nego tvoja.
12) Na maturskoj večeri, _____ (veseo) je bio naš razredni.
13) Biće mnogo _____ (loše) nego što je sada.
14) Obuci se ______ (toplo), napolju je hladno.
15) Ti si _____ (lud) nego što sam mislila. 

Reminder: suffixes for making comparison in Serbian language are - ji, -iji, -ši.
Although, this rule is note very useful, because there are many letter alternations and several exceptions.

To check your answers, write to 
Serbian Teacher Online

Lidija Novakovic Lagrini 

Serbian Vocabulary Exercises 2

The tiny differences in pronunciation of Serbian words with difficult letters, and finding the right verb - always useful exercises, even for the advanced learners. 

Write the missing verbs:

1.    _____  hleb i _____ mleko za doručak.
2.    Ana _____ dobru knjigu.
3.    Marko _____ email njegovoj devojci.
4.    Mi _____ na more.
5.    Markovići _____ avionom.
6.    Deca _____ sa loptom i sa lutkama.
7.    On _____ o filmu.
8.    Ana i Stevan _____ na ulici.
9.    Sunce _____ ali _____ sneg.
10.                       Ja ne _____ vino, ali _____ rakiju.
11.                       U junu _____ Exit festival.
12.                       Naši prijatelji _____ autobus.

Underline the correct word:

13.                       PRICATI   PRIČATI
14.                       DŽEP    ĐEP
15.                       ĐONI DEP    DŽONI DEP
16.                       DECA      DEĆA
17.                       COKOLADA     ČOKOLADA
18.                       LJUBAV       LUBAV
19.                       NEGOVA      NJEGOVA
20.                       RUČAK        RUĆAK
21.                       ROĐAK       RODŽAK

Serbian Vocabulary Exercises

    During language learning process, the crucial is expanding and developing your vocabulary. These exercises are suitable for beginners and intermediate learners of Serbian language. Write to Serbian Teacher Online and check your answers. 

1.    Choose the right word:

Ptice ________ na drveću.   (ručaju, kuvaju, pevaju)
Mala deca _________ u pesku.  (igraju se, kupaju se, zovu se)
Njegova ________ zove se Ana.  (igračka, devojka, stolica)
Deda ______  auto.  (peva, vozi, spava)
Na ______  ima puno prirode, trave i drveća. (selu, krevetu, kauču)
Od ________ pravimo ajvar.  (mesa, jagoda, džema)
Ada je rečno ________. (more, vreme, ostrvo)
U ________ je veoma hladno. (januaru, junu, avgustu)
Moj __________ je 19. septembra.  (slava, rođendan, muškarac)
Tamo su sportski _______ za golf i tenis. (pljeskavice, tereni, pesme)

2.    Translate:

U januaru slavimo Božić.
Mama i baka kuvaju divna jela.
Grad je najlepši kada pada sneg.
Deca se igraju na snegu.
Moja devojka je najlepša.
Ptice dolaze sa juga.
Deca pevaju pesme.
I drink wine and eat roast.
My birthday is in July.
Birds are green and yellow.
Elephant is in the Yoo.
We walk in the park.
I am not called Ana.

3.    Choose the right word:

Moja baba ______  zeleni mercedes. (kuva/vozi/pravi)
Na ______  žive krave, konji i koze. (selu/gradu/snegu)
U proleće ________  jabuke.  (moraju/žele/cvetaju)
Deca ______ (spavaju/trče/kuvaju) u dvorištu.
Domaćice ______ (žele/prave/vole)  ajvar i džem.
Oktobar je ______  (hladan/topao/crven) mesec.
Raspust _______ (radi/čita/počinje) u julu.
Exit je srpski ________ (telefonirati/muzički/zeleni) festival.

4.    Translate:

Kada je slava, dolaze gosti.
Moram da spavam u 9 sati.
Deca vole da idu u školu.
Septembar i oktobar su jesenji meseci.
Zimi ljudi oblače tople kapute.
Strowberries blossom in May.
Children play in the backyard.

Today is fantastic day.

for more exercises write to 
Serbian Teacher Online 

Lidija Novakovic Lagrini

Pronunciation of Serbian R

   Letter R is the only letter in Serbian alphabet which might be both - a vowel and a consonant. Normally it's a consonant. But when there is no other vowel in a group of consonants, R takes over that role. 

     There are some facts and tricks which might be helpful for improving our pronunciation of Serbian letter R. 

1)      R in Serbian is a vibrant sound (Spanish Oscar, Serbian Oscarrrr). When you pronounce it properly, you should feel the vibration on the surface of your tongue. 

2)      The position of speech organs should be this: the top of the tongue is above the upper teeth, slightly touching it or not touching it at all.

3)      Words for practicing R in clusters PR and TR:   PRVI, PRAVI, PROMET, PRIČA, PREDMET, TRAVA, VATRA, TRAJATI, TRAŽITI. 

      4)    Words for practicing R when R has a role of a vowel: SRBIJA, PRTLJAŽNIK, PRŽITI, CRKVA, KRST, TRG, CRVENO.

      5)      This is a good trick to check if you are doing it properly: put your hand in front of the mouth; say R several times; if you feel your breath on your palm, the pronunciation is good. Try this as many times as needed, until you clearly feel your breath. 

6)      Sing in house RRRRRRRRR, SIRRRRRR, PRRRRRAVI… Maybe you may make up your personal song with words that contain R.

      Enjoy in learning Serbian (that is the most important) !


      For more advises, ask for my help

      Serbian Teacher Online

      Lidija Novakovic Lagrini

Future Tense in Serbian Language with Exercises

future tense

We can make future tense in two ways:

1)   With shorter form of auxiliary verb ‘hteti’   (ću, ćeš, će, ćemo, ćete, će) + infinitive (basic form of the verb).

Example: Future tense of the verb PISATI
1.  ću pisati                     1.  ćemo pisati
2.  češ pisati                   2.  ćete pisati
3.  će pisati                     3.  će pisati

2)   By adding shorter form of auxiliary verb ‘hteti’ to infinitive’s root.

1.  pisaću                      1.  pisaćemo
2.  pisaćeš                    2.  pisaćete

3.  pisaće                      3.  pisaće

a) Underline verbs in future tense:
Ja ću doći kod tebe sutra oko 7 sati. Nadam se da ćeš me sačekati spreman. Ponećemo opremu za pecanje, imaćemo na sebi lovačke čizme i obući ćemo tople jakne. Vreme će biti vedro, ali vetrovito. Duvaće snažan vetar sa severa. Nadam se da ćemo uloviti dosta ribe. 

b) Conjugate following verbs in future tense: gledati, praviti, želeti, uraditi.

c) Fill in the blanks with verbs in future tense:
Mama ______ (kuvati) kolače za slavu.
Ana i ja ________ (gledati) film u bioskopu.
Ti ______ (želeti) da slaviš rođendan.
Vreme ______ (biti) veoma hladno.
Ispiti ______ (biti) teški. 

Learn Serbian with Serbian Teacher Online
Lidija Novakovic Lagrini