Russian as a foreign language

The method of teaching Russian as a foreign language is a separate pedagogical discipline to learning other languages. ILA is here to help regardless of the duration of your stay in Russia, your profession or the particular purpose for learning the Russian language.

Learning Russian may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. We have collected a list of themost common stereotypes about learning Russian language and with more than 15 years’ experience in the education sector behind us worked to debunk these language myths.

Our teaching method prepares learners for the criteria set out by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) with a particular focus on grammar and vocabulary.

I can’t read the alphabet, how I can speak the language!

While learning the Russian language, many students get frustrated with the number of letters and sounds. The existence of such letters as «ы», «ь»,«ъ»,«ж»,«щ»,«ш» complicates the learning process. Phonetic exercises and articulation exercises when pronouncing the unfamiliar sounds help learners to pronounce and understand the need for these new letters in the alphabet.

Why does писАть mean to write but пИсать means something else?

As soon as learners overcome the hurdle of multi consonant words, for example, “здравствуйте” or “добрый день” they are confronted with the frustrating situation of irregular stress patterns in Russian words. Besides the general rules that can be learned in class, such as unstressed vowels are not pronounced as distinctly as stressed vowels, learners are taught to understand the melody of thelanguage.

Everyone seems really angry

When you don’t understand the language, it might seem that people are shouting and arguing all the time. In linguistics there is such a thing as paralinguistic semiotics. These are symbolic manifestations that affect not only speech, but they embody distance between speakers and facial expressions. The semiotics of different languages differ from language to language. In the lessons students learn not only grammar and phonetic features of the language, but also how to pitch and read nonverbal language which is important for effective communication.

There are too many different word endings

Changes at the end of words, for example, conjugations, have caused problems for generations of Russian language learners. Then there are the numerous exceptions which can cause some learners further difficulty. Yet, even in this long list of rules and exceptions, learners can come to grips with the case system to learn the end of nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

There are too many verbs to mean to go

Verbs with prefixes «переехать», «не доехать», «приехать», «поехать», «заехать», «заглянуть» and so on – are usually learned at an advanced level of proficiency, but the study of these prefixes according to the procedure adopted by ILA, helps master these verbs of motion earlier in the learning process.

Russians have too many contradictory phrases, for example “Да нет, наверное”, “Да нет”

In the Russian language, there are a huge number of expressions that further understanding of written and spoken text, beyond the knowledge of all the rules and nuances. Students learn this important chunk of language separately as syntactical phraseology. Moreover, due to the fact that the classes are taught by professional linguists, whose native language is Russian, the unusual expressions can not only be explained linguistically, learners can also understand the cultural who, where, why, when and how to apply them.

Of course there are many more stereotypes about the Russian language and Russia in general; we invite you to come and learn and share with us at ILA as we break these stereotypical barriers together!

By being in Russia you are immersed in Russian life all the time. If you hear the language every day you will pick up on its nuances. Living in Russia is also a great way to familiarize yourself with Russian culture. Many doors are opened to non-native speakers once they have learned Russian.