Never miss a bulletin! Sign up to receive new bulletins by email.


Never miss a bulletin! Sign up to receive new bulletins by email.


CL-150 Cohort Lesson of the Month – November 2019 Posted by on Dec 9, 2019 in Cohort Lesson of the Month, For Learners, For Program Managers

As of November 2019, there are more than 8,100 Cohort lessons published in the CL-150—and counting. We’re taking a look at one lesson each month to find out why language professionals are maintaining proficiency on the job with weekly Cohort lessons.

What are CL-150 Cohorts?

If you’re not familiar, CL-150 Cohorts are weekly lesson streams designed specifically for USG language professionals maintaining proficiency on the job. Each lesson provides a 2-hour “workout” at a specific ILR level, based on a professionally relevant, authentic source.

You can learn more about CL-150 Cohorts and complete a sample lesson here.

Cohort Lesson of the Month

This month’s featured lesson, BRICS Summit, comes from the Russian ILR 2 Cohort.

This lesson focuses on two skills that ILR 2 level learners need to practice continuously: listening comprehension and the Russian case system.

CL-150 Cohort lesson Russian ILR 2

Focus on Listening Comprehension

All Cohort lessons include audio, usually recorded by the lesson author, along with a dedicated Listening Comprehension activity. But Tanya, the author of this lesson, wanted to provide extra listening practice:

“In the Slide Show activity, I included a link to a video clip from a Russian news broadcast on the topic as a supplemental listening exercise. Learners can hear about the BRICS summit in more detail while they practice listening to a range of native Russian speakers. Best of all, the key vocabulary is in the video captions, so they can follow along and digest the lesson vocab in context.”

CL-150 Cohort listening comprehension

The Listening Comprehension activity, which focuses on the companion audio to the lesson text, includes a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions. Some questions are straightforward and factual, asking about member countries and dates. Others are more thematic, challenging learners to think about what they’ve heard rather than combing through the text for word-for-word answers.

Focus on Russian Grammar

Just like learners need to continuously practice and improve listening skills, they also need to continuously review grammar—even concepts previously learned in class. That’s why Tanya provided opportunities to practice noun-adjective agreement both explicitly and implicitly throughout the lesson:

“Learners at ILR 2 should already be comfortable with case, but it’s complicated. There’s lots of endings and agreements to memorize, so it’s important to keep practicing and applying it to new vocabulary.”

In Table, learners are presented with a list of Russian adjectives used in the lesson text in various cases. They must identify the case, then match the appropriate noun to each adjective, ensuring it agrees in gender, plurality, and of course case.

CL-150 Cohorts grammar activities

Other lesson activities highlight the grammar concept more implicitly. The multiple-choice answers in the Reading Comprehension activity and the blanks in Fill in the Blank feature the noun-adjective pairs. This repetition reinforces what learners practiced in Table.

This lesson exemplifies the benefits of Cohorts: covering fresh news that motivate sustainers while still providing a valuable refresh of previously learned grammar to maintain proficiency.

Russian sustainers, complete this month’s featured lesson and make sure you remember those pesky Russian case markers that you studied so hard.

Sustaining a different language? Explore our available Cohorts and stay tuned for next month’s featured lesson for more behind-the-scenes action from our Cohort Team.