This course of materials is intended to support English speakers learning to read Ukrainian. It is designed to help learners consolidate and revise the subject matter covered in a taught reading course in Ukrainian or the reading component of a general Ukrainian language course. Starting from first principles, the materials aim to help users gain the skills required to read and understand straightforward continuous authentic texts in Ukrainian.
The course consists of a series of units which are identified in the navigation bar on the right. Each unit represents a progression in acquiring reading skills, introducing a particular grammar topic and/or skill. In general, each unit contains:
- presentation of the subject matter covered by the unit
- exercises designed to help you learn the material presented
- reading texts to be used in some of the exercises.
It will typically be most fruitful to work through the units sequentially, going back to earlier pages as required. At the bottom of each page there are buttons pointing to the Next and Previous page in the unit. At any time you can also go directly to any page in any unit using the menus in the navigation bar.
Although the materials are concerned primarily with reading skills, there are some exercises involving writing in Ukrainian, designed to consolidate vocabulary and sentence structure. An on-screen Ukrainian keypad is provided in each case. Similarly, in Units 1 to 3 some use is made of audio elements to allow you to hear the sounds of individual letters, syllables, etc. This is important, as hearing the letters will assist in committing them to memory, and will be of particular benefit to students with a more efficient audial memory.
In each of the first three units there is a simplified "mini-dictionary" containing definitions of the words encountered up to the given unit (at the bottom of the menu for the given unit in the navigation bar). There is also a link on the navigation bar to a more comprehensive dictionary containing basic definitions of some of the Ukrainian words encountered in later units. For more detailed definitions and for definitions of other words you should consult a full Ukrainian-English dictionary (see Resources page). The navigation bar also contains a link to definitions of the main grammatical terms used in the materials.
Many of the pages in this course, naturally, contain Cyrillic characters or longer pieces pieces of text. Your browser should automatically display these correctly on your screen. If not, try changing the browser's character encoding setting to "Unicode (UTF-8)".
Notes on exercises
Most of the exercises in this course have been generated using the Hot Potatoes suite of programs developed at the University of Victoria, Canada, and belong to a number of generic types. Please note the following general points concerning the exercises.
- Each exercise is associated with a particular presentation page in one of the course units. There is a link to the exercise from the relevant presentation page, and the "Back" buttons on the exercise page link back to the presentation page.
- When you have completed an exercise you can click the "Check your answers" button to see how well you have done. In general you should complete the whole exercise before checking your answers, otherwise the program will treat any blanks (i.e. parts of the exercise not yet completed) as incorrect answers. However, this does not apply to exercises consisting of a series of individual questions, each of which has its own "Check answer" button.
- In some exercises, especially of the type requiring gaps in sentences to be completed, more than one response may be correct or acceptable (e.g. big/large). In such cases just enter one of the alternatives. (If you come across an instance where the program does not accept a response you feel is legitimate, please let us know!)
- In exercises which require Ukrainian text to be entered, a simplified on-screen Ukrainian keypad is displayed. Select the text box (if more than one) into which you wish to type a response, and click on a keypad character to enter it into the box. For simplicity, the keypad contains only lower case letters. If the actual spelling of a response you are entering includes a capital letter (e.g. the first letter of a name), just enter the corresponding lower case letter. To enter a space, use the space bar on your keyboard. Similarly, use your keyboard for any characters (e.g. punctuation marks) not included in the on-screen keypad.
- If you have completed (or partially completed) an exercise and wish to do it again, it can be restarted by refreshing or re-loading the page (e.g. by pressing the F5 key on your keyboard). In many of the exercises the order in which questions and/or response options are presented is changed each time the exercise restarts.
- Some exercises are of the "flashcard" type. These should be completed as described here.