Russian, like any other language, is quickly lost without constant training and practice. There can be no doubt that the most effective method for achieving this is regular lessons with a teacher. However, often it turns out that one or two Russian lessons a week is not enough. In this case, students may ask themselves the question, “Where can I find free, effective materials in Russian, and how can I get them?” However, not all materials are useful as each of us has individual needs and the quality of material depends on the level of the student, his or her interests, and many other factors. We, Russian teachers, are glad to help you search for essential resources and to share with you our secrets!
Sites and blogs for studying Russian for free
This is a wonderful site with a big collection of various materials for studying Russian at all levels. Here you will find detailed information about the Russian alphabet, conjugations of various Russian verbs, and materials featuring the perfective and imperfective aspects. We would especially like to highlight two features of this site: the interesting grammar and vocabulary tests, as well as those concerning Russian culture, and a question and answer section dedicated to various topics related to the Russian language.
This easy-to-use site is also suited for all levels of Russian fluency. Here you will find podcasts, recorded by native speakers, dialogues, grammar, vocabulary exercises, and much more. It is worth noting the attractive design of this site and the ease with which you can search for information. Moreover, this site is available in three languages – English, Spanish, and French!
This excellent free course was created by Russian language professors from MSU with the support of the fund «Russian world» («Русский мир»), for beginner level students. The course is available in many languages and consists of ten lessons dedicated to various topics on grammar, vocabulary and communication. A test is included in each lesson in order to check that the student has grasped the material.
This site is for those who are interested in colloquial speech and slang expressions in Russian, and is designed for intermediate- and advanced-level students. The site offers an extensive collection of colloquial, slang and jargon words and phrases with detailed explanations and podcasts, recorded by native speakers using professional sound quality. This is an exceptional site of its type; it has no equivalent on the internet.
This is a Russian language blog for intermediate- and advanced-level students, created by teachers of Russian as a foreign language. Here you will find a variety of materials: dialogues based on everyday situations, with podcasts and exercises, interactive grammar exercises and exercises on grammar theory, Russian songs, vocabulary tests, papers on the etymology of the Russian language and much more. The blog has two versions: the old version and the new version (which is easier to use).
This is a Russian course from the Russian television channel Russia Today. The course is remarkable for its comprehensiveness and professionalism: it includes exercises in phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, tests, and grammatical tables. The material is explained in an accessible way with the use of amusing illustrations. The course will be useful most of all for beginner- and intermediate-level students of Russian.
This Russian language course from the news agency “RIA News” («РИА Новости») was created by highly experienced teachers. It is specially developed for students of various levels of language fluency and includes not only grammar, vocabulary, listening materials (etc.), but also interesting articles about the regional geography of Russia, Russian music, news, and much more.
This site is dedicated to one of the most difficult topics in the Russian language – verb conjugation. For several years on this page there has been a large collection of verbs with audio recordings of their conjugations, done specially for the site by native speakers. The site is suitable for all levels of Russian fluency.
On this site various Russian language materials have been compiled, such as dialogues, vocabulary and grammar exercises, and podcasts. The site is very easy to use, and is one of the most popular resources for free Russian language learning online for beginner and intermediate students.
This is an excellent online Russian textbook for beginner-level students. The materials are presented in a simple and accessible way, beginning with the very basics – the alphabet – and continuing with plurals, cases, and so on. It’s important to note that the materials are offered in three languages – English, Spanish, and French.
This is an interesting site with entertaining materials intended mainly for beginner- and intermediate- level students. The course is based on videos in which native speakers explain grammar and vocabulary subjects. The contents of this site also can be found on YouTube.
A small, but extremely useful compilation of Russian grammar rules and exercises for foreigners. For students of all levels.
Another collection of mainly Russian language rules and grammar, vocabulary, and communication exercises. This site would be interesting above all for beginner- and intermediate-level students.
This is a Russian course based on dialogues recorded by native speakers. For intermediate- and advanced-level students.
This site will help you significantly broaden your scope of Russian words thanks to the words and phrases you will receive daily in your e-mail. Created for students of all levels.
A collection of interesting Russian language materials with podcasts and exercises devoted to everyday situations, as well as culture and regional geography. It is compiled in three languages – English, Spanish, and French. Intended for intermediate and advanced students.
A collection of various original Russian language materials which will be useful mainly for beginner and intermediate students. It is also worth mentioning that the creators of the course also have an excellent channel on YouTube under the name Learn Russian – Speak Russian.
Social Media sites for free Russian language learning
It is worth mentioning that practically all of the above sites and blogs have their own Facebook pages, and some are also on the Russian social media site, VKontakte. However, there are also other resources offering content that is different from the content of the sites or blogs mentioned here.
Every day different materials on Russian grammar and vocabulary, as well as on regional geography and culture, for students of all levels are posted here. Readers are welcome to answer the questions of the author- a teacher of Russian as a Foreign Language- who will in turn correct their answers. In this way, the learning process is activated. This page won second place in a contest for best language resource on Facebook, organized by the company Babylon Languages.
This is a page with a huge collection of materials published every day, and intended for students of all learning levels. The materials are presented in an amusing way and provide wonderfully memorable illustrations. Lately, this site has also been posting videos. This site is also accessible through the social media site Vkontakte.
Regardless of the fact that that this group was created for the purpose of studying English, it is also useful as a free resource for learning Russian. Everyday on this site there are lists of words and expressions on various vocabulary topics, starting with greetings and ending with a list of road-signs. You won’t find this vocabulary in Russian language textbooks, and for this reason we recommend that you take note! Without a doubt, this page would be useful for students of all levels.
The authors of this page daily offer readers entertaining Russian exercises and materials for students of various levels. We advise you to take a look!
Free audio- and video-materials in Russian
Above all, we’d like to share with you a few YouTube channels with the help of which you can significantly raise your Russian language level:
A collection of video- and audio-materials on Russian vocabulary and grammar, mainly for beginners.
This is the YouTube channel of the site of the same name previously mentioned. These materials focus on Russian vocabulary and are intended for beginner- and intermediate-level students.
This is the YouTube channel of two professional Russian language teachers. In a large number of videos they explain the most important rules of Russian grammar, draw students’ attention to several communication situations, and have also provided their texts. This channel will be of interest to beginners, as well as to intermediate-level students.
Here you will find explained, in simple terms, the basic rules of Russian grammar. Much of the materials are created for children. For beginner students.
By way of free audio- and video-materials yu can also use Russian films, cartoons, and television programmes which you can easily find on YouTube. It is also extremely useful to listen to the radio («Эхо Москвы», «Свобода», «Наше радио» and others) and to listen to audio books (аудиокниги) in Russian. For beginners, children’s books and fairytales, for example, are suitable. We also often use short videos from the site BBC Russian in our lessons.
Free reading materials
In order to develop reading skills in Russian we recommend that you read small anecdotes, jokes and song lyrics at the beginner and intermediate level, and then move on to short poems, children’s stories and fairytales. Then, at the advanced level you can move on to more serious literature.
Free conversational speech practice and free Russian language lessons
Besides taking Russian lessons it is absolutely necessary to speak Russian with someone else in order to practice Russian regularly and not become accustomed only to the manners of speech of pronunciation of your teacher. It is possible also to not only speak, but exchange real lessons absolutely free. You will need to register on a site such as Italki, My Language Exchange, Language for Exchange and find people from Russia who are studying your native language.
And so, we have provided here only some of the resources that we could recommend to you. But the list is far from exhaustive, so if you can tell us what you use to study Russian for free, we’d be very grateful!
See you soon!