The internet has good enough resources to let you achieve a decent level in Russian from the comfort of your home. But for many of us, learning in isolation is difficult and boring. If you do decide to take your language learning further, consider investing in online Russian tutoring over Skype or Zoom. Is hiring a Russian language teacher online worthy? Just consider the top 10 reasons why Russian language learners choose online lessons.
‘I had been making very slow progress teaching myself Russian using online tools, so I thought that I’d benefit from speaking to a real native speaker.’
To find a Russian language teacher online is fairly easy today. Online tutoring website is an extremely useful resource. You hire a professional Russian teacher who helps improve your language skills. The choice of online Russian tutors is really wide and you can practise with real people who speak their native language.
‘The 30-minute taster session is free — so it wouldn’t have mattered too much if she weren’t any good.’
Yeah, most people still find it unusual to have lessons by video-conferencing. For that reason, most private tutors will offer you a free trial lesson. You will have an opportunity to test the waters and see if you liked the tutor’s teaching style. The introductory session doesn’t mean there is a hidden obligation to buy. Instead, a good tutor will want to learn as much as possible about you before charging you money. They are all different and what is simple and comfortable for one person might be difficult for the next.
‘Amazing service for little money.’
Once you get started, it’s easy to get past the idea that studying the Russian language comes with a big financial burden. When you hire a language teacher, the money you spend should buy you unrivalled personal attention. Moreover, the price includes all the necessary training materials. No need to buy books, no travel expenses. You don’t even have to think about tea and biscuits for your tutor!
‘The advantage of paying for a course is that it gives an incentive to carry on. Not necessarily cheap, but I would say better value than an expensive course of self-study.’
The accountability that comes with lessons creates a boost of ongoing motivation that is almost impossible to find for free. Moreover, a good tutor will create lessons tailored to your level, your learning style and your goals. All your needs will be concerned!
‘No group classes, no journey time, just a patient polyglot in my pocket.’
Wasting the one thing that you’ll never get back, your time, might not cost you much money but can be expensive! So choose online lessons and use any spare minute to boost your linguistic skills. Enjoy classes with your Russian tutor during your morning coffee, or your lunch-break or after working hours. Or even when you get stuck in a traffic jam. In one word, at any time and place!
‘It’s a flexible and easy way to arrange lessons.’
A training schedule will be created and agreed between the tutor and the student. The lesson schedule can be flexible to meet the student’s requirements. You can move your classes and have them at a time that works for both sides. So, you don’t need to suspend Russian lessons during your business trip or your vacation anymore!
‘My online Russian tutor has been giving me lessons 2 hours per week for just 7 weeks and already I am able to hold conversations with my future parents in law!!! I am amazed at how fast her methods have got me to this stage!’
Russian tutoring online is very similar to individual lessons: indeed, you can see and hear the teacher. She introduces material, gives explanations and sets assignments. The student, in his turn, listens to the tutor and does the tasks.
The ‘screen sharing’ function on Skype or Zoom allows the teacher to demonstrate all necessary visual materials. Tutors also use the chat like a whiteboard to facilitate writing, spellings, and grammatical points. It is also used to set and mark assignments. During online lessons the chat allows the teacher to correct mistakes immediately without interrupting the student.
In a nutshell, online Russian tutoring can be even more effective than classroom lessons. They allow you to practice speaking, understanding, reading, and writing in Russian – but much more conveniently!
‘I was floundering with basic Russian grammar until my teacher pointed me in the right direction. Slowly but surely she has helped me improve greatly, my vocabulary and understanding has exploded.’
Where you spend your time and money should be driven primarily by your goals. Starting with some vague notion of wanting to learn the Russian language most likely won’t get you there in all probability. The tutor will help you understand yourself and your motivations better. Also, together you will set smart goals, make a plan and step by step execute it!
Apart from providing online lessons, your Russian tutor will set up homework and check it. Try to do half an hour, at least, every day. There is only one way to fail at language learning, and that is to stop completely.
‘She really fixes them to the things that I find enjoyable. Enjoyable topics, and my vocabulary is definitely growing. All in all, it’s a great experience and I really enjoy learning Russian!’
If you want to learn to speak Russian, do not do exercises that are more to do with reading and writing. Another key criteria is to only persist with those activities that make you want to do more. Not because you think you should but because you are in some way enjoying the experience!
Third thing to look for is that you want your skills to improve (not understanding or knowledge), your skills in speaking and listening! During the Skype sessions the main focus is on conversational language. In addition, your Russian language teacher will work only with content that interests you. Have fun and enjoy the journey!
‘Really colloquial expressions probably won’t be in any printed dictionary anyway, only online.’
The formal language may not change much over 10 years, but the colloquial language does. Beware of an old course that was once “modern”. Only a native-speaking Russian tutor can teach you the real language spoken nowadays.
You have to remember that the goal is to learn the Russian language. So you need to be selective about what tools you use. Remember to take your time and think of the language as something you will be learning for life, not just for the next six months.