Visit Language Programmes at UNHQ to view
the course schedule for Russian and all languages
We offer language and communication courses and training activities in several formats and durations to address our clients' needs. 


Course icon  Welcome to the Russian Language Programme!


We are happy you are considering the study of Russian.  “Why study Russian?” you might ask. Well, there are many excellent reasons! 

Russian is the official language of the Russian Federation and the eighth most spoken language on the planet, used by 258 million people around the globe—in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and North America, among other regions. Moreover, Russian is used in an official capacity at the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, WHO, FAO, and the International Criminal Court.  It is also one of the two official languages aboard the International Space Station. Finally, Russian-speaking people of many ethnicities have contributed to one of the richest artistic and cultural traditions in the world, recognized for its achievements in music, theater, ballet, visual arts, literature, and film.

This may surprise you, but you can learn the Russian alphabet in one day and start reading simple words, and even sentences, right away! Another fun fact: like Latin and German, Russian has a developed grammatical case system.  Studying cases and their functions will give you a fascinating insight into how language produces meaning; and if you like music theory and mathematics, tackling the Russian case system might provide similar intellectual rewards! 

Our program offers an array of Russian courses—from general language acquisition courses for beginners to specialized courses for intermediate, advanced, and expert learners of Russian. Our courses focus on everyday, work-related, and cultural topics and aim to develop the learners’ speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills. 


Methodology icon   Format & Method: 

Most of our courses are taught in a group setting (either online or in person) and are led by an instructor.  Many include additional self-paced activities hosted on CDOTS Campus, our learning platform. In terms of methodology, we combine a communicative skills-based approach with mini-units on grammar and culture, as well as translation and interpretation practice.  We use authentic cultural and media content to illustrate lexical and grammatical usage and give our students plenty of opportunities to practice speaking, writing, reading and listening to Russian.  


 General Russian Courses: 

Our general courses develop comprehensive Russian language skills — listening, speaking, reading, and writing—in order to achieve Basic (UN I), Intermediate (UN II), and Advanced (UN III) levels of proficiency, as defined in the United Nations Language Framework. Courses progress sequentially from lower to higher levels. A general course in Russian offers 30 hours of learning per term, including live group work led by an instructor and self-paced work hosted on our online learning platform.


  Specialized Russian Language Courses: 

Our specialized courses help learners improve their Russian knowledge and performance in such areas as conversation, grammar, vocabulary, writing, translation and cultural literacy. These courses complement the general courses to help learners achieve the proficiency levels that are defined in the United Nations Language Framework. The Russian Programme also offers courses that explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Guidelines for Gender-Inclusive Language. Russian specialized courses vary in length and format.


  Assessment icon Assessment

We analyze learners’ performance continuously rather than merely at the end of the term. Students are evaluated holistically based on their attendance and participation in the synchronous sessions as well as on their performance on the quizzes and assignments (writing, speaking, listening, reading) hosted on our virtual platform. 


Language Learning Resources for the Six UN Official Languages

Learners can find a variety of authentic language resources to develop, practice and reinforce their language skills. Enjoy Learning the Six UN Official Languages on Your Devices is a package of resources featuring mobile applications for language learning and UN applications as a source of authentic language. *The package has been compiled for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any of the products described.

Customized Training Solutions

Request a tailor-made learning solution for the communication needs of your office or department. Contact the Customized Training Team via 

Language Proficiency Exam

Prepare for the LPE (Language Proficiency Exam), an internal United Nations exam. See the registration instructions on the LPE page of the HR Portal. Prepare for the exam by taking one or more Language Programme courses.