“Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” - Winston Churchill
When it comes to teaching children a foreign language, there are a few things you should know. For one, children’s brains are like sponges and they will remember almost everything that they’re taught, be it good or bad.
A foreign language is always a good skill to teach them, though. There are languages like French, Spanish, and German that are commonly taught all over the UK.
Why not teach them a language that will set them apart?
Instead of letting them just learn the same languages as their classmates, you can set them apart at school and in their future careers.
Russian will help them in school and adulthood as it's an important language both online, culturally, and politically.
What about you? Could you teach them Russian?
Don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about Russian, you can still teach your child the basics. You just need to know what to focus on. Here are some of our favourite resources to teach children Russian.
Websites for Teaching Children Russian
Languages, and Russian, in particular, need to be taught a little differently to other subjects. Russian, with its Cyrillic alphabet, grammatical rules, and conjugations, is something that needs to be taught entertainingly, especially to younger learners.
Entertaining, when speaking about young learners, means fun, colourful, and far from boring. This can help alleviate some of the difficulties they’ll encounter. Even if you’re completely bilingual, you need to ensure that you can effectively share your knowledge in a way that younger brains will understand.
You’ll need to be familiar with different teaching approaches as well as have an understanding of what you’ll be teaching them.
Why not get some help from useful websites?
Nowadays, almost anyone can learn new skills on the internet and the Russian language is no different.
Here are a couple of useful websites that you can use if you need to learn a bit about the Russian language:
- Wikibooks: This website from Wikipedia allows you to find a lot of useful resources.
- Loecsen: An app that allows your child to listen and repeat terms to learn them. Participation is key when it comes to learning languages.
As you’ll have understood, there are plenty of websites for adults and children to learn Russian. It’s up to you to find resources that work best for the learner’s motivation, level, and preferred learning style. For those who don’t want to stray too far from traditional classroom learning, there are always books.
The Best Books for Teaching Children Russian
For beginners wanting to learn Russian, a book is a great resource as they have the advantage of being able to be read and reread wherever you are.
Regular reading is an important part of mastering a foreign language, so find books that they’ll love to read. If you can find one that you both love, it’ll be even more fun.
There are lots of books for children wanting to learn languages that are colourful, entertaining, and fun. Some of the best books include:
- Russian Short Stories For Beginners: 20 Captivating Short Stories to Learn Russian & Grow Your Vocabulary the Fun Way!
- My First Russian Alphabet Picture Book with English Translations: Bilingual Early Learning & Easy Teaching Russian Books for Kids
- My First Book of Russian Words (Bilingual Picture Dictionaries)
- Russian Handwriting Practice Workbook: Russian cursive writing practice for kids and adults. Alphabet, words, sentences. (Handwriting Workbooks for kids)
- New Bilingual Visual Dictionary (English–Russian)
These books should be a good place for many young Russian learners to start.
Looking to take their learning even further?
You’ll also want to look into audiovisual resources!
Videos for Teaching Children Russian
There’s a wealth of digital resources out there for young learners of foreign languages and engaging video resources are a great way for them to learn, but when it comes to speaking any foreign language and learning with videos, the first place you’ll want to go is YouTube.
This is a goldmine of videos in every language and if you like learning by watching videos, YouTube will probably have what you’re looking for. There are plenty of educational videos for children learning Russian.
Of course, there are millions of videos in Russian you can check out and if you just keep looking, you'll be able to find the videos that are perfect for you and your student.
In some cases, YouTube’s suggestions might take you to exactly what you’re looking for, but you can go even further with Russian cinema and media.
Films and TV Shows for Teaching Children Russian
If you’re watching something enjoyable, you’re far more likely to pick up the language. This is especially true with Russian media. Don’t forget that you can always put on subtitles in English and change them to Russian once you get more familiar with the language.
That said, you still need to find the right films, TV shows, or cartoons for them to watch. Looking for suggestions? Here are a few:
- Cheburashka: This is a popular Soviet character who looks like a blend of a monkey and a bear.
- The Bremen Town Musicians: This is a film based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Town Musicians of Bremen.
- Winnie-the-Pooh: This is not the bear you probably know as this isn’t the Disney version but rather a Soviet adaptation of the A. A. Milne story. This is something that both adults and children will find fascinating.
- Prostokvashino: This series includes three films that tell the story of a boy running away with his dog and cat. Of course, the story is more complicated than that. There’s also a series of Russian dairy products that share the name.
As you’ll have understood, there are a lot of resources you can use when teaching little ones how to speak Russian. Of course, there are plenty of other Russian languages resources, too, you just need to make sure that they’re fun and engaging...
For both the teacher and the child. Good luck!
If you need help teaching children Russian, consider getting help from a private tutor. Not only will they be able to find the best resources to help your child to learn, but they'll also be able to adapt their lessons to them.
On Superprof, you can find Russian tutors offering face-to-face, online, or group tutorials. With each type of tutorial having its pros and cons, you need to think about which type of tutoring will be right for your child, how they like to learn, and your budget.
Face-to-face tutorials are just between the tutor and the student, which allows them to tailor every part of the lesson to the learner. While these types of tutorials are often the most costly, they're also the most cost-effective since every minute of the lesson is spent focusing on the student.
Online tutorials tend to be a bit cheaper than face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn't have to worry about travel costs and time and can charge more competitive rates with fewer outgoings. Furthermore, online tutorials allow you to look for tutors all over the world, which means that you can look for Russian native speakers from Russia or the other countries around the world where the language is spoken.
Group tutorials are great for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutorials with the other students in attendance. While students won't get as much one-on-one time with their tutor or lessons that are tailored specifically to them, they do get more opportunities to practise their Russian with other students of a similar level.
Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on Superprof also offer their first lesson for free so you can try out various tutors before deciding on which one is right for you and your family. After all, it's incredibly important that your child gets along with their Russian tutor and likes the lesson as there's nothing harder than trying to learn a new skill in lessons that you don't enjoy.