Czech language studies abroad
02.08.2012 / 14:31
Czech language education abroad takes place in a number of different forms. Teachers of Czech are being sent to compatriot communities abroad or partake in lectorates at foreign universities, and the “Czech School Without Borders” project runs worldwide.
1) Sending of Czech language teachers to Czech compatriot communities abroad
Every year, the Czech Republic sends a maximum of 15 teachers of Czech language and literature to compatriot communities abroad. In 2011/2012, seven teachers have worked in different compatriot communities around Europe, and five in South America. The Centre for International Services (Dům zahraničních služeb) provides more information on this.
2) Lectorates of Czech Language and Literature at foreign universities
Lectorates of Czech Language and Literature (hereafter referred to only as “lectorates”) serve as an important tool for strengthening the awareness of the Czech Republic’s cultural heritage among people around the world and are a significant source of information about our homeland and its linguistic and cultural wealth for university students abroad.
By upholding the teaching of Czech abroad, the lectorates fulfill two-side commitments in the field of educational cooperation between the Czech Republic and the partner country.
The lectorate commission of the Support of Czech Cultural Heritage Abroad Programme, consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for International Services, and of experts in the field of Bohemian studies, chooses new lecturers and decides about the extensions of the currently employed lecturers’ contracts in the following academic year. See the Centre for International Services website for more information.
3) Czech School Without Borders
The Czech School Without Borders project uses the “total immersion” method, according to which the pupil is in an exclusively Czech-speaking environment during the whole conduct of educational activities. Since the children who attend the classes usually grow up in a bicultural environment, this is for them the most natural way to master the language. This approach, radically different from the traditional foreign language teaching methods, which primarily build on the translation of individual words, enables the child to broaden their vocabulary in real-life situations. This helps the child to grasp the structure of the language faster. The Czech School Without Borders website provides more information about the project and the places it operates in.