Learning Russian is a challenging endeavour to say the least, but it is an important milestone to better understand the Russian culture, business world and mentality of Russian people, plus it helps a lot when you are traveling in the biggest country of the world. Sweat and tears are both natural parts of learning languages, so why would Russian be any different?
Living and interning in Russia will provide you with an unmatched source of motivation. Your daily life in Russia will naturally drift you far far away from comfortzone, where your concentrated willpower can work more efficiently. The environment and your hard work together will move you towards the desired success, which is ultimately the improvement of your Russian communication skills.
By using the langauge level classification below, you can estimate your current level and you will be able to set rational expections over the course of a 6 or 12 week internship or langauge program (or both) in Russia. Also, you will be asked to fill in a written test before arrival to determine your current level of language knowledge and on the first day in the school your oral skills will be tested.
I am starting from scratch, I have a stable level zero
I have no prior experience with Russian or I know the alphabet well enough to read slowly. In my efforts of trying to learn the language I picked up a few expressions from daily life such as general greetings, but I am not yet confident to spell “здравствуйте”. Speaking and listening skills at this point seem impossible (which is normal by the way).
I know something, I have A1-A2 level
I am able to read and understand a basic text and my writing skills are good enough to describe myself, my background and topics such as friends and hobbies (with limited grammatical accuracy). With a vocabulary of about 1000 words (passive vocabulary) I hear out the keywords of a general conversation, thus I have educated guesses about the main ideas in the said dialouge. I could introduce myself at a new workplace, I could ask for directions on the streets and I feel like I would be able to answer basic questions about my life.
I am confident in knowing something, I have B1-B2 level
I am able to read fluently in Russian and understand most of the details of a written text, knowing about 3000 words (passive vocabulary). Most of the times my grammar is surprisingly accurate and my listening skills allow me to hear out more details or almost fully understand the story of a random „бабушка”. I can confidently speak about several aspects of my life and I can already rephrase or retell a story in a simpler way. Level B1 is partly passive knowledge, while B2 means that most of the vocabulary is active.
Others tell me that I know something, I have C1-C2 level
Reading and understanding are not a problem anymore, and with about 5000 words in my passive vocabulary I understand most of the things I hear on the news (in Russian). My speaking skills are quite advanced for a non-native speaker and my Russian friends often compliment on my subtle accent. Over the years I picked up some true Russian expressions and native Russian speakers are asking for my passport to prove that I am from another country. Level C1 is partly passive knowledge, while level C2 demonstrates a rather active vocabulary.
|Starting level||Level in 6 weeks (20hours/week)*||Level in 12 weeks (20hours/week)*|
*Russian classes are one part of the equasion, you must do your „homework” in order to reach the estimated language level improvements in the table