STARTALK officially gets underway in 10 days! That doesn't seem like a lot of time, but if you dedicate 20 minutes a day to studying the Russian alphabet, you will come in ready and ahead of the game!
The Russian alphabet is officially known as the "Cyrillic" alphabet, named after a Christian theologian named Cyrill, who with his fellow missionary, Methodius, formulated a Slavic writing system back in the 9th century. Over the 1000+ years that Cyrillic has existed, it has undergone many changes in various countries. Today it is one of the most used alphabets in the world, used in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, and more. In fact, learning to write Cyrillic will give you a fundamental tool in being able to communicate with over 250 million people worldwide!
If you want to get a head start on learning Cyrillic before STARTALK begins, head on over to Russian for Everyone. There they have an interactive page where you can see both printed and handwritten versions of Cyrillic. It shows you how to best form the letters when writing, as well as how to pronounce them.
There are also a few good applications for smart phones that you might be interested in. "Learn the Russian Alphabet" and Russian Alphabet Mastery – 3 Hour Cyrillic" are both highly rated apps available on both iOS and Android.
Lastly, music can be an enjoyable way to solidify any kind of information in your mind, especially alphabets. Certainly you remember learning your ABC's in your childhood. Click here for a song that might be useful to you in memorizing Cyrillic.