When you think about foreign languages that people learn in the UK, we often tend to think of languages such as French, Spanish, German and Italian, as these are languages that are commonly taught at primary and secondary schools across the country.

However, one language that can be highly beneficial to learn is Russian. Although it might not be the first foreign language that springs to mind when it comes to choosing a language to learn, there are actually a lot of reasons why learning Russian can be very beneficial.

For example, Russian:

  • Is one of the most spoken languages in the world, with around 260 million speakers;
  • Is one of the official languages of the United Nations; and
  • Is widely spoken across Eastern Europe as a second language.

So, if, for instance, you’re planning on travelling to or living in Eastern Europe or Russia, whether for leisure or work purposes, having Russian as a second language can be a huge help.

A small blackboard with a white border. The questions "how" "what" "why" "where" "when" and "who" are written on the board in a clockwise fashion with a question mark in the middle. Taking Russian classes can teach you how to ask basic questions in Russian.
In Russian classes for beginners, you may well learn how to read, write, listen and say common phrases and questions in Russian. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, geralt, Pixabay)

Why Do You Want To Learn Russian?

Before you book your spot on a Russian language course, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about why you’d like to learn Russian as a second (or third, or fourth) language, and what you’d like to get out of your classes.

If you have at least a rough idea of why Russian is a language you'd like to learn, then you should have a good chance of identifying and attending a Russian language class that’s right for you, your learning needs and your learning goals.

Some examples of questions you might want to ask yourself when researching Russian classes are as follows:

Are you looking to learn Russian for business purposes?

If so, then a class that’s focussed on preparing you to use Russian in the workplace would be ideal.

Do you want to learn Russian for fun?

Then a less structured class may be the answer. Such classes might not give you an accreditation at the end, but you’ll likely cover popular topics and grammatical themes in Russian, including the alphabet, verb conjugation, pronunciation tips, general greetings and common phrases.

Do you already have a good level of Russian?

If you’re not a beginner, then an intermediate or advanced Russian course might be right for you.

Equally, if you’re not interested in attending a formal language course, then perhaps a weekly or monthly conversation group would suit you, as this gives you the opportunity to practice your speaking and listening skills with other Russian speakers.

Do you prefer to learn alone or in a group?

Some people learn better when they’re able to share their ideas and work alongside others, while other people prefer to learn at their own pace and in their own space, having just a teacher on hand to help with any questions they have.

It’s also worth considering how much time you have to dedicate to learning Russian as a foreign language. Are you looking to learn Russian as quickly as possible and achieve a certain proficiency level? If so, an intensive course might be just what you’re looking for.

Alternatively, if you’d just like to learn Russian gradually as part of an ongoing hobby, then a course that runs over a period of weeks or months may be better suited to your needs.

A photo of Saint Petersburg in Russia. Russian language lessons can be helpful if you're travelling around Russia.
Russian classes can be incredibly helpful if you're going to travel to Russia for work or tourism purposes. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, MariaShvedova, Pixabay)

Where Can I Find Russian Language Lessons In Leeds?

If you live in Leeds, the good news is there are lots of different places where you can learn Russian.

For instance, there are a number of different language schools that offer Russian lessons, as well as centres that offer both in-person and online-only courses. So if you have limited options when it comes to travelling around Leeds, you can still learn Russian with the help of an online Russian course.

To find a language centre nearest to you, it’s just a case of entering in your search terms into an internet search engine such as Google and seeing the results that pop up.

There are also universities in Leeds that offer language courses, with one example being Leeds Beckett University, which offers part-time language courses, including courses in Russian, which are scheduled to start in Autumn 2019.

When looking for a course, remember that there are a wide variety of courses out there that cater to a range of different ability levels. So, regardless of whether you’re:

  • A complete beginner or novice when it comes to learning Russian;
  • You consider yourself to be an intermediate or advanced speaker; or
  • You have near-native proficiency,

There should be a Russian language course out there for you.

When looking for a class, it’s always a good idea to try and find out what the reputation of the class is like. For example, are there lots of positive reviews online about how good the course is, or are there other testimonials that give you confidence in the quality of the teaching you’ll receive?

A language centre or course provider with a good reputation is a good sign. Equally, any course provider that consistently receives poor feedback is one that you may be best to avoid, although ultimately you’re the best judge of which language course or courses would work best for you.

A photo of a group of people working together. There are lots of Russian classes available, both for groups and for individuals.
Some people prefer to attend Russian classes that are held in groups, while others prefer to have one to one lessons with a teacher. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, StockSnap, Pixabay)

Learn Russian In Leeds In A Way That Works For You

When looking for Russian language courses in Leeds, one of the most important things to remember is that there are lots of different ways that you can learn a foreign language successfully. This means that you shouldn't feel pressured to take a particular course or follow a set syllabus to get results.

For example, if you find that group language lessons just aren’t working for you, then don’t feel discouraged. You might find that changing to one to one lessons are actually much more effective for you. Ultimately, some people do better on their own when learning a new language, whereas others thrive studying as part of a group.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can mix and match different learning methods to help you improve your level of proficiency in Russian. For example, you might decide that you’d like to supplement your group Russian language course with some extracurricular study outside the classroom.

There are plenty of different textbooks and audio tapes that can help you learn Russian, as well as a wide variety of online apps and programmes that can help you practice your Russian speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills.

For example, you might find that using a programme or app such as:

  • Duolingo;
  • Rosetta Stone; or
  • Michel Thomas,

helps you to improve your ability levels in Russian, or at least teaches you a few new words and phrases that you weren’t previously aware of.

Equally, if you’re looking for more specialised help, or would like more regular, structured support while you learn Russian, you might consider hiring a Russian tutor, either as an exclusive means to learn Russian or in combination with a Russian language course you’re taking.

A Russian tutor, such as one from Superprof, can provide answers to any specific queries you might have about learning Russian. What's more, they can also help you tackle notoriously difficult areas of the language for English speakers, such as the perfective and imperfective aspects of Russian verbs.

Additionally, a Russian tutor can give you regular exercises designed to keep improving your Russian proficiency level, and can also provide you with a forum to practice your speaking and listening skills in Russian while receiving honest and constructive feedback.

Often, language tutors are native speakers of the language they're tutoring. This means that there's a good chance that a prospective Russian tutor at Superprof will be a native Russian speaker.

Having a native speaker teach you Russian can be particularly beneficial when it comes to improving your Russian speaking and listening skills, although that's not to say that you can't also receive excellent tuition from someone who is not a native Russian speaker.

So, if you find yourself travelling a lot, or know that you will find it difficult to make a class in person regularly in Leeds, hiring a Russian tutor can be a great way to help you improve your proficiency in the Russian language.

In fact, regardless of whether you’re taking Russian classes in London, learning about Russian in Glasgow, or studying Russian across the UK, you can always reach out to a Russian language tutor on Superprof for help.

If you found this useful, why not check out our blogs on taking Russian lessons in Manchester or learning Russian in Birmingham!

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