Five ways to immerse yourself in Russian when studying remotely
Opted to do one of Liden & Denz’s online courses and are studying Russian remotely? Or perhaps, like me, you had planned to spend some time in Russia this year but your plans have been put on hold due to the pandemic?
It can be hard to feel as if you’re making big improvements in Russian when learning from home, even if you have lessons every day. If you’re not in a Russian-speaking country and don’t have any spare time to do much studying outside of the classroom, how can you integrate Russian into your daily life without sitting in front of a screen or textbook for hours on end?
It might seem like an impossible task, but it’s easier than you think! Read on to find out about five simple switches you can make in your everyday life to subtly improve your language skills whilst studying Russian remotely.
1. Listen to Russian radio
Do you often listen to the radio in your home country whilst busy with something else? Why not swap out your usual radio station for a Russian one! This is a great way to get in some listening practice which doesn’t involve setting aside extra time. Simply tune in online to a Russian radio station and have it on in the background while you’re getting on with your day. .
One of my favourite ways to find Russian radio is by using the myTuner Radio app, available for Android, iOS and Mac. You can also listen simply by going to their website. The app lets you select radio stations by country – to get started, just click on ‘Russia’ and choose a station!
2. Use sticky notes around the house
Sometimes it can be a struggle to remember Russian words for even simple everyday objects, such as kitchen appliances or furniture in your living room. There’s an easy trick to help you remember those all-important everyday words – sticky notes! Take the time to go through your house and label a few objects that you’d like to remember the Russian words for. No need to write out any translations – you can see what the object is. You could start with one room at a time and slowly move round your living spaces – this will make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself with words, but also might minimise annoyance if you live with housemates who aren’t learning Russian!
3. Listen to a podcast
Getting some fresh air and want to listen to something a bit more interesting than your usual playlists? Find a Russian podcast to listen to! There are plenty to choose from and podcasts are available for all levels of Russian. A great podcast in particular for Russian learners is one simply entitled ‘Russian Podcast‘. There are many different episodes on the website which touch on different themes; they’re free, available to download, and many also come with transcripts so that you can read along if you’d like.
4. Follow Russian accounts on social media
Following a few Russian-language accounts is a great way to liven up your Instagram feed a bit, whilst also adding an element of learning to your daily scroll. A particularly useful account for Russian learners is @befluentinrussian, an account which posts graphics with useful vocabulary, but there are plenty to choose from. You don’t have to be limited to accounts specifically targeted for learners, either – you could choose some Russian brands to follow, or even find a few Russian influencers to subscribe to. The choice is yours!
5. Find Russian-language shows on Netflix
Yes, Netflix does have some Russian series available for you to watch! Watching something in Russian instead of your native language at the end of the day is a great way to get in a bit more listening practice. A couple of Netflix series that I’ve watched are ‘Better than us’ (Лучше чем люди), a series set in the future about robots with human-like qualities, and ‘Fartsa’ (Фарца), a comedy-crime drama about a young group of friends trying to make their way out of deep debts. If you’re looking for more Russian language programmes on Netflix, just search for ‘Russian films’ in Netflix.
Hopefully these tips will inspire you to get going with immersive Russian learning from home, and feel more at ease studying Russian remotely – it’s definitely easier than you might think!
Check out our article on good practices when learning online for more advice on making the most of remote classes.