Sometimes you need a little pick-me-up.
Maybe it’s ice cream.
Maybe it’s Netflix.
Maybe it’s the sweet sounds of the smooth jazz of Kenny G.
We don’t judge.
But if it’s your Russian that needs a pick-me-up, food and TV and long-haired saxophonists just won’t cut it. You need something a little stronger.
You need a Russian language course.
Sure, there are lots of great Russian learning tools out there. Russian learning books and Russian textbooks are a great choice if you’re looking to read your way towards Russian fluency.
There are also awesome online Russian courses to help you fine-tune your skills.
But sometimes you just need complete Russian language courses, and these nine tip-top options offer a nice mixture of resources to give your Russian skills the pick-me-up they so justly deserve.
Why Take a Russian Language Course?
First of all, Russian language courses aim to help you start communicating as quickly as possible. Course designers recognize that you don’t want to spend months learning tons of grammar rules before you start to learn actual words, so they start introducing vocabulary early alongside the alphabet and basic rules. This way, you can at least communicate some basic ideas right off the bat.
Additionally, Russian learning courses help you establish a foundation for additional learning. Some learners just want to learn a few words and phrases without learning important rules. If you only want to know a little Russian for a trip, this isn’t a bad thing, since you can always use a translator app to fill in the rest.
However, if you want to learn Russian and grow your skills over time, it’s essential to lay down a strong foundation. Russian learning courses do this, allowing you to build upon your skills more and more over time.
What’s more, Russian language courses are flexible and convenient. There are plenty of different options to suit anyone’s needs. Whether you enjoy using media, games, exercises or traditional written lessons, there’s something out there that’s perfect for you.
9 Tip-top Russian Language Courses to Take You to the Next Level
Russian Accelerator is a beginning online Russian course. This video-based program aims to teach you Russian in only 20-30 minutes per day.
It uses contextual learning for a more natural approach to learning. Rather than focusing on studying and memorizing, you witness how people actually use the language. Russian Accelerator also uses pattern recognition. This repetition helps you enter grammar rules and vocabulary into your memory.
There are 90 Russian lessons, each of which takes about 30 minutes. The course offers over 750 words designed to allow you to hold basic conversations and/or travel to Russia.
FluentU’s Russian program offers a fun, flexible learning option for Russian students.
Plus, the videos are all naturally entertaining since they come from the shows, movies and channels that native Russian-speakers enjoy on the regular. You can watch documentary footage, television show clips, funny commericals and more all while learning the Russian language!
Take a quick look at what FluentU has on offer for yourself:
Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? FluentU makes native Russian videos approachable through interactive captions. Tap or click on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab. Easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.
Don’t stop there, though! Use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're on.
And FluentU always keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It uses that information to give you a 100% personalized experience. You’ll get extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
Start using FluentU on the website, or better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store.
Transparent Language offers an online Russian course to help launch your Russian education via virtually any internet-enabled device.
The Transparent Language Russian course allows you to follow the program’s predetermined path or to pick and choose what you want to learn. It seeks to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills for a well-rounded education. A dozen different activities help you practice these skills.
The program is speech-enabled, so there are even activities to fine-tune your pronunciation. Additionally, Transparent Language offers typing practice to help you learn to type in Russian; this is a skill that is often overlooked.
If you don’t feel like engaging with the program, it also offers downloadable MP3 files that you can listen to on the go.
And if that’s not enough, to help keep you motivated, the program even maintains a chart to show you how much you’ve learned.
Pimsleur offers three levels of Russian courses, which are available on discs or via download. These levels begin at absolute beginner and continue up to a high-intermediate level.
Pimsleur’s program aims to get you speaking Russian immediately. The program is context-based to teach you more natural Russian. It is scientifically designed to help you enter vocabulary and grammar rules into your long-term memory. The program is visually-oriented and interactive to keep you engaged.
Plus, the audio for the program is spoken by native Russians from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. This will not only help teach you a more authentic accent, it will also help you differentiate between regional accents.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Rosetta Stone.
Rosetta Stone is available via online subscriptions, downloads and/or CDs. With important clients that include NASA and the U.S. Department of State, it certainly has some impressive credentials.
Rosetta Stone’s programs are designed to simulate the sort of immersion experience you’d have if you studied abroad or learned Russian as your first language. With five levels of lessons available, there is plenty of material.
The online subscription is compatible with most devices and can sync between them. You’ll learn new vocabulary by reading engaging stories. Voice-enabled activities will also help you practice your speech and pronunciation. As an additional in-product purchase, you can even connect with a live tutor.
The download and CD options, on the other hand, offer the benefit of being fully usable offline. Plus, you can keep the software forever. You still get the great material and speech recognition feature, but you can truly learn Russian at your own pace, without time constraints.
Living Language offers an online course and multimedia courses.
The online course is available via subscription and offers 46 Russian lessons. These lessons will teach you vocabulary, grammar, culture and conversation skills through games, puzzles and exercises. You can also track your progress to see how far you’ve come. If you’re having a little trouble, you can also connect with a tutor for an extra fee.
Living Language’s multimedia courses come with one or more books (depending on your selection), several CDs and access to Living Language’s online lab with additional study materials. These courses offer plenty of Russian lessons with exercises, examples and dialogues to help improve your grammar and vocabulary. However, you can also use this set offline and keep it forever for one purchase price.
For one price, Rocket Languages gives you lifetime access to its online Russian course designed for beginning to intermediate students.
This course offers 104 Russian lessons that cover culture, listening, speaking, reading and writing. The program uses voice recognition so you can test your pronunciation. It lets you track your progress to monitor your learning. Finally, to provide you with additional learning material, Rocket Languages includes flashcards and an app that syncs across your devices.
Total Russian with the Michel Thomas Method
Total Russian with the Michel Thomas Method is a CD course that aims to help you speak Russian and understand spoken Russian. The course offers approximately 12 hours of material.
The CD set is comfortably paced so that there’s no need to rewind. Additionally, everything is explained in English so you won’t get overwhelmed.
The course also includes a CD-ROM so that you can familiarize yourself with written Russian and test your learning.
“The New Penguin Russian Course”
“The New Penguin Russian Course” is a book that covers the basics to help beginning students get started.
This course starts off with the alphabet. From there, it teaches you all the essential vocabulary and grammar rules you need to hold a basic conversation. Exercises help reinforce your learning along the way.
Plus, the Russian-English and English-Russian dictionaries in the back of the book serve as a helpful resource. If you get overwhelmed by grammar-related terms, you can also refer to the grammar glossary.
These nine tip-top Russian language courses will give your skills just the pick-me-up they need, so give them a try!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Russian with real-world videos.