The best way to learn Russian typically involves what actually works best for the speaker themselves. People learn languages in many different ways; some are more proficient in learning through immersion, while others may find it useful to study first, and then practice after they feel comfortable. It all depends on your goals, your current situation, and where you physically plan to be in the future.

Figuring out the Best Way to Learn Russian for You

There are many options available to individuals that want to learn Russian, and many are designed with helping Westerners in particular to pick up the language. Your reasons for learning Russian could be for academic purposes, to speak with family from Russia, or just to travel and do business in the country. Whatever the case may be, there are two very popular methods that you may want to consider.

  • Online programs are a very convenient way for many people to learn Russians. Students can use these online programs before, during, and after any traveling to Russia or the Ukraine. Business people may also prefer online courses as a way to schedule their lessons on their own time. Online resources like Skype calls to native Russian speakers can also be of great benefit.
  • Private tutors can either provide instruction in person or online. Schools like the ECHO Eastern Europe Language Centre can connect students with private tutors that can provide instruction at nearly every level, from beginner to advanced. Tutors are useful for people of all ages, so don't be put off if you're an older person -- a tutor could be the right way to advance your understanding of the language.

The best Russian language program, whether through a tutor or through an online course, should allow a speaker to approach the language at their own pace. Russian can be a difficult tongue to master and read for some Westerners, as it contains several pronunciations and characters that aren't familiar in Romance languages. It's a challenge, but it can also be extremely rewarding.

Picking the Best Russian Course

To choose the right course, you'll first need to find where to learn Russian at a speed that's right for you. That will typically mean searching for programs and institutes that offer classes that you can access on your schedule, or that you can connect to online. Here are a few of the qualities that you should include in your search.

  • Availability of resources: The course that you choose should have the right amount of resources for your own reading, writing, and practice. This can include documents and other texts that can make it easy for you to practice on your own time, or even quiz yourself. Access to newspapers, or even native speakers through online chat systems like Skype, can be absolutely vital in learning the language.
  • Practice sessions: Practicing with a goal in mind helps you to better familiarize yourself with the language. Whether your Russian practice involves learning polite conversation in a business environment, or something as simple as asking for directions, having a clearly defined goal not only helps you to create a firm language base, but also gives students a sense of accomplishment.
  • Continued support: Even people who have been learning Russian and speaking it for years still need practice. There are local phrases and language customs to consider, as well as trends that may cover topics like emerging technology or politics. Languages are living things, and even native speakers study them for that reason. Continued education means taking part in the growth of the language itself, and understanding true context of spoken and written Russian.

For many students, the best program to learn Russian will be through online courses, especially as access through mobile devices becomes a more common occurrence. For some, tutors may be preferable, as they can provide greater one-on-one instruction. The choice is ultimately yours, but whichever you prefer, make sure that you are comfortable with the method for the best results.

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