Russian resources

Practise Russian with these books

If you are starting out to learn Russian and looking for a textbook, here is a list of textbooks that are available to view and download. Once you click on the textbook, you should be redirected to Dropbox. If you are experiencing technical issues, please, get in touch, and I will troubleshoot.

Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course For Beginners by Svetlana Le Fleming, Susan E. Kay (1997, Routledge)

This is a narrative style textbook that will take you through the journey of Mr Green who came to Moscow to work as a businessman. Every lesson is based on a story about Peter Green and the people that he meets during his stay in Russia. Bear in mind that the addition that is offered to view and download is from 1997, which means that the book includes outdated cultural references. Regardless, it is useful for anyone who learns Russian to know these cultural references, because any Russian will know them and it is better to be on the same page with locals.

Дорога в Россию: Учебник русского языка.
В. Е. Антонова, М. М. Нахабина, М. И. Сафронова, А. А. Толстых

This textbook is excellent, but probably not suitable for self-study (unless you know Mandarin). The book has pronunciation practice that gradually guides you through Russian sounds.

Русский язык как иностранный: Учебник для иностранных студентов первого курса.
Лебединский С. И., Гончар Г. Г.

This textbook is designed for foreign students who study Russian in a university, therefore it is also best to work through this book with a teacher. The book has a sound communicative strategy. The level of the book varies a lot from page to page, so you might find material suitable for A1 student as well as for B2 student. If you are a curious learner, who likes the challenge, then go for it!

Russian resources

What textbook to choose?

Here is an overview of top 3 textbooks that I recommend to everyone who is learning Russian.

1. Routledge Intensive Russian Course by Robin Aizlewood

It comes with two CDs. The voice of two Russian speakers are neutral, yet positive. They speak clearly in the contemporary Russian manner. The recordings have excellent quality with moderate pace. It is not mechanically slow, instead it is natural.  

The content has a steady progression and is suitable for self-study. Each exercise and grammar point has an explanation in English. 

Images inside the book are black and white, but they are clear and illustrative. 

The book can be used as reference material for additional explanation of such complex topics as motion verbs and reflexive verbs.

If you are looking for a textbook to start learning Russian, this is a highly recommended option.

2. Russian 16 lessons by Dmitry Petrov

This is an excellent resource that can serve as a supplement to your main textbook. The layout of the book makes it very easy to read and absorb learning material. It focuses primarily on verbal conjugations and gives plenty of practice. 

3. Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course for Beginners by Svetlana le Fleming and Susan E. Kay

This textbook has a story telling style: from the first page of the book you encounter an Englishman who came to Moscow to work, and you follow his experiences in Russian.

This book is excellent for reading and vocabulary. Every lesson is based on a dialogue or a story.

These top 3 textbooks are chosen based on their strong communicative strategies, a simple layout and the integration of everyday vocabulary.

Russian resources

Online resources to study Russian

It’s better to spend one hour studying one page thoroughly than spending the same amount of time  browsing 10 pages thoughtlessly.

Russianlessons has a collection of grammar points: noun cases and verb conjugation. If you need to understand these grammar points, use this website for reference.

Russianforeveryone is well organised and there you can find an answer to a lot of grammar-related questions. The website is structured as a progressive series of lessons. Each lesson has exercises at the end of test your knowledge.

Masterrussian has a little bit of everything, so it is better to use it when you already have a particular question in mind. I particularly like the page with with picture dictionaries. You can print it out and learn new words this way.

Study-languages-online covers vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and reading. I especially like the vocabulary section. Check it out!

Russianforfree is particularly good for reading stories in Russian. Each story has a level classification: beginner, intermediate and advance. It also has a vocabulary list at the end. And if you need to see the English translation, it is also available. Each story comes with an audio file. These stories can be incorporated into your everyday practice of Russian to help you learn more vocabulary and get familiar with a variety of grammatical structures.