INDIVIDUAL TUITION FAQs

DO I HAVE TO USE UP MY INDIVIDUAL TUITION BOOKING OVER A SET TIME PERIOD?
 
Once you book a block of tuition hours, you can use those hours over a period of time that suits you. However, we ask that the hours are used up within 2 years from the date of initial booking. Any hours left unused after 2 years will be written off.
 
HOW MUCH NOTICE DO I HAVE TO GIVE IF I NEED TO CANCEL OR POSTPONE AN INDIVIDUAL CLASS?
 
You can cancel or postpone a class up to 24 hours before the class starts. This excludes weekends and bank holidays: for example, to cancel or reschedule a class arranged for 09:00 on Monday morning, notification must be received by the Russian Language Centre by 09:00 the Friday before. 

Any lessons cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours’ notice will be considered a ‘late cancellation’ and will be charged in full. 

As part of your course you will be asked to sign an attendance record for each lesson. In the event of a ‘late cancellation’, you will be asked to sign for it at the following lesson; this will serve as confirmation that you accept that the lesson was cancelled late and that you will be charged for the lesson in full.
 
WHY DO YOU HAVE A LATE CANCELLATION POLICY?
 
Most RLC teachers are paid by the hour, and we pay teachers for any lessons cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours’ notice. This is to protect our teachers from loss of income when lessons are cancelled late, and no replacement work can be arranged to fill the vacant slot. 

Please bear in mind that even if a lesson is rescheduled for a later date the teacher may lose out, because two slots for work will have been filled by only one lesson. We have also found it is only possible to organise timetables, room bookings, travel time and so on if students can be dissuaded from rearranging lessons at the last minute. The late cancellation policy is an important means of ensuring this. 

The aim of the late cancellation rule is emphatically not to get students to pay for a service they don’t receive: in an ideal world we would never need to apply it!
 
HOW FAR CAN YOUR TEACHERS TRAVEL TO TAKE LESSONS?
 
We usually provide lessons anywhere within zone 2 in Central London, but for longer lessons or sets of lessons (i.e., if a number of students at a company were to schedule lessons one after another) teachers can travel further afield. Alternatively, we can offer lessons outside of zone 2 for a higher rate – please ask for details.
 
ARE RLC’S TEACHERS NATIVE RUSSIAN SPEAKERS?
 
Yes, our teachers are all native speakers of Russian. In addition, they are also all qualified teachers of a foreign language – predominantly Russian, although in two cases originally English.
 
HOW MUCH HOMEWORK SHOULD I EXPECT TO GET?
 
This will depend on the type of course you are doing: more intensive courses (e.g. daily lessons) will generally involve less homework. If you are studying once or twice a week, as a rough guide you should aim to spend as much time on study out of the class as in it. 

We try to be realistic in the amount of homework we set; at the same time, your teacher will expect you to do the homework you have been assigned. And remember that it is regular exposure to the language that brings the greatest reward, so if you are able to look at your Russian regularly, even for a short time, you will make much more progress.
 
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY TEACHER IS ON HOLIDAY OR OFF SICK?
 
If your regular teacher is away on holiday or off sick, we will always offer you a cover teacher. We encourage all our individual students to keep up with regular lessons, although of course some opt to have a break while their teacher is away. Your cover teacher will be briefed on your level and provided with cover work for you, and will provide your regular teacher with notes on their return.
 
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME TO BECOME FLUENT?
 
This is the question that we always try to avoid answering! There are a number of factors that will affect how fast you progress: frequency of study, how much work you put in out of class and, of course, natural aptitude. 

If you are an absolute beginner – even if your ultimate aim is to become ‘fluent’ – we recommend you concentrate on short-term, attainable targets. The great thing about starting anything from scratch is that every step of the way offers tangible results. This is certainly the case with Russian, where you will find that even a small amount of the language offers immediate rewards, whether it be completing practical tasks on trips to Russia, creating a good impression on Russian colleagues and friends, or simply understanding more about the country and its people. 

And as for becoming fluent – the short answer is: it will take you a very long time! Real fluency is almost impossible to attain without spending a considerable period of time in a Russian-speaking environment. So for those who are serious about progressing to an advanced level, we always recommend a period of study in Russia.
 
IS RUSSIAN DIFFICULT?
 
Organisations that classify languages by difficulty (e.g. the UK and US Diplomatic services) normally place Russian in the second tier of difficulty for English speakers – so not as hard as Mandarin or Arabic, but harder than common European languages. 

The main difficulty Russian poses for English speakers is that it is an inflected language. This means that words change their ending depending on what they are doing in a sentence: ‘with sugar’, for example, uses a different form of the word sugar to ‘without sugar’. In fairly crude terms, this means that the problem when studying Russian is that you need to learn not only the word, but also what to do with it. 

Set against that, Russian is broadly a logical language, which more or less does what it is supposed to do. This means that it has something for both the creative and the analytical mind: it is an elegant language in look, sound and structure; at the same time it appeals to those who like an intellectual challenge and enjoy knowing why things are the way they are. In short, in our experience Russian seems to have broad appeal for the adult mind. 
 
I WOULD LIKE TO ARRANGE LESSONS BUT I WANT MY EMPLOYER TO PAY FOR ME. HOW DO I GO ABOUT ARRANGING THIS?
 
You can make all the arrangements yourself with us directly, and then we invoice your employer directly – for this, simply provide us with contact details for where the invoice needs to be sent. 

If you need to apply for approval from your employer for a course of lessons, we can provide a course proposal and also arrange a course consultation, if required. To find out more about employer-funded tuition, please see our Corporate Tuition page.
 
I WANT TO TAKE GCSEs OR A LEVELS – CAN I DO THIS AT THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE CENTRE?
 
We are not a registered Edexcel testing centre for GCSE or A level. However, we do have a number of teachers who are experienced in preparing students for GCSE, A Level and University Entrance exams.

To find a centre where you can sit Russian GCSE and A Level, please go to the Edexcel website

As an alternative qualification, RLC holds the Russian state TRKI exams (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language) in June/July every year, run in conjunction with Moscow State University. For further information on these exams please click here.
 
WHY IS THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE CENTRE THE BEST PLACE IN THE UK TO TAKE RUSSIAN LESSONS?
 
At the Russian Language Centre, Russian is our passion and our sole focus. This means:
  • we have gathered together some of the best Russian language teachers in the country, who are able share their experience, resources and skills with each other.
  • we have collected a massive range of Russian-language teaching resources, including many textbooks normally only available in Russia. The wide range of available materials allows our teachers to tailor lessons precisely to the individual or group.
  • our Beginners’ textbooks (covering the first 250 hours of tuition) are unique, developed by us specifically for the needs of adults learning Russian in the UK. They are the single most important way we ensure that all our students get the same high-quality service.
  • we are by far the biggest provider of group courses in the UK. Our long experience of teaching Russian to adults means that we know the best ways to organise, develop, and implement Russian language courses, and have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to keeping students motivated.
  • we offer maximum variety and flexibility in your Russian language course – other, smaller providers are not able to achieve this.
  • we are the only organisation in the UK offering the TRKI exams (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language) to external candidates. you can ‘try before you buy’. If you are interested in individual tuition you can organise a trial lesson. If you would like to join a group you can attend one of our Open Evenings [link]. As well as free taster classes for beginners, these evenings offer the chance to meet the teachers, have a look at the course materials, and find out more about group tuition with RLC.
 
 
 
TRKI FAQs GROUP COURSE FAQs
 
INDIVIDUAL TUITION FAQs  
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Testimonials
I quickly found out that the RLC is unique from institutions I had studied at previously in that my teacher individualizes the course structure to the student's needs.
One thing I really like about learning at RLC is that the whole experience is about Russian language and culture.
The course book produced by the RLC makes learning Russian really interesting, and gives a student plenty of opportunity to practice reading, writing and speaking skills.
My teacher also has a very engaging and supportive style and is very passionate and enthusiastic about the Russian language and its culture.
Our diverse and stimulating daytime group receives high quality, engaging tuition which matches our interests and needs.
I'm just finishing my first term and feel really inspired and enthusiastic about continuing.
Our tutor Dmitri Antonov has been an excellent guide to the complexities of the language.
The RLC appealed to me due to its central location and wide range of day and evening classes.
The quality of teaching and course material at the Centre is exceptional.
The use of different teachers also offers different accents, voices and opinions so that one's ears become more attuned to the patterns and rhythms essential to understanding what to me at least is a new language.
I've stuck at it, and my class goers have become friends as well as fellow students. We struggle through our grammar together!
Familiarity leads to greater confidence, which has also been bolstered by our excellent and extraordinarily patient teacher!
The class was young professional people and it was fun but learning was serious and the teacher maintained a strong pace.
After careful research on the internet, RLC seemed the most impressive of the options available. And what a good choice it was.
RLC at Pushkin House means there is a cultural aspect to your learning as it is in the Russian cultural centre of London so I could attend political talks or music recitals and meet others interested in Russian language and culture.
I do definitely recommend RLC. Classes are intense and demanding, but also a good fun, something really important when taking evening lessons after work.
What made me actually enrol was the relaxed, friendly, yet efficient meeting with the course director to establish my level of knowledge.
So when I learned that all the teachers at the Russian Language Centre were Russian I felt confident that I would be in good hands not only learning to speak Russian but also understanding it.
The people in my group are friendly and supportive of each other which is also important as it creates an atmosphere of shared learning.
I joined a group and, unlike large language schools, the groups are small and everyone has plenty of time to practice the language with the teacher's input.
If you are interested in learning Russian, whether as a beginner or someone who might have studied a little before, the RLC is the place to do it.
I chose the RLC after looking at several schools because I liked the flexibility of the courses, and the possibility of having one-to-one tuition, which is the option I took.
The centre has its own set of course books that I've found very effective in helping me to learn.
My teacher also has a very engaging and supportive style and is very passionate and enthusiastic about the Russian language and its culture.
One of the things I most enjoy about the course is that we can now tailor the lessons to meet our various interests.
I would recommend the RLC both for its focus on rigorous learning of the grammar (which is essential to make any real progress in Russian) and then at a later stage for its flexibility in allowing students to pursue their own interests.
I have found the atmosphere at the RLC to be very open and supportive.
From the beginning, the teachers have been motivational and invested in their students' success, giving them confidence to improve. What began as a spontaneous decision to try something new slowly became a serious hobby and then a passion.
I would recommend RLC to anyone wanting to begin learning or improve their Russian language skills.  It's an inclusive and friendly environment.
The course is very practically based and combines grammar and themes which build on the grammar with further vocabulary; for example, travel and directions, conversation about families, the weather, shopping, ordering in a restaurant and much more!
Having completed four terms, I am now having a break from studying, but may return after another few weeks travelling in Russia, for which I am even better equipped than before.
I was pleased to pass my first exams last summer as did the other two of my classmates who took the exam.  I would strongly recommend the school to other potential students.
After less than a year I was able to attend Euro 2012 in Ukraine with a friend and manage my way around without having to resort to English - and more recently, I was able to give half my wedding speech in Russian which went down very well with the in-laws!
After two years people have come and gone from the group but the core few along with our tutor have all become good friends, usually finishing each term with a visit to a Russian restaurant to toast our progress!
I am soon to visit Russia for the first time to take extra lessons and try out my linguistic abilities on the locals! This would not have been possible had it not been for the progress I am making at the RLC.