Russian Newsletter 2

U3A Russian Language Newsletter January 2014



I have had a few more comments on materials since the last newsletter.  A couple of people have mentioned the” Teach Yourself” series of books and CDs which has been useful to them.  One group leader has mentioned “501 Russian Verbs” which she uses frequently – purchased second hand from Amazon.  She also mentions how she slows the pace of “Colloquial Russian” by producing lots of worksheets for individual grammar points and practice drills.

If anyone has any such exercises that they have used successfully and would be willing to share, I could circulate them if you indicate the level and grammar point and perhaps the book you are using for which you have produced the exercise.

A few other free online resources that have been suggested (but I have not looked at all of them) are as follows: – a self -study guide for beginners – radio news in simplified standard Russian provided by George Washington University.

www.russianlessons.netprovides practice in grammar, vocabulary, online Russian tools and free software.  Chapter 16 has lots of examples of using verbs of motion. – a lot of free features, lessons, reviews and recommended links.  Both of these offer contact with Russian or Ukrainian ladies! – the latest news about the Russian language plus dictionaries, library, reference, games, interactive dictations. – lots of trivia about… everything!

And don’t forget the additional materials available online from Ruslan:

One of my group has recommended a Chinese site, China Radio International, for listening practice:  . The Russian is very clear and not too fast and there is a range of subjects – many of them with a predominantly Chinese bias.


Yan gave positive feedback from the course at Morley College in London and there will be further weekends at the end of January and the end of April. Contact 0207 450 1889 or  The University of Cambridge  Institute of Continuing Education is offering weekend courses at Madingley Hall on 7th March and 17th October.  Details at Do let me know if you hear of other courses around the country.

 Live Screenings

Many of you are already aware of the live screenings of opera and ballet available in your local cinemas, but I would like to draw your attention to a few in the New Year that may be of interest to Russian groups.

The Bolshoi Ballet’s productions will be available through Cineworld cinemas as below:

  • 19th January 2014 – Jewels, based on the music of Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky
  • 2nd February – Lost Illusions, based on Balzac’s story.
  • 30th March – The Golden Age, Shostakovich’s satirical ballet.

On 1st March 2014 the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Borodin’s Prince Igor will be shown. Please let me know if any cultural events that you think would be of general interest to U3A Russian groups.

Trip to Moscow

I have been asked about a U3A trip to Moscow and I am not able to take on the organisation of this, but it may be that there is some interest both from Russian groups and other U3A members.  Both Norman Allen travel and Riviera travel would be happy to quote for this.  So if there is anyone out there who would be prepared to take on the organisation, let me know and I will circulate to the recipients of this newsletter.

Old friends

It has emerged that many members of U3A Russian groups are men who learned Russian in the services, mainly in the Fifties. It may be that there are former fellow students among you who have a wish to rekindle old friendships.  If you would be happy to have your details shared, then let me know your name, when and where you studied and your current contact details.  I could then circulate this list among you all and you could perhaps identify familiar names. This request has come specifically from Doug Moon in Wiltshire.


Please let me know if you do not wish to be included in this circulation or if the relevant contact details have changed for your group.  Thank you.

With best wishes
Dorothy Newman

U3A Subject Adviser for Russian Language
01844 274101