“It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
There are around 280 million Russian speakers in the world. Russian is an East Slavic language and is an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Moldova. In fact, Russian is the biggest member of the Slavic languages.
The language was the official language of the Soviet Union (USSR) and as a result, became an essential part of politics in Russia and Eastern Europe. Nowadays, the language is still widely spoken and has become very important in language learning. You can learn more about Russian online.
Learning Russian is a great way to discover a new culture, a new civilisation, and Russian literature.
Would you like to travel from Moscow to Saint Petersburg?
Would you like to teach Russian language courses?
That could be a good motivation for learning Russian. Once you've been studying Russian for a while and have gained proficiency, you can start passing on your language skills to other people interested in speaking Russian.
Have you thought about teaching Russian?
In this article, we'll be looking at the PGCE, how to get onto a course, some other teacher training programmes, and becoming a private Russian tutor.
Postgraduate Qualifications for Teaching
Just being able to speak Russian won’t be enough to teach it to secondary school students. You’ll need a teaching qualification.
The most common way to teach in secondary schools is through the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). As the name suggests, this is a qualification you do once you’ve completed your degree. Usually, a teacher will complete a degree in the subject they wish to teach and then complete the PGCE to gain the necessary teaching skills to teach it.
During your undergraduate degree, you’ll focus on understanding Russian grammar, Russian culture, vocabulary, pronunciation, speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Your degree will help you become a master of the language. You’ll also probably have an opportunity to spend some time in Russia to further your understanding of the language and culture.
Of course, you may want to consider doing another language alongside Russian since very few schools teach the language and it’s always a good idea to have another foreign language on your CV. Once you’ve finished your degree, it’s time to start looking at teacher training opportunities.
As we said, the PGCE is the most common. This is the programme that includes university tuition as part of the teacher training. The first part of the application through UCAS is called “Apply 1”. There’s also “Apply 2” for those that are rejected, withdraw from their offers, etc.
The application process is long and complicated (like all application processes of this nature), but there are plenty of resources out there, especially those provided by UCAS themselves, to help you with this. Once your application is successful, then the real work can begin.
Applying to Teacher Training Programmes
If you want to teach Russian (or any other language) in a secondary school, you’ll need to be a qualified teacher.
This means that you’ll need a teaching qualification and qualified teacher status (QTS). To get this, you’ll need to do a teacher training programme. Before you can do a teacher training programme, you’ll need to apply to one.
As we said earlier, there are two application statuses: Apply 1 and Apply 2. During Apply 1, you can make 3 choices for training programmes you’d like to do.
These choices need to all be made at the same time as you can’t add further choices under Apply 1. Training programmes have academic and non-academic criteria that need to be met.
- Three choices. Any route, subject, age group, etc.
- You don’t have to use all three choices but you can’t add to them.
- Make your choices carefully.
- One choice at a time.
- Unlimited choices.
- Occurs if your Apply 1 choices were unsuccessful, declined, or you withdrew from them.
- You can still apply for a programme you were unsuccessful for in Apply 1.
You’ll have to attend an interview before you can be offered a place. You’ll have ten working days to respond to offers. In Apply 1, this ten-day period starts once you’ve had responses from all your choices. Of course, working in a secondary school isn’t the only way to teach foreign languages or Russian.
Different Teaching Training Programmes
Just like teaching in secondary schools isn’t the only way to go, the PGCE isn’t the only way to become a teacher.
There are over a dozen different ways to get qualified teacher status (QTS) in the UK. You can find teacher training programmes in England through the Department for Education. If you’re looking for programmes in Wales and Scotland, you can search using UCAS’ own search tool. The process is a little different in Northern Ireland.
Once you’ve found the right training programme for you, you’ll need to get your application ready. Take your time comparing different programmes and doing your research.
Of course, you don’t need to teach as part of the national curriculum. There are plenty of other ways to teach Russian. You can teach in private language schools, associations, or as a private Russian tutor.
Teaching Russian Privately
If you don’t fancy being a teacher in a state school, you can take your teaching to private institutions or even work for yourself.
Outside of the national curriculum, there are fewer formal qualifications required to teach Russian. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can just walk through the door and start teaching. You’ll need to be good at both Russian and teaching and be able to prove it. While qualifications are always a good way to prove this, experience, references, and even the interview are also good ways to prove yourself worthy.
The advantage of working in language schools or at associations is that you don’t need to find your students. Additionally, the students will have chosen to learn Russian and will have more enthusiasm than secondary school pupils who may be being forced to study a given subject.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all your students will be nice and you won’t get to choose them like you would if you were a private Russian tutor.
Find good Russian courses London on this platform.
Teaching Russian as a Private Tutor
If you decide to become a private tutor, you’re the boss. You don’t need any formal qualifications in Russian or teaching.
Of course, you’ll be operating within a free market and you’ll need to prove yourself to your students through your teaching. Word of mouth, reviews, and recommendations will be your best friends when it comes to finding students.
In this line of work, you can choose your rates, your timetable (given it works with your students), and what and how you teach. You can teach general Russian tutorials or specialise in certain aspects of the language such as:
- Russian Grammar
- The Cyrillic Alphabet
- Russian conversation skills
- Grammatical concepts
- Russian verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs, etc.
- Russian sentence structure, syntax, and words and phrases.
So are you ready to start teaching Russian?
Before you start helping students with their language study, think carefully about the type of language course you want to teach.
Would you prefer teaching Russian as a second language in a school or would you prefer tailoring Russian courses to private students?
Do you want to teach Russian in the UK or abroad?
While western European languages are commonly taught here in the UK, in places like Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian are both used. If you want to teach Russian courses, you should think about going to places where it's a common second language.
There are no official requirements for private tutors so if you want to start teaching Russian vocabulary to beginners, you can start teaching your Russian language lessons while studying Russian as an undergraduate at university, for example.
Even if you're not doing Russian studies, you can always teach people about the Russian alphabet and Russian speaking culture with intensive private tutorials. As long as you know what you're teaching and are good at teaching it, you can teach whatever you want as a private tutor.
While being fluent in Russian will help, if you don't use the right teaching techniques, it won't matter if you know every conjugation, personal pronouns, and tonnes about the language of the former Soviet Union.
If you want to become a private tutor, consider making your profile on Superprof today. You can offer both one-on-one tutorials and online tutorials!