About our Learning Guides
Our 'Learning Guides' are designed to give you a clear overview of all the material that is available, along with a suggested path to go through it all. It's like a road map and a 'best route' to get to where you want to go. We also provide an 'Index of Material' for quick, direct reference to all the material.
Below is a look at our Learning Guide for beginners.
Learning Guide - Beginner
This is a quick reference of material available for beginners and a general guide for the order and focus to proceed through it all to maximize your learning. Some material is provided mostly as ‘extra’ and can be skipped or simply looked at once or twice. Other material needs to be used repeatedly until it is thoroughly learned.
Step 1 :
Where you start will depend on your time available and your learning preferences. And, there's no need to go through each item entirely, 'non-stop'. This is simply a guide, or 'road map', and you're in 'the driver's seat', so feel free to jump around through the material as you wish. And you'll likely want to go through some of it several times, which is highly recommended.
(Note: All links are set to open in a new tab on click, so as to keep this guide handy.)
LR01 - Learn Russian - Your very first words : This PDF is a good place to start if you’re an absolute beginner. It’s an easy read and gives you a very relaxed introduction to learning Russian and helps lay the ‘strategy’ for going forward. It's set up so you can listen to the words as well.
Russian Lesson 1 : Reading and listening to Lessons 1 - 4 is a great introduction to Russian for absolute beginners. It gives you immediate practice reading, listening and speaking with simple, but important, words and concepts. Try reading along out loud with the audio to develop speaking ability and focus on copying the sound, including emphasis and rhythm. You'll likely want to go through each lesson several times over several days.
For the ‘first lesson ever’ with students learning Russian, we go through all 4 lessons. The total audio time is about 18 minutes, so reading the first lessons twice, gets the students feeling confident and then Lesson 4 gives them a real workout and a good overview. In the ‘second lesson ever’, we generally go through Lessons 2-5. A nice ‘warm up’ starting with Lesson 2 and finally really getting into it with Lesson 5.
30-30_01 – 30 Words in 30 Minutes – Audio Series : This is set up as an ‘audio only’ series but comes with the text for reading along if you want. Most of the words introduced are the same as in the above material, but taking multiple approaches over the same material helps build a solid foundation.
EURO 2012 – Chapter 1 : This new style of 'phrasebook' gives a full introduction to Russian and quickly takes you to a realistic dialogue. It's a fast way to gain 'survival Russian' and enjoy your trip to a Russian speaking country.
10 Words a Day : This series gives a focused look at new vocabulary and sample sentences using ONLY words that have already been introduced. Most similar type material elsewhere uses a huge vocabulary outside the words learned for the sample sentences. That’s pointless and defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.
BRG01 – Basic Russian Grammar : Read this to help solidify what you learned from Lessons 1-4 and the other above material. It’s a relaxed read, so enjoy.
Summary and Guide for Lessons 1-4 : Once you're comfortable with the material introduced in Lessons 1-4, this is a good summary of the various grammar aspects introduced.
Learn to type in Russian : This may sound crazy and difficult at this level, but it really is the best time to begin, and it will really help you with your learning in general. We start by introducing just 10 letters and focus on basic words and expressions that you've already learned, such as что, кто и это. Give it a try!
Lesson 5 : Do lessons 2, 3 and 4 again, then read and listen to Lesson 5. Repeat and practice till mastered. (This lesson will last you several days.)
BRG02 - Basic Russian Grammar and Expressions : Read BRG01 again if you like, or go straight ahead with this one. This is also a relaxed read, but you’ll likely want to review it several times over the next few days.
30-30_02 – 30 Words in 30 Minutes : Listen to the second audio of this series. This, and the other material, will now have you comfortably using over 50 Russian words, which is a good start.
10 Words a Day : Continue up to Day 5 (or more if you like).
1 2 3 4 5
EURO 2012 – Chapter 3 : You may want to review Chapter 2 since quite a lot was covered.
Learn to type in Russian : 1 2 3 4 5
If you didn't start it 'Step 1', we really recommend starting now. It will really help you with your learning in general. We start by introducing just 10 letters and gradually build up to the whole keyboard over 5 levels. You'll be amazed how fast your fingers learn the keyboard. Your conscious memory will take a lot longer!
Lesson 05 : Listen and read along, out loud. Use the pause button if you need to or open it with Audacity and really work on the details. There’s a lot of information in this lesson and it will warm you up for the next lessons.
BRG03 - Basic Russian Grammar – nouns and ending changes : Read BRG02 again if you like, or go straight ahead with this one. If you like grammar, you’ll like this, if you don’t, well, throw it in the trash and don’t read it. Seriously! The other material will teach you everything you need to know more effectively.
30-30_03 – 30 Words in 30 Minutes : Listen to the third audio of this series.
10 Words a Day : Continue up to Day 10.
EURO 2012 – Chapters 1-4 : Read this PDF again for review and then focus on Chapter 4 and the audio of the dialogue..
Alphabet audio : Not really needed for learning Russian, but it is handy to know if you’re writing Russian (taking notes of new words and phrases for example) and someone is helping you spell it correctly.
Basic vocab and expressions audio : Extra help for learning words and getting the pronunciation correct. Remember though, when said within a sentence, the sound of a word can change, although generally not as drastically as in English.
Lesson 06 : It’s best to continue reviewing Lessons 4 and 5 while working on Lesson 6.
Russian Booklet 1 : This booklet contains a complete summary of almost all the basics and should be read many times. It’s also very useful as a reference for words and grammar forms.
BRG04 – Introduction to pronouns : Read BRG03 again if you like, then read this one. Even if you hate studying grammar, this one’s reasonably interesting. It will also help you start to organize things in your head.
Introduction to Russian Cases : This file gives an excellent step-by-step summary of Russian cases using words and expressions that you’ve already learned.
30-30_04 – 30 Words in 30 Minutes : Listen to the fourth audio of this series.
10 Words a Day : Continue at your own pace. It’s better to use this series as a summary, after you’ve already been introduced to the words in the other material. Many times an expression depends on the context of the situation, so learning words from dialogues is better. This series then ‘sums it all up’ and extends your understanding to a new level with interesting samples that you haven’t seen elsewhere and perhaps never would have thought of on your own.
EURO 2012 – audio files : Continue with the other audio files in this series whenever you’re ready.
More basic dialogues : Various short simple dialogues using the vocabulary already learned. They’re an excellent review of everything covered to this point, and they illustrate just how much can be said with what you’ve learned.
Lessons 05 and 06 : Use them till you can easily keep up and speak clearly.
Russian Booklet 1 : There’s a lot of information in this booklet and you’ll need to read it many times before it all sinks in. It’s also very useful as a reference for words and grammar forms. BRG05 : Quickly read BRG03 and 04 again if you like, then read this one. It covers some more details of the grammar introduced in Lessons 5 and 6, and the booklet.
30-30_05 – 30 Words in 30 Minutes : Listen to the 5th audio of this series, and more if you like. Being audio based, it’s a great way to supplement the other material since you can listen to it any time. As with 10 Words a Day, continue at your own pace along with the other material.
Yulia’s Lesson 1 : Get started with Yulia’s series of lessons. This is a great dialogue between a mom and her daughter. The vocabulary is quite basic but it really ‘comes alive’. This has a series of parts, including ‘present’, ‘past’, ‘dictation’ and ‘questions’. I also got her to do a ‘nice mom’ version but surprisingly the kid turned out a bit spoiled in that one. Anyway, enjoy!!
This also gets you started using Visual SubSync as a tool for listening and speaking. Once I find a programmer we’ll try and make our own simplified software but until then this works fine. Just the set up originally takes a little messing around. Instructions are in the zip file that you download along with the lesson.
EURO 2012 – audio files : Continue with the audio files in this series and practice your speaking using the VSS files. You will find these files useful for a long time, even till an intermediate level.
Congratulations!! You’ve mastered the basics and are ready for the next level.
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