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Russian - Beginners


Admission requirements



Russian for Beginners is a Russian language course for students with no knowledge of the language. The course will provide students with the basics of Russian and aims to develop language skills in grammar, speaking, listening, reading and writing. An important aspect of the course will be the cultural knowledge about Russia. The course provides the knowledge to communicate and understand Russian at A1 level.

Course Objectives

The required competences for a A1 level language can be described as follows: the student can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Visual reception (reading): A1
Written production (writing): A1
Listening (Audio): A1
Oral production (speaking): A1


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Three two hour tutorials every week.

Due to the fact that teaching in 2020-2021 during semester 1 will take place in an online environment, students must have a Russian keyboard installed on their computers. In addition, they are required to have fitted their keyboards with Cyrillic (Russian) keyboard stickers or sheet. Students will need these keyboard adjustments from the first class onwards.

Attending classes is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a tutorial, please inform the instructor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Assessment Method

Written exam 1: reading/vocabulary /grammar/creative writing = 10%
Written exam 1: reading/vocabulary /grammar/creative writing = 10%
Oral exam1: conversation with instructor = 10%
Written exam 2: reading/vocabulary /grammar/creative writing = 10%
Written exam 3: reading/vocabulary /grammar/creative writing = 10%
Oral exam 2 conversation with the instructor if classes are online (or if classes are at LUC: presentations in two sessions) = 10%
Listening comprehension exam 2 (listening to audio and video; multiple choice and open question) = 10%
Written exam 4: reading/vocabulary /grammar/creative writing = 20%
Classroom/Online participation, exercises in Remindo, homework discipline = 10%

Reading list

Compulsory books:

  • Ruslan 1 Book, John Langran and Natalia Veshnyeva, Ruslan Ltd. 2012, ISBN 9781899785827 – with free online audio

  • Ruslan 1 Workbook, John Langran , Ruslan Ltd. 2017, ISBN 9781912397013 – with free online audio

It is not strictly necessary to buy a Russian-English dictionary, but if you decide to buy a pocket dictionary (sufficient for A1 level), you might consider one of these:

  • Compact Oxford Russian Dictionary, Della Thompson, Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN 9780199576173

  • Russian-English, Langenscheidt, Pocket books Us, 2009. ISBN 9781439142370

  • Russian Berlitz Pocket Dictionary, Berlitz Publishing Company, 2006. ISBN 9789812469458

  • Russian Grammar, Ruslan Limited, paperback, 2010, ISBN 9781899785742

If you decide to buy a larger dictionary, you might consider:

  • Oxford Russian Dictionary, Marcus Wheeler, Boris Ottokar Unbegaun, Paul Falla, Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN 9780198614203


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Drs Dorie Nielen,