Group courses for beginners
registration for April 2024 now open
Our April term starts on 15th April and runs for 10 weeks, and our intensive course starts at the end of March
In-person groups are held at Pushkin House, online groups via Zoom. We also run hybrid in-person groups where the teacher is always present in Pushkin House, but students may attend remotely for part or all of the term.
Our small, friendly groups for beginners start at the very beginning – with the alphabet. RLC students sign up for one term at a time, so after one ten-week term as a beginner, you will be invited to rebook for the following term and move on to the next level.
Bear in mind that if you know any Russian at all, you should register to join one of our groups for non-beginners.
All beginners use RLC’s textbook Russian Made Clear. A digital copy of the book, along with access to audio files and a huge range of supplementary online exercises, is included in your course fee.
* Course fees include VAT for privately-funded students; if your course is funded by your employers, they will need to add VAT to the above rates.
** Our Easter Intensive runs on weekday evenings, excluding the UK bank holidays on 29th March and 1st April, so 28th March, 2nd – 5th and 8th-12th April.
*** There will be no lessons on the UK bank holidays on Mondays 6th and 27th May, so there will be extra lessons on 24th and 26th June to make up.
‡ All times are UK time.
More about courses for beginners
try us out
We have 4 group terms throughout the year, each lasting 10 weeks, starting in January, April, July and October. Students enrol for one term at a time, and new students can join at the beginning of any term.
The Covid pandemic forced us to become experts in online group tuition: in January 2020 all our groups were in person, and when our Spring 2020 term began, we had 57 online groups. Although online lessons aren’t for everybody, our experience over the last few years has convinced us that it is possible to make just as much progress online as it is in person.
We have only two ‘rules’ for online groups: we do not allow lessons to be recorded, and we expect all students, other than in exceptional circumstances and by prior agreement, to have their cameras switched on.
Our online groups have a maximum of seven students, and our in-person groups have a maximum of twelve students. Small class sizes ensure that each student has the opportunity to contribute fully, and the teacher is able to give their attention to all members of the group.
All groups up to Intermediate level use RLC’s own textbooks. These have been developed by us specifically for the needs of adults learning Russian. They are the single most important way we ensure that all our students get the same high-quality service.
When you join a course you’ll also get access to a huge range of additional online materials, including audio, video and interactive online exercises, and our new podcast.
We try to be realistic about the amount of homework we set; at the same time, your teacher will expect you to complete the homework you have been given. As a rough guide, you can expect to be given about two hours of homework a week.
We realise that class time may be your only or main opportunity to speak Russian. Our approach, therefore, is broadly ‘communicative’: we concentrate on the spoken language, and we practise the language in class through conversation and oral drilling.
Lessons typically involve the following elements: free conversation introduction; homework review; targeted oral drills; listening and video practice; reading and discussion of texts; oral role-play exercises; oral translation into Russian.
A hybrid lesson is one where the teacher and some students are in the classroom, while other students attend remotely via Zoom. We have developed a set-up for these lessons which we believe allows everyone to participate effectively.
The teacher and in-person students communicate in the normal way. Remote students are shown on a large screen and communicate via microphones and speakers in the centre of the classroom. Every in-person student is provided with their own tablet on the desk in front of them. The tablets are registered to the Zoom meeting, meaning that remote students see each in-person student in their own Zoom window, rather than collectively. The teacher uses a virtual whiteboard, visible to in-person students on the large screen and to online students via Zoom.
Regular attendance is vital for your own progress and for the success of the group. If you do have to miss a class, you will automatically be provided with details of what you have missed and any homework set.
Some students like to arrange an individual catch-up class. This can normally be organised with your regular teacher, and is charged separately at a special discounted rate.
Students in an in-person group who know in advance that they will not be able to attend a lesson are encouraged to let us know: depending on the size and level of the group, we may be able to set up a hybrid classroom to allow remote attendance.
Groups are available at all levels from complete beginner to advanced. For more information on the levels system used at RLC, please visit the levels page.
exams and certificates
Certificates of attendance stating the level of the group you have completed are available on request at the end of any term.
RLC holds the official Russian TRKI exams (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language) twice a year, run in conjunction with St Petersburg University.
We are not a registered Edexcel testing centre for GCSE or A level. However, we do have teachers who are experienced in preparing students for GCSE, A Level and University Entrance exams.
Maria is a fantastic teacher whose lessons I very much enjoy and I feel I am making real progress
This is a very well-run course, with an excellent teacher (Anna) who makes the lessons fun, whilst also learning so thank you. I look forward to future lessons/courses.
Dmitri’s style is engaging and explains the content very well, adding fun and relatable anecdotes on the Russian language and culture which help memorise the words.
I am especially happy with Irina as our teacher. She does a fantastic job.
Lyuda absolutely MAKES the course! She is a fantastic teacher, and I am so happy with the improvements I am making with her help. She deserves a lot of recognition for her talent and abilities.
My course is the highlight of my week. I have learnt so much and it has been such a pleasure!
My teacher is Irina. She is a very good and encouraging teacher who really helps her students. She is very patient and helpful. She makes the lessons enjoyable and I always look forward to them.
The course book is excellent and Irina more than excellent. Thank you.
The course is fantastic and all of the online materials really help to reinforce what we’ve learned in the class – Liliya is a great teacher and very attentive to the whole class.
I’m enjoying the course very much. Irina is a great teacher who knows exactly how to communicate her extensive knowledge in the right way for learners.
Irina is a great teacher and makes the whole experience a lot more enjoyable and is good at encouraging us while facing of the difficulties of learning a new language.
I really enjoy my lessons and Irina is a wonderful teacher. My knowledge and understanding of Russian has grown immensely since starting with the RLC.
The course provides a good insight into everyday Russian life and customs as well as the language which is very interesting
love love loveeee Irina!!!! Really great teacher and explains things very well! + Just lovely overall! I always look forward to her classes! :)))))))
Irina is an amazing teacher and I’m always excited to attend class. She really takes the time to explain new vocabulary by highlighting comparisons with other Russian words which is helpful.
Irina is great. Patient, interesting and explains things really well. I like learning about little bits of language history.
The lessons with Irina are always engaging and Irina is always helpful and supportive. I really enjoy the mixture of materials and activities that she brings to the lessons.
Liliya is excellent &she has made learning online straight forward & easy to follow. I enjoy the additional wordwall activities as revision exercises.
Irina and Maria are both great teachers – very impressive!
I love the course. It’s part of my weekly routine. I am learning new things every week. Thank you.