David joined Verbalplanet in August 2015 learning Russian. After making some progress with language apps, David felt he needed a different approach to fully devlop his listening and speaking skills.
David needed a more personal approach to learning Russian which allowed him to focus on his specific goals and boost his confidence. By using Verbalplanet, David has been able to define his own learning requirements and objectives, choose from our team of native online Russian tutors, and book lessons that fit around his busy work schedule. The one to one language lessons provided through Verbalplanet have helped David achieve his goals so now he can converse with the locals with confidence.
Hi, I’m David and I’m learning Russian with Verbalplanet, and I have been since August 2015 when I set myself the challenge of being able to hold a conversation in a second language before I reached the age of 40 (in 2019). I know that might sound easy, but for me it was a daunting prospect as languages weren’t something that came naturally to me, and achieving this goal would mean that I join the legions of people that can speak another language effortlessly, something I’ve been envious of all my life.
My first challenge was deciding which language to learn… I had toured Europe extensively when I was younger, so didn’t like the idea of attempting a "local" language. Looking further afield, Russian caught my eye as despite never having been there, and knowing nothing about the country, I was immediately intrigued with their unique looking Cyrillic alphabet. So, my first decision was made, I’d learn Russian… but how?
The next challenge was to find the most effective way to learn my chosen language. I started by downloading lots of apps, but they proved to be either repetitive and boring, or scattered with unintentional errors that could hamper my progress, or worse still – both. So I switched to the old fashioned method of picking up a textbook. But again, I found myself struggling as they often contained complicated grammatical explanations that I didn’t understand, and obviously provided no help for my speaking and listening skills, so a better approach was needed. That’s when I discovered Verbalplanet.
The first time I logged on to Verbalplanet I was genuinely amazed. There, on this website I’d found via a search engine, were hundreds (if not thousands) of tutors that taught most of the languages under the sun. Not only that, unlike other websites I’d stumbled across, finding a tutor for my requirements seemed easy as I could quickly filter by their location, cost, and most importantly for me, their native language. Perfect. I began trawling through all of the native Russian-speaking tutors listed, diligently reading the verified feedback left by previous students on the lesson quality, and started requesting learning plans to see if my goals could be met. When I thought I’d found a tutor, I booked a trial lesson and that’s when my learning really started to accelerate.
My trial lesson with Liliya (my tutor) was a little nerve-racking, as I hadn’t used Skype before, I hadn’t spoken a word of Russian out loud, and to be honest, I was still struggling to remember some of the Cyrillic letters... had I done the right thing. Well, very quickly it became apparent the answer was "Yes". Liliya was absolutely fantastic as she helped me with pronunciation, explained things in a way that I could understand and relate to, and above all, was able to provide me with real-time feedback, something that had been lacking in all my previous methods of learning. As soon as the trial lesson had finished, I booked ten more lessons, as I was absolutely convinced from the get-go that learning through Verbalplanet was the most thorough and immersive approach available.
Hello, my name is Liliya Shammasova and I'm an online Russian teacher with Verbalplanet. I am a native Russian speaker and I have been an online language tutor since May 2014.
David Askill has been one of my students on Verbalplanet, and to date I have taught 735 classes and have 248 reviews from other students who have also been learning Russian online with me. If you would like to improve your ability to speak Russian I am sure I can help you progress and achive your language goals. My classes have an emphasis on conversation and oral skills so really help to boost your confidence. I'm also currently offering a discounted initial trial lesson at 50% of my normal lesson price for new students.
If you would like to find out more, please click on my profile link to get in touch and we can discuss how I can help you learn to speak Russian with greater confidence and fluency.
Over the next few years, with Liliya’s help, my Russian continued to improve far beyond what I ever expected or imagined. I’m now able to read simple detective books, watch and understand some Russian TV programmes, and I can hold interesting conversations on a wide variety of topics. Its fair to say my original goal has been met, and I’ve now set myself harder targets that I’m looking forward to achieving in the future.
One of the most surprising aspects of learning of new language is the unforeseen knock-on benefits it brings, such as having a far deeper understanding of a different culture. My bookshelf is now crammed with Russian literature and poetry, I regularly listen to Russian music and I’ve a new found interest in Russian history, especially the fascinating story of the Romanovs. I also like cooking Russian cuisine, using my new skills to translate the most delicious recipes – it’s a great way to show off when you have guests over! On top of that, my day-to-day confidence has grown, and rather ironically my English has improved considerably too.
By being able to define my learning requirements and objectives, choose my own tutor and book lessons that fit around my busy work schedule, Verbalplanet has enabled me to pursue my life long ambition of learning Russian in a fun, effective and rewarding way. I’ve recommended it to family, friends and colleagues, all who have now seen the merits of online learning, and I’ll continue to use Verbalplanet as the backbone of my learning activities.
My goal in 2015 was to be able to have a basic conversation in a second language, and later this year (2019) I’ll be able to make that dream a reality as we’ve booked a holiday to Moscow for my 40th where I plan to natter with the locals, and that’s all possible thanks to Liliya and Verbalplanet.
The Russian language belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is the most widely spoken language of Eurasia and the most widespread of the Slavic languages. Within the Slavic family, Russian is one of three living members of the East Slavic group, the other two being Belarusian and Ukrainian.
While the Russian language preserves much of its common Slavonic word base, modern Russian exhibits a large stock of borrowed international vocabulary for politics, science, and technology. A language of great political importance in the 20th century, Russian is one of the official languages of the United Nations and over 145 million people speak Russian as their first language worldwide.
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