Learn the Russian Cyrillic alphabet and discover basic communication skills in these beginner classes.

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation in the ACT, all CCE community courses scheduled for face to face delivery in term 1 2022 have been moved online for the first 4 weeks ONLY. These courses will return to the classroom in the first week of March 2022.

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ANU CCE short Language courses typically run for 9 weeks, ideal for beginners, seniors, or those looking to continue studies post-graduation. Study online or in-person at the ANU Centre for Continuing Education in Canberra.

Find out more information about the specific courses on offer below. We’ll keep you up to date with course information, enrolment dates and news throughout the year.

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This course is for those with little or no ability in Russian. The emphasis of this course is on the learning the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, basic grammar and conversation in simple everyday situations. There will be listening, reading, speaking and writing exercises. Students who wish to further develop their Russian skills, will also be welcome at the next available Beginning Russian 2.

Course outline

  • Topic 1: Добро пожаловать! You will be introduced to the Russian language, the Cyrillic alphabet and grammar as well as how to ask ‘what?’, ‘who?’ and ‘where?’ questions («Кто это? Это Борис. Что это? Это компьютер. Где студент? Там»). You also will learn some simple greetings in Russian.
  • Topic 2: You will learn some spelling rules. Nominative case, personal pronouns (я - мы, ты - вы, он, она, оно - они) and gender will be introduced. We will have a first insight into the mystery of Russian names. You will read, listen (and understand!) your first song in Russian.
  • Topic 3: There will be a focus on the prepositional case, used to describe the location of things («Телефон на столе», «Спикер в парламенте») and Russian verbs. You will learn about the infinitive of verbs, and master the past tense («я был, я жил, я работал»). We will explore a Russian map and discuss the places where you have been (all in prepositional case!). You will also learn how to say that you are Australian and not American (very important).
  • Topic 4: You will be introduced to the present tense and to conjugations of verbs. You will learn an essential question «Как сказать .... по-русски? » and useful verbs describing your preferences and activities which go with the accusative case («Я люблю шоколад. Я хочу пирожки»), and to say 'My name is’ («Меня зовут Джейн, а сына зовут Майкл»). We will explore names for some food and dishes so that you will be ready to order food in a Russian café.
  • Topic 5: No new cases this week, but we will embark on the possessive pronouns ‘my’ and ‘yours’: «Это моя сестра», «Где ваш паспорт?». Bring a photo of your family and introduce them to us in Russian! We also will listen to skits about arriving to the airport and using personal pronouns to sort out your things there.
  • Topic 6: There will be a focus on the very useful genitive case, which allows you to speak about ‘belonging’ («Это домсына») and saying that something is missing («В паспорте нет визы»). Now we are ready to master Russian equivalents for ‘I have / haven’t’ («У меня есть машина» «У меня нет мобильника»). We also learn how to count from 1 to 5 and to count objects in the genitive case. («1 доллар», but «2, 3, 4 доллара»).
  • Topic 7: We will continue practicing the genitive case and learn how to count from 6 to 20. Now we are ready to go shopping using constructions «Cколько стоит? » and «Я хочу 2 банана». We also learn some useful adjectives in Russian. («Это моя хорошая подруга». «Я люблю русский балет»). Now is the time for some more Russian greetings like «Добрый день».
  • Topic 8: This week we learn the dative case, which is useful when we give things or ask for things. You will learn how to say ‘Give me’ and ‘Tell me’ («Cкажите пожалуйста, где туалет?»). We will master some useful expressions about giving and receiving directions. With the dative we also can describe how we feel about something, using adverbs («Мне холодно»). It is also useful when we speak about our age, so we will learn to count to 100 (very easy).
  • Topic 9: The last case, the instrumental, is useful when you want tea with milk and sugar («чай с молоком и с сахаром»). We use it also when we speak about the time of the day («Приходите вечером»). We will learn the Russian days of the week, and some expressions for time. We will also learn how Russians deal with long digits like 1990, 2015 or mobile numbers and street addresses.
  • Topic 10: During the the final class you will be able to make a small presentation about yourself, ask your classmates some questions and discuss your further plans to study Russian and to visit Russia, including using some online resources.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should:

  • be able to read and write in Russian.
  • have a fundamental understanding of basic Russian grammar.
  • be able to tell about yourself and to ask a variety of questions in Russian.

Who should enrol

This course is for those with little or no ability in Russian. The emphasis of this course is on the learning the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, basic grammar and conversation in simple everyday situations. Listening, reading, speaking and writing skills will be addressed throughout the course. Also, Russian cultural aspects will be explored. Students who wish to develop their Russian skills, will be welcome at the next available Beginning Russian 2.

Course materials

The New Penguin Russian Course by Nicholas J. Brown.  In addition, handouts will be distributed in every class, and the course will make active use of online materials and resources, with which you will be able to work at home.