There are so many problems that might be holding you back from becoming fluent in Russian. One of them is not being confident! 

During the years of my career as a Russian language teacher, I’ve worked with hundreds of students from different countries and of different age, and about 95% of them were insecure about how they spoke or wrote in Russian.

  • “I know I make a lot of mistakes….”
  • “I hope you can understand me…”
  • “Sorry, my Russian is so bad…”

Don’t these phrases sound familiar? Do you ever feel like your Russian is not good enough?

These two simple exercises will help you to increase your confidence:

1. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do

It’s a huge mistake constantly to concentrate on what you lack. Sooner or later it will make you feel frustrated and bad. Instead of doing that, try to focus on what you’re GOOD at, on what you CAN do in Russian. Buy a cute notebook and write down all the small wins of the day.
For example: I’ve learned 5 new words today, I’ve listened to Russian for 30 minutes, I understood a phrase from a song or a movie.
No matter how small these things are – the important part is that they show progress!

2. Avoid stress and pressure

Some students try to start speaking to native speakers as soon as possible. But it’s a dangerous path that can make you feel bad in the end! Taking part in a real conversation is very stressful.

Build your confidence by practicing speaking in low-pressure situations. The best way to start is to speak to yourself. Trust me, it works. If you don’t know what to say, use one of these questions and try to answer:

How are birthdays celebrated in your country? – Как отмечают день рождения в вашей стране?
How do you like to celebrate your birthday? – Как вы любите отмечать свой день рождения?
What is your worst birthday memory? – Ваш худший день рождения?
What is the best birthday gift you have ever received? – Какой самый хороший подарок вы получали?
What do you think is the best age? – Какой возраст самый хороший?

Are you a vegetarian? – Вы вегетарианец?
Can you cook well? – Вы хорошо готовите?
Do you have a favorite cafe? If so, where is it? Why do you like it? – Какое ваше любимое кафе? Где оно находится? Почему оно вам нравится?
What kind of vegetables do you like? – Какие овощи вы любите?

Can you describe each room of your house? – Опишите каждую комнату в своем доме?
Who lives with you? – С кем вы живете?
What do you think houses in the future will be like? – Как вы думаете, как будут выглядеть дома в будущем?

What is your all-time favorite movie? Why? – Какой ваш самый любимый фильм? Почему?
How often do you go to movies? – Как часто вы ходите в кино?
Do you like to see a movie many times? Why? – Вам нравится смотреть фильмы много раз? Почему?

Have you ever seen a celebrity in person? What did you do? – Вы когда-нибудь встречали знаменитостей? Как вы себя вели?
Would you like to be a celebrity? – Вы бы хотели быть знаменитым?
What do you think of fans? – Что вы думаете о фанатах?

Choose any topic you like and tell everything you can!

When you become comfortable and confident speaking Russian when you’re alone, it will be much easier to communicate with a native speaker!