In the studying of Russian, CREF offers proven and innovative teaching methods :

Our approach is focused on the student

Each student is tested on their Russian oral and writing levels before their arrival. In addition, a questionnaire will be given to help to understand the linguistic objectives of each student. Depending on these elements and on your availability and budget, our Senior Teacher will propose either a group program or an individualized program for you.

For each course, the Senior Teacher and the teacher will choose the appropriate pedagogical material.  The choice of this material will be based on one or two primary manuals, but may include additional material chosen by the teacher, such as authentic texts, audio or video extracts, or material found on the Internet which focuses on the student’s objectives and difficulties.

The Immersion Method

From the first class, the teacher will teach the material in Russian. The teacher will use the student’s native language as little as possible, usually when the student has extreme difficulty in understanding the material. This permits the student to rapidly overcome language barriers that will arise in real-life situations.

Outside of the classroom, the student will not only continue his/her immersion with other students that come from all over the world to study at CREF, but also in the activities and excursions CREF has arranged with its partners.

The Communicative Approach

At CREF, you will be studying a living language, both orally and written. From the first lesson, you will be put into realistic situations that require realistic communication, and given specific tasks to complete, such as introducing yourself, asking for directions, writing a business letter, etc.

For each situation, the teacher will give you the necessary linguistic tools without a complicated grammatical meta-language to understand the situation and to speak appropriately with simple phrases.


The acquisition of grammatical knowledge is a fundamental necessity of learning Russian, but this acquisition must be done in the most intuitive way possible. Rather than learning never-ending declension tables by heart, we suggest that our students discover and deepen their understanding of grammar according to the needs of communication, even if it means certain grammatical explanations / difficulties are delayed at the beginning of the course.

The learning of grammar is done according to the schema of the discovery of the rule, the conceptualization of the rule with the teacher, performing exercises that will reinforce the grammatical concept, and, finally, using the rules in situations of communication with authentic Russian.