russian levels of proficiency

  Individual lessons / levels

Individual lessons are given on all levels: from beginner till fluent.

Group courses / levels

Our group classes are given from level “zero” till level “intermediate” (A2). In this range we defined 6 sublevels. Each sublevel corresponds to a 2-week block of group classes with intensity 20 academic hours/week. The total cycle with successively block 1 till 6 is given 4 times per year: in autumn, winter, spring and summer. Depending on your level, you can enrol in one of the blocks. Attention, each block (= specific level) has it’s own starting date. You can choose to do 1 block (= 2 weeks) till maximum 6 blocks (=12 weeks). Except for the total 6-block cycles, we give separately block 1, 2 and 3 in the summer months (May-September) and during Christmas Holiday; where each level can be enrolled every 2 weeks.

For the exact dates of each group block, click here.

If you are not sure about your own level: do the level determination test.


Block 1

Starting level: no knowledge required
Lessons: alphabet, pronunciation, basics of grammar (gender, structure of verbs, cases, personal and possessive pronoun), vocabulary 300-500 words
Objective: to “survive”, read maps/street signs, ask for the road, explain who you are, buy tickets, shopping etc.

Block 2

Starting level: you have spent about 60-80 hours on learning the language (sum of lessons and self study). You know the alphabet and the principles of grammar. You have a vocabulary of at least 300 words.
Lessons: grammar (use of cases, adjectives, conjugations of verbs, perfective/imperfective, imperative), extend vocabulary to 500-750 words

Objective: to guide someone, to conduct small conversations by phone (order taxi, ticket theater), to write a simple letter about what you experienced, your level at the end of the course is almost A1.

Block 3

Starting level: you have spent about 120-160 hours on learning the language (sum of lessons and self study). You are able to apply the basics of grammar (cases, conjugations of verbs etc.). You have a vocabulary of at least 500 words.
Lessons: grammar (verbs of moving, with/without preposition, reflective verb, exceptions singular/plural nouns, degrees of comparison), extending vocabulary to 750-1200 words

Objective: to conduct simple conversations / discussions, to express opinions, to read adaptive texts, to use cases when speaking, the level at the end of this block corresponds to a good A1 in speaking, listening, writing and reading.

Block 4

Starting level: you have spent about 180-240 hours on learning the language (sum of lessons and self study), you know a lot of verbs and know how to decline. You have a vocabulary of at least 750 words. Lessons: grammar (declensions of cases plural, use of prepositions, combinations verbs + cases, prepositions + cases), extending vocabulary to 900 -1400 words

Objective: to be able to re-formulate phrases using synonyms, write different styles of letters, to conduct conversations in different styles (formal/informal).

Block 5

Starting level: you have spent about 240-320 hours on learning the language (sum of lessons and self study), you know grammar really well (cases, declensions, times) and you have a vocabulary of at least 900 words.
Lessons: focus on speaking and listening skills, to learn to use grammar actively, expressions in every day speech, extending vocabulary to 1100 – 1600 words

Objective: reaching a “normal” speed of speaking, to do a simple job interview, to be able to understand simple movies and television programs (chosen by the teacher), to lay the foundation for a skill which should be further developed in practice. Your level of speaking / listening after this course corresponds to A2.

Block 6

Starting level: you have spent about 300-400 hours on learning the language (sum of lessons and self study)
Lessons: focus on reading, writing and vocabulary, extending vocabulary to 1500-2000 words
Objective: to be able to read simple books and newspaper articles with the use of a dictionary, to re-write texts in your own words. Your level of reading / writing at the end of this block corresponds to A2.

Learning the Russian language is an iterative process: in every block there is a continuous repeating of elements of the preceding blocks. For example: in block 1 you generally learn the principles of the cases, in block 2 you learn to use them, in block 3 exceptions are handled, in block 4 you learn specific constructions of cases in combination with verbs and prepositions, in block 5 and 6 you train to apply them.

Estimating your starting level

It is very important that you make the right estimate of your level. The number of hours and the number of words are only very broad indicators and better not to use them as the sole factor.

Some considerations:

    1. in case you learnt Russian only through self study, we recommend a conservative estimate
    1. in case you studied Russian a long time ago, we recommend a conservative estimate
    1. if you did not study a language which uses cases (such as Latin and German), be sure you control

      this subject well when enrolling in a higher level

    1. if you studied Russian in an alternative way, without any basics of grammar or even alphabet: start at

      block 1 (our teachers have serious concerns about methods with only pictures and sounds, to use as a single method to learn Russian; these methods could be useful as additional material, but you can’t study Russian without learning the basics of grammar and writing)

    1. if you studied an other Slavic language or a Slavic language is your mother language, then make a progressive estimation; take into account that you may be learning “faster” then the average group member, and if you aim a maximum result, consider individual lessons

If you are not sure about your own level: make the level determination test on our website.

About group lessons

If you doubt between group lessons and individual lessons:

A group course has two main advantages: the social aspect during the lesson and the price. Because we work in small groups (up to 6 people) at group courses there is much individual attention of the teacher. Because everybody is different it would never be possible to form a group where everybody has exactly the same speed of learning and the same background. Therefore, the speed of a group lesson is slower than at individual lessons. An individual course has the advantage that speed is fully adjusted to the student and the intensity is bigger because of the 1-to-1 attention of the teacher. Hereby, you may reach more progress with individual lessons within the same amount of time. In addition, individual lessons have the advantage to adjust fully to individual objectives and themes.

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