If your Russian bride is keen to improve her English so that she can communicate with you better in the long term (communication is the key to a successful marriage), this article will give you the right information right now.

  • Work on her weaknesses and maintain her strengths.

After living in an English-speaking country for a while, your Russian bride will know which components are her weaknesses, and which components are her strengths in terms of English language skills.  For instance, if writing is her weakness, she will find a way to work on it (buy a book on writing and study this area; find a tutor who can teach her writing or can give her feedback on her essays).  If reading is her weakness, she will find a solution to this problem (learn some reading skills; read as much as possible).  If listening is her weakness, she will figure out a way to improve her listening skills (learn some techniques and strategies; practice listening as often as she can).  If speaking is her weakness, she will strategize her approach to speaking.

If your Russian bride is not good at speaking, she would know it based on the feedback from people around her.  Alternatively, she can record her voice and listen to it by herself!  Or ask someone who can help to listen to her!

Your Russian bride may need to spend a few months working on her weakness(es).  If she has more than one weakness, she will need more time.  As to how much time she really needs, it depends on her specific circumstances such as how weak her weaknesses are and how much time she can spend studying English every day.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to maintain her strengths by doing some practice in those areas each day as well.

  • Do ten practice English language tests to measure her progress.

In order to create a sense of urgency, I’d like to encourage your Russian bride to sit the IELTS test which will help her improve her English and get a professional job in an English-speaking country. (International English Language Testing System = IELTS)

She will mark her own tests according to the suggested answers at the end of each practice tests book.  Then she will also write down every mistake she has made in each practice test in her journal (include how to improve as well).  Use a blue pen to write down each mistake; use a red pen to write down how to improve.

Usually, after a period of intensive study, her weaknesses should have been improved.

If your Russian wife is a bit concerned that she may not improve certain areas due to ineffective approaches to strengthening her weaknesses, then she may even hire a private tutor.  In this way, she will see whether her methods of improving her weaknesses work well or not, so she can re-calibrate her approaches accordingly.  Of course, if you are a very helpful husband, you can help her in this regard as well.

  • Find the best time to do the practice tests.

Since the actual IELTS test usually happens on a Saturday morning (listening, reading and writing components), your Russian wife should do her practice tests from 9 am onwards during her preparation process.

Your wife’s brain and body need to get used to functioning well during these hours – she must train her brain and body to work effectively and efficiently during these specific hours which will be the actual IELTS test time.

In most countries, the speaking component of the IELTS test is conducted in the afternoon.  Therefore, the best time to practice speaking skills is in the afternoon.

  • Get productive each and every day by taking breaks.

It is very important to have a break after studying for a period of time.  For example, when your wife from Russia has finished learning one chapter of her English grammar book, she should have a 10-minute break, and then she can continue to study, thereby becoming more productive.

If your Russian bride’s concentration span is relatively short, she may consider this pattern:  Study a chapter of the English grammar book; have a 10-minute break; learn 20 new words; have a 10-minute break.  She may repeat this pattern during the day.  When the content varies, her brain is more likely to focus on her learning.  After repeating this pattern for a few times, she will realize that she has done a lot in one day, so if she wants to go out with her friends at night, she wouldn’t feel guilty.

When your Russian bride is doing the practice IELTS test, she would be well-advised to try her best to make herself under test condition because she must emulate what is going to happen in the real IELTS test.  Therefore, probably she should not have breaks during the practice tests.

  • Read questions before she listens.

During the real IELTS test, the examiner will tell your Russian bride when she is allowed to open the listening question booklet.  Once the examiner announces that she can open the question booklet, she should immediately open it and start to read the questions first.  The CD will begin with some general instructions which she probably already knows if she has done many practice tests.  Consequently, when the CD is telling her what she should do in the IELTS test, she must make full use of this period of time to read the questions before she hears the actual content from the CD.

Your bride from Russia needs this head start because once she has a good understanding of what the questions are about, she can easily look for answers to these specific questions from what she hears on the CD.

It would be very helpful if she can use a pencil to underline some key words in the questions.  For instance, if the instruction says you must use no more than three words to fill in each black, then you need to underline no more than three words.  Another example is to underline key words in each question such as “what time”, “who” and “phone number”.  Only in this way can you know what you are looking for in the listening component.  You can even predict what will be talked about in each section of the listening test by reading the questions before you listen.

  • Get used to different accents.

In the IELTS test, there will be a range of different accents in its listening component: British accent, Australian accent, Canadian accent and American accent.  This is because it is an international English language test.  British accent and Australian accent are more likely to dominate the listening test, as the IELTS test is designed by organizations in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Therefore, your bride from Russia must get familiar with British accent and Australian accent by listening to resources from these two countries, especially when she is only familiar with American accent due to the fact that Hollywood movies are popular everywhere in today’s day and age.

“Your Russian bride will benefit from improving her English, thereby bettering her communication with you in the long run.”