Russian for Expatriates
The language needs of the international business communities of Moscow, St. Petersburg or Riga are quite different from other language students. For expatriates it is a real challenge to devote enough resources to their Russian studies, either before or after working hours. At the same time, some working knowledge of Russian is absolutely essential when living in Russia and (to a lesser extent) in Riga.
While non-working spouses are happily spending their daytime in the classroom, the situation is not so straightforward for foreign specialist with a tight schedule. This is why we have developed courses with less focus on grammar and spending more time with speaking and understanding the spoken word.
Language school or private teacher?
Foreign specialists arriving in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Riga will often use the teaching services of a freelancer, most of the time “inherited” by his or her predecessor. We strongly believe that learning Russian at a specialised language centre has several advantages over finding a private teacher by recommendation:
- Our teachers are regularly assessed by our director of studies through a system of classroom monitoring, student feedback, teacher training seminars and performance appraisal meetings.
- All our centres are members of EAQUALS, the accreditation body carrying out independent, regular site inspections. Our centres in Russia are also members of IALC, the quality association uniting over 100 international language centres.
- We perfectly understand that our clients sometimes wish to change their teacher to see a different face. This is totally normal and does not create any problems.
- Within Russia, we invoice in Rubles and accept payments either by credit card or via bank transfer. In Riga, we invoice in EUR. Alternatively, we can invoice our client’s training division at headquarters.
- Our schools are fully licensed , which means that we operate strictly under either Russian or Latvian legislation. This also means that course expenses are officially recognised costs.
While all our courses are open to expatriates, we strongly recommend the following programmes, which are especially designed to balance work and study:
Russian Evening Group Courses
This is an open group course with 6 lessons per week on two evening per week, either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. The focus is on conversation and vocabulary, participants can join in after taking our assessment test at any time. This course is available only for expatriates living in Russia or Latvia!
When speaking Russian, expatriates share similar strengths and weaknesses. Both make it very difficult for teachers of Russian using a classical textbook approach building up all four aspects of language learning (listening, speaking, reading, writing) gradually. Unless they have received a solid training in Russian pre-assignment, expatriates tend to score well in listening, are operational in speaking, less so in reading and unable to write. Usually with only basic knowledge of Russian grammar.
This asymmetrical pattern is a given and must be taken into account designing a Russian language course for expatriates.
For these evening courses, we operate several levels. This way we make sure that expats learn Russian in small, open groups, together with their peers. Students may join or leave the groups any week. The course content is organised in by-weekly modules, this is why we recommend to stay with the group at least for two weeks.
Learning in a small group is more enjoyable, more interactive and helps to keep the motivation up. Having lessons twice a week is really what is necessary to make a difference but will keep other evenings and the weekends free.
Courses are organised at the client’s place of work, either individually or in closed groups, which are formed according to the results of an assessment test. In-company sessions can be a sequel of individual or group lessons with changing participants. A session may consist of one or several lessons. Liden & Denz had the pleasure to teach Russian to employees of these international companies!