I often have requests for teaching an intensive Russian course but in most cases it turns out that a person wants to do 1 or 2 hours of lessons a week… So what kind of course can be called intensive? Here are the main features of one:

Intensive Russian course

Intensive schedule

It can vary from as much as 6 hours a day 5 days a week to 2 hours a day, with a lot of homework. 5 or 6 hour a day courses should be taught by several (minimum 2) teachers, to avoid “having too much” of the same person and teaching style. They can be divided into different aspects of language learning – listening comprehension, reading, discussion, grammar. Such a course requires a lot of concentration and effort from students and is usually done over a short period of time, from a few days to a few months. My personal record is 5 hours a day with the same student, and that is pretty tiring for both sides of the learning process! A “milder” intensive course can be 2-3 hours per day, with homework set to be done in the afternoon/evening.

 A target to achieve

Intensive courses are good for people who have time to spare before they start some new undertaking that requires knowledge of Russian: a new job, a business or holiday, being posted for work to a Russian-speaking country. An intensive course should aim to get a student to a certain level in the shortest time possible.


I would advise prospective students to think carefully about whether they can dedicate enough time and effort to doing an intensive course, before committing to it. It’s a time consuming and costly exercise and it will work only if a student is prepared to put in time and work.


There is no point in doing an intensive Russian course and not continuing learning the language afterwards. Ideally, an intensive course should be a part of a longer extensive one, or followed by an extensive one, to maintain and improve the knowledge acquired in the intensive course. As we all know, when you don’t use a language, it drains away pretty quickly…

Long term learning as a key to success

Summing up, an intensive course can be an extremely useful step in language learning but it does not guarantee learning a language in a short period of time just because it’s intensive. Learning a language is all about long term accumulation of knowledge and practice, rather than trying to cram too much into one’s head in a short blast!

So are you ready to do an intensive Russian course? Then give us a call!