Our approach



The range of students at RLC is enormous: professionals heading to Moscow for a four-year posting; tourists preparing to travel on the Trans-Siberian Express; actors and opera singers wanting to perform in Russian; academics examining archive materials in the original. So it's hardly surprising that we employ a variety of teaching methods. However, there are some common features to all our courses.

For most of our students, our approach can be broadly defined as 'communicative': this means we concentrate primarily on the spoken language, and we practise the language in class through conversation and oral drilling.

However, this does not mean we simply learn the language by rote. We think a strong grammatical foundation is important, where as well as learning what to say, you learn why you say it. Without this, you will find it very difficult to progress beyond 'phrase-book' Russian, where you can communicate in only a few set situations – with little chance of understanding the response.

At the same time, grammar study is never a theoretical discipline; instead, we use practical models to illustrate grammar in action. In this way – through clear explanation and useful models – you will develop a sound understanding of how Russian works, based on language of immediate practical use.

"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! We have been encouraged to chat about our news every week which also increases confidence in speaking Russian and extends vocabulary."

We think that for most people this combination of theory and practical models is the method best suited to the adult learner. It may be that learning a language the way you did as a child is the most effective method of all; sadly, however, we have yet to meet an adult student who is able to put the time into learning Russian that they did learning their native language!



Technology plays a significant and increasing role in our work. For example, we find some of the less exciting tasks in language learning, such as memorising new vocabulary, are much better and more entertainingly done through interactive learning.

At all levels the internet offers unlimited access to 'live' materials, whether written, audio, or visual. Did you know, for example, that you can listen to the standard announcements on the Moscow Metro online? Or that almost all of the films made by the famous Soviet studios Mosfilm and Lenfilm can be watched on YouTube, many of them with subtitles?

Distance learning also offers new opportunities for our students: in addition to individual tuition by Skype, group students may be able to attend their lessons virtually if unavoidably absent.

But the success of our courses depends less on methodology and technology than on the excellence of our teachers and materials.
 
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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.