Russian Intermediate Conversation


Take your existing Russian language skills to the next level! This intermediate-level conversation short course will help you develop confidence and fluency when describing experiences and events.

You will be encouraged to interact in Russian as you learn more about Russian culture and society. By actively participating in creative tasks and dialogues, you will grow your vocabulary and conversational skills in Russian.

Target audience:
This course is for those with basic knowledge of Russia and the Russian language who would like to develop intermediate-level conversational language skills and:

  • are interested in Russia and the language and culture
  • have a Russian-speaking partner or adopted children from Russia
  • are planning to visit Russia or its neighbouring states where Russian is spoken
  • are interested in international science, math, history, national security, foreign service, film and cultural studies, and the arts
  • would like to gain further knowledge of the Russian culture and way of life and about New Zealand–Russia connections.

Learning objectives:
By the end of the course, you will have:

  • enhanced your conversational and reading skills in Russian
  • gained a greater understanding of Russian grammar necessary for conversation
  • learnt more vocabulary and the linguistic and cultural competence to handle situations such as:
    • talking about your typical day and free time 
    • using the phone in Russian
    • visiting someone’s house
    • hotels and travelling
    • understanding Russian literature, films, humour and hospitality

Course outline:

Session 1: My typical day and my free time. Reading parallel texts on the topic. Video and discussion on the topic (video and discussion)
Session 2: Talking on the phone in Russian. Means of communication and progress. Reading parallel texts on the topic. Video and discussion on the topic (video and discussion)
Session 3: Travelling and hotels. Russian mentality through folklore and national songs, fairy tales, sayings, proverbs; Russian superstitions (video and discussion)
Session 4: Quotes of Russian writers. What to read? Cinema and movies. Reading parallel texts on the topic. Video and discussion on the topic. 
Session 5: Visiting someone’s house. Hospitality. Russian traditional food and drinks (video and discussion)
Session 6: Russian Humour. Reading and telling Russian and New Zealand jokes in Russian. Russian mini-videos (video and discussion)
Session 7: Practicing listening comprehension. Russian everyday dialogues. 
Session 8: Summary and discussion; presentation of certificates of achievement

There is a short break half-way through each session, and coffee/tea is provided.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 18 participants, so please enrol early.

Olga Suvorova has a PhD in cultural anthropology from Moscow State University. She has extensive experience in working with international leaders in both the private and public sectors in New Zealand and Russia on cultural intelligence questions. Olga is married to a New Zealander and works in both New Zealand and Moscow.

Relevant links:
An Introduction to Russian Language and Culture
Russian Post-beginners Conversation 
School of Languages and Cultures

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email:

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.