Russian (Beginners): William Newell

William, a non-credited student, studied Beginners' Russian at the University Language Centre (ULC).

Why did you choose to study a language at The University of Manchester?

William Newell

I've had a passion for learning languages all my life, but teaching yourself can get difficult.

Manchester has an excellent teaching programme in the form of the LEAP system and furthermore, a large international student population to practise with.

Apart from class time, how much time did you spend a week on your studies?

I tried to do at least twenty minutes a day - any time I had a spare five minutes, I would try to learn vocabulary or grammar.

Every couple of days I would give myself a more structured lesson - twenty minutes of learning, twenty minutes of practice, twenty minutes of grammar.

How did you find your course in terms of level?

Russian is a difficult language to teach - so many different standards exist that it's difficult to make sure everyone is at the same level. However, the tutor did an excellent job of challenging everyone at every level.

What did you most enjoy about your course?

The chance to sit down and learn a language with other people and an expert teacher - it's wonderful to be able to practise concepts as you learn them and to be guided through often difficult concepts.

Have you been able to put your newly acquired language skills to use outside the classroom? If so, please tell us how.

I have several Russian friends who I now try (often to their amusement) to speak with in their mother tongue.

I am also in the process of applying to various jobs at Moscow State University.

What advice would you give to someone intending to study a language at the University Language Centre?

Learning a language is what you make of it - take advantage of the opportunity of a dedicated teacher and the resource the university provides.