Boston is Massachusetts’ capital and largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S.
The key role it played in the American Revolution is highlighted on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile walking route of historic sites that tells the story of the nation’s founding.
But how many Bostonians can be counted proudly among the 280 million speakers of the Slavic language?
Let's take a look at all the possibilities that Boston russophiles can find in town to learn to speak Russian!
Boston Addresses to Appease Your Russian Palette
Boston is the largest city in the New England region of the Northern United States: no wonder, then, that culture and intellectual offerings abound.
Russian American Cultural Center
The Russian American Cultural Center is a non-profit educational corporation devoted to the historical research and cultural programming that promote mutual understanding and appreciation between Russians and Americans. The center is devoted to providing access to available humanitarian resources that help individuals and families with ties from Russia participate effectively in their communities.
The Russian American Cultural Center offers a multitude of services for people interested in all things Russian. From translating and research, to language classes and travel services, the RACC can help - or at least help connect you with the proper resources and experts.
The following is just a short list of services that the Center provides:
- business translations (legal documents, adoption papers, birth certificates, diplomas, etc.);
- research - historical and contemporary;
- genealogical services;
- loan of artifacts;
- imigrant networking;
- travel services,
- trip planning and consulting;
- language classes - Russian and English tutoring;
- celebrations and parties in observance of Russian holidays;
- lectures, talks, concerts, etc.
For over 20 years the Russian American Cultural Center has played a significant role in the cultural life of Boston's vibrant and diverse Russian-speaking community.
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The Boston Language Institute
Since 1981, The Boston Language Institute has provided instruction and translation services in more than 140 languages, including English as a Second Language, to over 76,000 students, including corporate and governmental clients. Since 2000, the Institute’s internationally recognized TEFL Certificate Program has trained over 2400 English teachers, many of whom now form a world-wide network in over 30 countries, including the United States. The Wall Street Journal has lauded this program as “one of the better known programs in the country.”
The Boston Language Institute offers seven different levels of Russian language classes:
- Russian Language and Culture Level 1 - Introduces both the spoken and the written language. The course emphasizes oral expression and listening comprehension; it is designed to give beginning students a practical command of the language.
- Russian Language and Culture Level 2 - Introduces the accusative case, basic motion verbs, the past tense, and the days of the week and times of day.
- Russian Language and Culture Level 3 - With the introduction of the genitive case, students will be able to express absence and attribution.
- Russian Language and Culture Level 4 - Focuses on additional uses of the dative case and its forms, the accusative animate, short form adjectives, and verbal aspect.
- Russian Language and Culture Level 5 - Introduces the instrumental case and continues work on verbal aspect and verbs of motion.
- Russian Language and Culture Level 6 - With the introduction of the genitive plural, students will have experience with all six cases.
- Conversational Russian - This is a program designed for students who already have a good command of the language. It works well for students of varying backgrounds and interests in Russian, including those who were born into a Russian-speaking family but have had no formal education in the language.
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Russian School of Boston
The Russian School of Boston is a small start up business that specializes in teaching Russian as a Foreign Language.
They teach Russian Language and Culture to children and adults including corporate clients. All levels are welcome. They teach individually and in small groups. It depends on a level of Russian a student has, objectives and availability.
They also offer classes in elementary English.
School "Znayka" goes back to 2003 when it was proudly established in Waltham Ma, Boston Area.
The school was created in order to teach children to read in Russian language as well as to familiarize them with the affluent Russian literature and unique culture.
Living Languages, MA Schools Have Got 'Em
The school system allows high school students in Massachusetts to acquire a foreign language level that can range from beginner to intermediate.
In the state of Massachusetts, the institutions offering Russian are:
- Amherst Regional High School (Amherst)
- Austin Preparatory School (Reading)
- Buckingham Browne & Nichols (Cambridge)
- Middleborough High School (MIddleborough)
- Newton South High School (Newton)
- Phillips Academy (Andover)
- St. John's High School (Shrewsbury)
Future Russian speakers of Massachusetts have a wealth of options if they want to start learning the Slavic language young!
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There are also many colleges and universities in Massachusetts offering Russian language and culture studies:
- Amherst College (Amherst)
- Boston College (Boston)
- Boston University (Boston)
- College of the Holy Cross (Worcester)
- Harvard University (Cambridge)
Instruction in Slavic languages and literatures at Harvard traces its beginnings to October 1896, when Russian-Jewish translator and researcher Leo Wiener was hired to teach Russian, Polish, and Old Church Slavonic. The emergence of Czechoslovakia after the war prompted him to introduce "Bohemian" in 1920. His appointment as Instructor in Slavic Languages was the first of its kind in the United States.
- Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley)
- Smith College (Northampton)
- Tufts University (Medford)
- Wellesley College (Wellesley)
- Wheaton College (Norton)
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Russian Private Lessons: The Imperial Way
How many people have already enrolled in a language training program that they have just started?
Maybe they are in preparation for TOEIC or TOEFL, or perhaps they're pursuing a Russian language course out of personal curiosity: whether by correspondence, on the internet, or in a private structure, they may pay a whole year of schooling ... only to follow two or three courses before getting weary, finding better things to do - or finding themselves with a busier schedule than expected.
This is a classic problem that can only be avoided in one way: finding good private teachers. The first course is often free (on Superprof anyway), and intensive courses are calibrated according to the availability of the teacher and pupil and adjusted as needed.
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No formal commitment, no huge expense at a time ... but a Russian teacher for yourself, delivering individual courses and promising a most fruitful language exchange.
These home-based courses are interactive exercises in language teaching, ideal for moving quickly from beginner to intermediate level.
Halfway between a grammar class and a conversation class, including an introduction to Russian culture as you wish, there's nothing better to progress quickly to any Russian text you want - and the capacity - to organize a trip to the Russian Federation, in total immersion.
If you are in the west, many Russian classes await you in San Francisco.
Russian Courses Online
The Internet being a world in its own right, linguistic resources are innumerable, and this applies to Russian as well as to Spanish or German courses.
Each passing day sees its share of website creations and new pages dedicated to the Russian language ...
The first thing to do, in order to improve your fluency in written expression, is to install the Russian keyboard on your computer.
It will be easy for you to participate in forums in Ukraine or Belarus, or to correspond with Russians - and God knows that such sites are not few and far between!
Among the many possibilities offered online, it is extremely easy to find any Russian film online that you would like to see or watch again.
In this regard, YouTube is a real gold mine. The goal is to find original versions, with subtitles in English if possible. The ear will gradually pick up the Russian pronunciation, the tonic accent peculiar to each dialect of the language, and it will assimilate common Russian expressions.
In a purely didactical way, platforms offering to master the basics of Russian grammar are not rare.
But there, as everywhere, you can find anything and everything, the best and the worst ...
So take a look online at the massive feast of Russian experiences available to you.
If you are in Miami, it's better to take a Russian course with a physical teacher.
In Los Angeles, do not hesitate to learn Russian.
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