Translation:Even though they are all great writers, your student does not know them.
In the "tips and notes" for conjunctions, хотя is described as:
Much like the English though/even though/although. It is often combined with "и" before the predicate (which is sometimes directly after «хотя»):
I can't tell you if there would be any difference in meaning or emphasis without the "и" ... I'd be interested in knowing that too.
I'd say it sounds better and more effective as хотя ... и, though using just «хотя» is also possible (might sound more formal and bookish). I can probably conduct a search in Russian National Corpus to make a rough estimate of its frequency either way. Only, I'd rather do it later :)
Every Smartphone has a Browser and is thereby equipped to read the tips.
I do the exercises in the app and switch to my browser to read the tips. That's eben more convenient than in the app, because you can look at them while doing the exercises. In the app, it would (probably) be either or.
The "tips and notes" are not available to those of us working on "crowns." I did several other languages after going through the Russian tree twice. Now I am back reviewing Russian. Occasionally I would like to refresh my memory using the tips and notes, but there seems to be no access..
That's because of Russian pronunciation (vowel reduction): unstressed е and и sound exactly (or almost) the same as pronounced by many speakers in standard dialects. You need to rely on context: as far as I am aware, "писатиле" is not a word (if there is such word it is probably quite obscure).
No, that's not correct. "И" should come right in front of the word (or a compound object - like "великие писатели" in this case) which is being contrasted. If it is some feature of a subject that you want to contrast, then "и" is almost guaranteed to follow that subject, and not "хотя":
Хотя машина и новая, она часто ломается - even though the car is new, it breaks down frequently.
It is not so simple. "their" is only one meaning of их. It is also the genitive form of они (which happens to be written as них after prepositions, probably for ease of pronunciation). And the accusative form for animated nouns (as the accusative looks like the genitive for animated nouns, like the nominative for in-animated ones, and feminine-singular have their specific "-у" form).
Here, их is used as the accusative because писатели is an animated noun. "They" are the direct object for the verb "to (not) know".
An example where you can see их used as the genitive is in the phrase "много их", literally "a lot of them". It is их instead of они because много requires genitive.
So really, их and них are basically the same word, них is used after a preposition (when not in the "their" meaning). их can mean "their", "them", "of them" depending on the exact context (maybe some other option too).
see zirkul's comment earlier in the forum on the use of хотя и. As I understand it, и is used before the word being emphasized. Even though they are all GREAT writers = Хотя они все и великие писатели. и is not being used to mean "and" here. It is a fixed expression meaning even though. I am wondering if it is possible to put и before все .