Did you know that Russian is the eighth most spoken language in the world, and the second most used language of all websites (after English)? If you’ve always wanted to learn Russian, or if you know some Russian and would like to continue learning and improving your skills, you might be interested in taking online Russian classes.
Online lessons are a great way to learn or improve a language from the comfort of your own home. There are several types of online courses, such as self-paced programs based on videos, others with lots of audio content, as well as live, one-on-one classes or group lessons with a Russian teacher. If you’re looking for the best online Russian classes, take a look at this list. With all of these options, you are bound to find one that fits your needs.
Best Overall : Red Kalinka
Red Kalinka claims to be the largest Russian school in the world, with students located in more than 90 countries. It offers video courses, books, lessons via Skype, audiobooks, as well as online practice exercises.
Red Kalinka has a team of more than 20 native speaker teachers, who are all trained using its own teaching system. If you’re interested in a self-paced program, you can sign up for its video course, which includes more than 160, 30-minute videos, learning materials, audio recordings, practice exercises, and grammar tables.
In addition, you get assigned a personal tutor who can answer your questions via email. A subscription for this video course costs about 29 Euros per month, but you can try it for seven days and get a refund if you’re not pleased with the system.
Red Kalinka also offers private lessons via Skype. If you’re interested in trying them out, you can book a trial lesson for one euro. Its 50-minute lessons cost 19 euros, but you can get discounted lessons if you buy a package of five, 10, 20, 30, or 40 lessons. If you’re looking for a language school that offers lots of materials and different learning options, Red Kalinka is a great choice.
Best Free : Russian for Free
Russian for Free is a website where you can access a lot of self-paced Russian language learning materials at no cost.
Some of the resources offered are Russian courses including audio material, texts and dialogues for listening practice, audio files with Russian phrases for many types of situations, and videos and tables with grammar explanations and practice exercises.
The three courses offered by Russian for Free are: Learn to read, Learn to speak, and Russian cases. These courses are meant to help beginners learn the basics of Russian and help them advance to an intermediate level. If you’re looking to start learning the language and want to start on your own without spending any money, Russian for Free would be a great place to start.
Best Live : Ru-Land Club
Ru-Land is an online Russian language school that offers various types of lessons. First, they offer one-on-one courses via Skype with native speaker professional teachers who will customize the lessons based on the learner’s needs.
Private lessons cost about $25 for 60 minutes or roughly $30 for 90 minutes, but you can get a lower price if you buy a package of five, 10, or 15 lessons. Also, you can try a 30-minute trial lesson for only $1.
Ru-Land also offers group classes for three different levels with four students per class; they are eight weeks long and meet twice a week for roughly 90 minutes. The group courses take place on their own online learning platform and cost about $320 each.
Finally, Ru-land also offers video lessons that are about 50 minutes long. You can do these lessons on your own, and they cost roughly $6 per video. If you are looking to take online classes with a live teacher, either one-on-one or with a group, Ru-Land could be a great option.
Best Comprehensive : Lingualift
Lingualift is a language-learning system that offers materials for learning Japanese, Hebrew, and Russian. Its program is subscription-based and includes several items.
First, it offers a copy of its book Language Learning Secrets, which will help you learn how to study a language. Then, the service will create for you a customized study plan, or road map to fluency, which is based on your schedule, goals, and needs. The lessons it offers are self-paced and interactive, using audio recordings that can help you learn both the Russian language and culture, while providing clear grammar explanations, vocabulary, and useful phrases.
The subscription also includes tutor support; you can message an instructor whenever you have questions or need clarification. Finally, you will also have access to Lingualift's interactive language learning app. You can try a Lingualift lesson for free, and the company also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
A monthly subscription to Lingualift costs $19.99 a month, or you can sign up for a 12-month membership for $155.88 which is equal to paying $12.99 a month. Lingualift is a great option if you’re looking for a self-paced, comprehensive program that includes an app and tutor support.
Best Video-Based : FluentU
FluentU is a language learning system that offers materials for learning more than 10 different languages. The FluentU system is completely video-based and its lessons use all kinds of videos for all types of interests, such as movie trailers, commercials, as well as music and business videos.
All the videos have captions in Russian as well as in English, so you can follow along and learn new words and phrases. You can try FluentU for free for 14 days. After that, you can subscribe for about $30 a month, or you can buy a 12-month subscription for around $240 ($20 per month).
In addition to the video courses, the subscription gives you access to its app, a video dictionary, quizzes, spaced repetition practice, flashcards, and other materials. As an added bonus, you can access materials for all the languages that FluentU offers.
FluentU is a great option if you already have a foundation in Russian and you want to improve your skills by accessing real-world videos and immersing yourself in the Russian culture.
Best Audio-Based : Rocket Russian
Rocket Languages is a program that offers materials for learning more than 13 different languages, one of them being Russian. The Rocket Russian program consists of 20-minute interactive audio lessons, which you can access on a computer or using their mobile app.
Other than the interactive audio lessons, they also have language and culture lessons and writing lessons where you can learn how to write Cyrillic. Rocket Russian uses a voice recognition system so that you can practice your pronunciation. The program also includes practice activities and flashcards.
Rocket Russian is meant to take you from beginner to intermediate with about 144 hours of lesson time, and you can purchase a lifetime of online access for $149.95. The website often has sales, however, during which you can purchase the program for as little as $59.98. You can also opt to pay for lifetime access in six monthly payments of about $27.
Rocket Languages offers a free trial, and it also gives you 60 days to try it after you order it. The platform offers a refund if you are not satisfied. If you are looking to learn Russian with short audio lessons that you can listen to on-the-go, such as during a commute or while taking a walk, consider giving Rocket Russian a try.
Best Immersion : Rosetta Stone Russian
Rosetta Stone is one of the best-known language learning systems and has materials for more than 25 languages. The Rosetta Stone methodology is immersion-based, which means that from the beginning you will be seeing and hearing everything only in Russian.
The immersion system tries to mimic the natural way that humans learn their first language. Rosetta Stone uses short lessons with real-world scenarios, which you can access on your computer or on its mobile app. There are video and audio content, a phrasebook, and reading material. Rosetta Stone also uses a speech recognition program called TruAccent so you can perfect your pronunciation.
The Rosetta Stone Russian program costs $35.97 for three months, but you can also pay $179 for 12 months of unlimited languages or $199 for a lifetime of unlimited languages. You can try Rosetta Stone free for three days, and it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you are looking to immerse yourself in the language with a self-paced program and you might be interested in learning another language as well, Rosetta Stone would be a good option for you.
What Are Online Russian Classes?
Online Russian classes are language lessons that you can take from home or anywhere, as long as you have access to a computer or a mobile device with a stable internet connection. Some online classes are live, which means you connect with a teacher using an online platform such as Skype or Zoom, and these classes might be private or with other students. Other online courses are self-paced, which means you can access videos or other content and do the lessons on your own. Some of the self-paced classes can be downloaded so that you can access them later, even when you're not connected to the internet.
Who Should Use Online Russian Classes?
Online Russian classes are a great option for anyone who wants to start learning or improve their Russian but doesn’t want to commit to traveling somewhere to attend courses. Online lessons are a good option if you want to learn from home or on the go.
How Much Do Online Russian Classes Cost?
There is a wide variety of prices for online Russian classes. On one end of the spectrum, there are online, self-paced lessons that you can access for free, while on the other end there are online private lessons with a professional teacher that might cost around $30 per course.
How We Chose the Best Online Russian Classes
In order to pick the best online Russian classes, we looked at many different options and considered the type of lessons offered, content and methodology, cost, as well as other aspects such as reviews from previous students. There is a wide variety of courses for learning Russian online, depending on your goals and preferences.
We picked Red Kalinka as best overall because it offers self-paced lessons as well as one-on-one lessons with a teacher via Skype. The program also includes a lot of supplementary learning materials. Another program we picked because it is very complete is Lingualift, since it features self-paced lessons but also offers support from live tutors and lots of practice materials. Some people might really prefer to have live courses, either private or in groups, which is why we selected Ru-Land Club.
And for those who prefer self-paced classes, there are different learning styles for different students. We selected Rosetta Stone for those who like the immersion method, FluentU for those who like to learn by watching videos, and Rocket Russian for learners who prefer an audio-based program. Finally, we picked Russian for Free because it is a good program that is accessible to anyone on a budget.