There are many different reasons why you might decide to learn Russian as a foreign language. For example, you could be:

  • Planning on moving to Russia for an extended period for work;
  • Interested to find out more about Russian culture and history; or
  • Planning on going on a trip around Russia and would like to know some basic phrases and sayings to help you get by.

If you do decide to take the plunge and learn Russian then you’ll be in good company, as it’s a language that is spoken by around 260 million people all over the world.

However, one of your first thoughts might be how exactly you can learn Russian. Russian isn’t a particularly mainstream language, so you may not have learnt it at all during your time at school. Despite this, there are a number of ways to learn how to speak, write, read, and listen to Russian across the United Kingdom.

This article focusses on how you can learn Russian in London in particular and gives you some ideas to think about if you’d like to take up Russian lessons.

If you’d prefer to learn Russian elsewhere in the UK, you can take a look at our articles on studying Russian in Leeds, where to study Russian in Glasgow or how to learn the Russian language in Manchester.

A photo of a bookshelf in a library. You might be able to find materials in your local library that will help with any Russian classes you're taking.
Some Russian classes in London might require you to work through a textbook as part of your course. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, ElasticComputeFarm, Pixabay)

Identify Why You’re Interested In Russian Lessons

If you’d like to learn a new language such as Russian, one of the first things it’s important to realise is that there are plenty of different ways to learn a new language.

For instance, you could choose to learn Russian:

  • In a group setting with a small number of like-minded individuals;
  • As part of an intensive course;
  • At work; or
  • As part of an informal group that converses in Russian.

Typically, lessons also tend to be divided according to a person’s ability level in a foreign language. So, a complete beginner to Russian would be best suited to attending a beginners’ class, while those that have an intermediate or advanced understanding of Russian would go to a more advanced class.

Before you dive in and look for a perfect course, it’s also a good idea to have an understanding of what type of class would work best for you. For example, if you know the answer to why you’re looking to learn Russian, how you would like your course delivered, and what level of Russian you currently have, then it’ll be much easier to find a course that suits your needs.

To work through an example, let’s say you’re planning on going to Russia for work purposes in a few months’ time, and you have little to no experience learning Russian as a second language. In such a scenario, you’ll most likely benefit from having intensive Russian classes London that focus on teaching you phrases and language that you’re likely to use in a business setting.

Your workplace may also have set up a language programme to help teach you these skills.

Intensive classes

Other instances when an intensive class might be a good idea are if you’re travelling to Russia soon, for example as part of a gap year, or if you’re planning on studying Russian at a university from scratch and want to have a head start learning the language before your university course starts.

Weekly or monthly classes

Intensive classes aren’t the only way to learn Russian though. Regular lessons spread over a period of months are also a popular way of learning the language and might suit someone who prefers to learn gradually and isn’t in a rush.

Class size matters too

Equally, try to take class sizes into account. You may find it helpful to learn Russian with a smaller group, as this way you can have more opportunity to practice speaking, listening and generally communicating in Russian than you may have if you were in a larger group.

Alternatively, you might choose to learn Russian on your own, with just your tutor for help. There’s no right way to learn Russian. Rather, it’s about finding a teaching format that works well for you.

Check for online Russian lessons here.

A photo of a stack of post-it notes next to a pile of pens. Russian classes in London may sometimes involve group work.
Some Russian classes in London are held in a group format. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, Skitterphoto, Pixabay)

Take Russian Lessons At University

Another way that you can learn Russian, or improve your existing proficiency level, is to take a Russian language course at a university.

Language courses, such as those run by University College London, cater to a wide variety of ability levels, from:

  • Complete beginners; to
  • Advanced or near-fluent speakers.

What’s more, these classes generally have a mix of people from different backgrounds in attendance, from undergraduate and postgraduate students to professionals.

Some language courses can be quite popular though and book up fast, so if you are interested in learning Russian in this way you need to be proactive when it comes to securing a place on the course.

You should also make sure that you have sufficient funds to pay the course costs and have the availability to attend lessons, as they usually run over a set period of time.

Finally, bear in mind that if you’re thinking about taking a Russian language course for intermediate or advanced speakers, your existing level of Russian may need to be assessed before your place on the course is approved. This assessment can come in many forms, such as a spoken interview or written test. Your course provider should be able to provide more information if an assessment is required.

Save Money With Online Russian Classes

If you want to learn Russian, one of the main stumbling blocks can actually be the issue of money. After all, many Russian classes require a fee to be paid, and it’s no secret that even paying to travel around London to get to a Russian lesson can be expensive.

What’s more, if you have to buy Russian textbooks or other materials as part of your course, the costs can quickly add up, and may ultimately be too much for some people’s budgets.

This is where some people find they can really benefit from taking online Russian lessons rather than attend a class in person. Although such lessons can still cost money, online classes can sometimes be cheaper than attending somewhere physically.

The other benefit of online lessons is that you don’t actually have to be in London for the entire duration of your course. So if you’re usually based in London but do travel around a fair amount, whether to other places in the UK or abroad, you can still learn Russian as you move around.

If you do decide to learn Russian online, it is worth considering that it might be more difficult for you to develop your Russian speaking skills, at least compared to if you attended a class in person, as you may not have as much opportunity to listen and speak to others in Russian through an online class.

For example, learning things such as good how to pronounce words in Russian might be a little more difficult unless you are assigned a tutor that can speak with you in real-time and give you feedback on your speaking and listening skills.

Of course, if money is a real barrier to you learning Russian, then it’s always worth seeing whether there are most cost-effective or even free ways to learn the language. There are apps out there, such as Duolingo, which offer free bite-size language lessons in a variety of different languages.

Find the best Russian teacher around.

Equally, don’t be afraid to use such apps to help supplement your learning if you are already attending a Russian course. Ultimately, the more practice you can put into learning Russian, the more you should get out of it!

A photo of a small gold key sitting on top of the enter button on a black keyboard. Learning Russian in London can be really helpful if you intend to travel to Russia.
For some, the key to learning Russian in London is to learn the language online. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, JeongGuHyeok, Pixabay)

Learn Russian Lessons In London With The Help Of A Tutor

If you’re still unsure how you’d like to improve your proficiency in Russian as a foreign language, remember that you could also consider learning Russian with the help of a Russian tutor.

Tutoring is a popular learning route for many people, for many different reasons. For example, tutoring:

  • Is flexible - you can decide if want to learn one to one, online, or in a group, and you can decide when you’d like to have your lessons;
  • Can be cheaper than attending a formal or accredited language course; and
  • Works well regardless of whether you’re a novice Russian speaker or an advanced learner, as there are lots of tutors out there with experience teaching different ability levels.

If you think tutoring might be for you, then it’s worth looking at online tutoring sites such as Superprof to find a Russian tutor. Superprof has a number of native Russian speakers who can help you achieve your learning goals, whether you’d like to broaden your knowledge of Russian grammar, improve your pronunciation, listening and reading skills, learn the alphabet, or learn core phrases and common greetings.

Even if you’re already studying Russian at school, perhaps at GCSE or A-Level, getting a tutor can also be a great way to help consolidate your understanding of the syllabus and prepare you for any upcoming Russian language exams you may have.

If you found this useful, why not check out our blogs on taking Russian lessons in Birmingham and learning Russian across the UK!

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Lucy is a freelance writer and wine enthusiast, who loves travelling and exploring new places.