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

Tue 16 Oct 2018 - Tue 11 Dec 2018

18:00 - 20:00

9 Sessions
15 spots remaining.

Thu 07 Feb 2019 - Thu 04 Apr 2019

18:00 - 20:00

9 Sessions
16 spots remaining.

Tue 30 Apr 2019 - Tue 25 Jun 2019

18:00 - 20:00

9 Sessions
16 spots remaining.

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 (available from the ANU Co-Op Bookshop).  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. 


Thu 18 Oct 2018 - Thu 13 Dec 2018

18:00 - 20:00

9 Sessions
13 spots remaining.

Thu 02 May 2019 - Thu 27 Jun 2019

18:00 - 20:00

9 Sessions
16 spots remaining.

Beginning Russian 2 is designed for those who have completed Beginning Russian 1 or similar (approximately 18 hours of study) and wish to extend their conversational, written and grammatical understanding of the Russian language. While also covering the basics, it will go into greater detail about common grammatical constructions and expand your vocabulary. Aspects of Russian culture will be explored as well. Students will be provided with handouts with grammatical materials, thematic vocabularies, and online resources.

Course outline

  • Topic 1: Добро пожаловать! Following a review of the Russian language, alphabet and grammar, you will learn how to meet and greet people and ask questions, in particular about nationalities, and how to start a telephone conversation.
  • Topic 2: We will revise the Prepositional and Accusative cases and numbers and discuss Russian expressions for financial transactions (кредитная карточка, банкомат, валюта, рубли).
  • Topic 3: We will revise the Genitive case and acquaint ourselves with negative pronouns (Никто не говорит по-английски). We will master Russian equivalents of English modal verbs (must, may, can).
  • Topic 4: This week we will acquaint ourselves with verbs of motion (идти vs ехать), with public transport in Russia, and learn how to navigate the Moscow Metro.
  • Topic 5: We will continue mastering verbs of motion including some with prefixes (ехать – приехать) and some prepositions of space.
  • Topic 6: Perfective vs imperfective aspect of the verb will be introduced (я читал книгу, я прочитал книгу) and we will learn the days of the week and months.
  • Topic 7: We will learn how to make appointments, and about visiting friends and buying gifts.
  • Topic 8: We will revise the Dative case and acquaint ourselves with reflexive verbs (познакомиться, нравиться).
  • Topic 9: We will learn how to speak about our interests and hobbies, revising the Instrumental case.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you should:

  • be able to read, write and understand some spoken Russian.
  • have a fundamental understanding of different aspects of Russian grammar.
  • be able to talk about yourself and to hold small conversations in Russian. 

Who should enrol

This course is designed for those who have completed Beginners Russian 1 or similar study of approximately 18 hours, who would like to continue improving their Russian language skills. Basic travel situations will be covered.