Free Open-Access Digital Russian Language Lessons for Heritage Learners

A team supported by the Middlebury College Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian has been working on free open-access digital lessons for heritage learners of Russian. So far, we have completed a full module on Russian spelling. It has 14 lessons that cover the basics of the Russian sound and letter system through explicit explanations and numerous examples and comparisons between Russian and English wherever appropriate. The lessons are interactive and offer opportunities for comprehension checks and practice. These materials are not designed to be a complete course of study but rather to provide an introduction to the most challenging aspects of Russian grammar for heritage speakers who have minimal literacy skills but can speak and understand the language. The goal of the online modules is to enable heritage students to successfully study on their own or alongside traditional students. In order to create a sense of community among heritage learners, we created a dedicated section with language stories from our current and former students, and we welcome more stories from your students as well.

The website is a work in progress, and as of now you will see many placeholders where we plan to have material once it is created. We would welcome any feedback (or requests) you might have about lessons or the overall design of the website. Please send any questions or comments to Jason Merrill at 

You can access the materials at  We hope they will be of use to you and your students.