The material on Pen4Pals is pretty challenging for beginning students of Russian, so here's a look at the various courses that are available online, and which are geared towards total beginners. The clear choice was Russian Accelerator, and here's why:
Russian Accelerator is an online course for complete beginners. The course is divided into 18 units, and each unit has five lessons. Inside each lesson there are numerous videos and audios, tests, downloads, and so on. It's a big course, but never feels overwhelming. What's great is that they assume no prior knowledge of Russian at all, but they quickly pick up the pace so even if you have some prior experience in Russian, you'll still get a ton out of it.
What really sets Russian Accelerator apart are their unique and highly effective teaching methods. New words are taught in the context of an English sentence, which makes it very natural. And they use clever mnemonic devices so it's impossible to forget the new words. They then segue right into an audio test, to make sure you remember the words. A separate short grammar video in each lesson teaches the patterns of the language....you end up learning how the language works without having to memorize complicated terminology. There's so much more to the course, but that's at least...well....a taste. To really understand it you have to see the video presentation for yourself:
Since Russian Accelerator is a totally online course, if you're looking to buy a big package of CD's or something, this isn't the course for you. There is a lot to download, including their awesome bonus course "Russian Accelerator: On the Go", but most of the time you need to be in front of your computer...or i Pad!
So, check out for yourself the best course to learn Russian online.