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SOAS Language Centre

Introduction to Russian

A 10-week course aimed at those who wish to acquire a basic conversational ability in everyday spoken Russian

Duration: 20 hours (2 hours a week for 10 weeks)


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Mode of Attendance: Full-time

This SOAS Language Centre course in Russian is designed to give participants a basic reading, writing and conversational ability in the language. The course takes the form of learning the Cyrillic alphabet and of a series of situational contexts in which participants will be asked to understand what is taking place around them and to respond in comprehensible and clear Russian.


The course is taught in English and Russian and includes coverage of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and a good balance between understanding the systems of Russian grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills of comprehending and producing Russian in speech and writing, guided practice in language usage and use and authentic communicative activities. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow intensive interactive practice with individual feedback and advice on progress.

Continuing your study

Subject to demand, the Language Centre may be able to schedule Introduction to Russian 2 later in the academic year. Reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills continue to be developed, allowing students to progress with confidence. Please keep an eye on the Language Centre website for further details.


Summary of Syllabus Content (by session)

1. Introduction to the Cyrillic alphabet and to pronunciation
2. Greeting people; introducing oneself and others
3. Giving and requesting basic information  
4. Asking for things and asking questions
5. Mid-term consolidation of speaking and reading
6. Numbers, the calendar, seasons and festivals
7. Language, countries, nationalities
8. Food and drink; likes and dislikes
9. Reading and writing exercises
10. End of term consolidation of speaking and reading



The text that has been prescribed for the course is as follows:

Langran, J. & Veshnyeva, N. (2012). Ruslan Russian 1: a Communicative Russian Course. (5th Ed.). (Paperback + audio CD). Moseley: Ruslan Ltd.

Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS Bookshop bookshop@soas.ac.uk You are advised not to purchase course materials until the course has been confirmed.


The course is taught in a group with a maximum of 15 students. Classes will be held at the Bloomsbury or Kings Cross Campus of SOAS in central London. Participants receive 20 hours of tuition over a 10-week period (with additional weeks where public holidays displace a session).

See our online store to book a place on this course.

Language Centre How To Apply

You can enrol:

Not a complete beginner?

If you are not a complete beginner, you will need to complete an assessment for course placement, allowing us to decide which course is right for you.

To apply for an assessment please complete our Needs Analysis Form (pdf; 187kb) and send to the relevant email inbox where a Course Officer will contact you for scheduling.

Course Fees and Discounted Rates

An overview of our Short Course Fees and Discounted Rates.

If you are eligible for a discount, you will not be able to complete your transaction on the Online Store. You will need to bring a paper Application Form (pdf; 462kb) , including your Staff/Student card for us to make a copy of, after which we can process your application at the discounted rate.

Returning students

If you are a returning student, you will have received a letter informing you of the procedures for rejoining prior to the start of the registration period. You can pay using any method indicated above. Returning students, if they are continuing onto the course indicated as the progression course, do not need to be assessed.