Level A1/A1+ Descriptors


I can understand simple words and phrases, provided that people speak very slowly and very clearly or repeat when I ask them to.

I can understand simple personal questions (e.g. “What is your name?” “What are your hobbies?” “What’s your address?” “What’s your job?” etc.)

I can understand times and dates, numbers and prices.

I can understand simple directions how to get from X to Y, provided that people speak slowly and clearly.


I can find basic information (names, titles, times, venues, prices, etc.) in maps, timetables, railway or plane tickets, cinema or theatre tickets.

I can understand menus at the restaurant and the main ingredients of dishes.

I can understand the main points in short newspaper/magazine stories written in simple familiar language. I can figure out the meaning of unknown words from context.


I can establish contact with people using simple words and phrases, provided that people speak very slowly and very clearly or repeat when I ask them to.

I can ask people questions (about their names, where they live and work, things they have) and understand the main information in their answers.

I can give personal information (family, address, work, colleagues, hobbies and friends, etc.)

I can use and understand simple numbers in everyday conversations (for example the time of meeting, bus numbers, prices in shops).

I can order simple food and drink in restaurants/cafes. 

I can use simple everyday polite forms of greetings (“privet”/”zdravstvuyte”), introductions (name or name/patronymic), modes of address (“ty”/”Vy”).


I can write about myself, work, family, hobbies and where I live, using short simple sentences.

I can complete a questionnaire with my personal details (address, phone number, age, work, family, etc.)

I can write simple phrases, for example, a text message so that people understand my location and the time of meeting.

I can write short letters or e-mails with the help of a dictionary about where I am, what I am doing, what I think about a book/film/play/meeting, etc.


Level A2/A2+ Descriptors


I can understand what people say to me in simple, everyday conversation, if they speak clearly and slowly and give me help.

I can understand spoken language, delivered at a fast speech, on topics that are familiar (work, family, friends) or in everyday situations in shops, hotels, etc.

I can understand what people say to me even if don’t know all the words. I can understand their meaning from context or using a language known to me.

I can understand names, numbers and the main information in transport, shops or everyday situations.


I can understand short simple texts. I can short letters from friends, business partners or colleagues. I can find the most important information in menus, advertisements, catalogues, timetables and newspaper/magazine stories. I can understand the main points in short simple texts (short stories, articles, instructions) about familiar everyday subjects if the texts have clear logical structure or if there is visual support.


I can start a conversation and get necessary information in shops, post offices, travel agencies, banks, etc. I can order food and drink in a restaurant/cafe. I can use polite forms of greetings and farewells, ask people how they feel/say how I feel, make and accept/refuse an invitation to a theatre/restaurant, make and accept apologies. I can ask and answer simple questions about everyday topics. I can handle most everyday situations. In other situations I can ask my partner for help or use a dictionary. I can describe my family, place where I live, what I like and what I don’t like, what I usually do at home, at work, in my free time. I can ask my partner questions about familiar topics.


I can write about myself, where I live, about my everyday life, about my work and free time, express my opinion on simple issues, answer simple questions, make and accept/refuse my friend’s invitation. I can make arrangements about time and place of an excursion, show, party, meeting, etc. I can write short letters to friends, business partners, colleagues. I can use a dictionary if a letter is on an unfamiliar topic. I can complete a questionnaire with information about my age, place of residence, my job/educational background, my interests, etc.


Level B1 Descriptors


I can understand everyday topics delivered in standard spoken language. I can predict the development of a short simple conversation. I can understand the main points of extended speeches/discussions, radio/TV programmes on topics of personal interests.


I can follow the story line in lengthy everyday stories and articles about familiar situations, events and people. I can identify any change of subject, place and time.

I can understand simple letters from friends, relatives, colleagues about events, feelings and wishes.

I can understand the main points in newspaper articles and factual texts on subjects of my professional interests. I can identify information that might be of practical use for me and read it in detail using dictionaries.

I can read very simple short stories and simplified versions of novels, making use of a dictionary. I can analyze relationships of the characters and compare them with my personal experience.


I can converse spontaneously on topics that are familiar or of personal interest (e.g. family, work, hobbies, travelling, recent news etc.). I know enough vocabulary to talk about most everyday topics. If I don’t understand something I can ask to clarify or elaborate what they have just said.

I can handle everyday situations while travelling in Russia, e.g. shopping, in the street, on the public transport. I can start, maintain and close conversations/discussions on topics that are familiar. I might need help of my partner to express a complex idea or change the topic of a conversation.

I can use lengthy complex phrases to express my thoughts on my plans/dreams/goals and wishes. I can explain my point of view. I can express my opinion on abstract topics like books/films/important events.

If I can’t think of a word, I can use a word meaning something similar or describe context/situation so that people understand me.   


I can write simple texts on familiar subjects or subjects related to my interests. I can write letters to my friends, relatives or colleagues relating to news and giving/asking for opinion or describing my experiences/feelings. I can write about interesting experiences or events (a concert, exhibition, trip), describing my feelings and reactions. I can describe a plot of a film/book, express my opinion, likes and dislikes. I can write standard formal letters, following a template. I can write notes to friends or colleagues, relating to my news/plans and giving/asking for simple information.

Kostantinos Karavos

Since studying beginner Russian with Michael it has given me a bit more of an understanding into learning Russian. I had already learnt a small amount of Russian before our lessons but I had many unanswered questions so it has been excellent to start from the very beginning in a well structured manner so that I could cover the bases. Michael was very patient with my sometimes bizarre questions and was very helpful. I look forward to carrying the lessons on when I return back to Krasnoyarsk.

Kostantinos Karavos


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