Czech for Foreigners
We plan to open a new bachelor study programme Czech for Foreigners. The study should start in the academic year 2020/2021 with the entrance exams in August 2020.
The Bachelor’s study programme has been created for foreigners (non-native speakers of the Czech language), whose input knowledge of Czech is at the beginners’ level. The students acquire both written and spoken communication skills in the Czech language, and get to know the basic features of Czech life (history, culture, and literature).
We pay attention especially to practising language in its written and oral forms, focusing on text creation, seminar papers, understanding written and spoken texts, and conversation skills. A considerable portion of the study focuses on the perfection of the Czech grammar rules and on providing enough information about the stratification of the Czech national language. The language courses are complemented by the disciplines focused on Czech history, culture, and literature. The study programme include trips, student conferences, project teaching, and other activities.
The teaching language is Czech; in the first year of study, it is partly English, which serves as a language of mediation. The study applicant’s English must thus be at the level of B1 (according to the CEFR). It is possible to study the programme only (the Completus type), or in connection to another study programme at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava (the Maior type). The standard study period is three years.
The students who acquire a degree in this programme may continue in the Czech for Foreigners Master’s programme, at the end of which they will get a Mgr. degree (Master).
At the end of the study, there is a state final exam, which is connected to the defence of a bachelor’s thesis; Czech is the language of both the exam and the thesis. The students who pass the exams will get a Bc. degree (Bachelor).
A Graduate’s Profile
Being graduates of the three-year Czech for Foreigners Bachelor’s study programme, students have considerable linguistic knowledge and skills, predominantly in the field of synchronic, communication-focused Czech studies – close reading, text analysis, and genre distinction. They have a solid grasp of Czech history, literature, and culture. They are able to work with language handbooks and dictionaries.
The output communication skills in both written and spoken forms are the B2 level (according to the CEFR). The graduates thus understand the main ideas of texts covering both abstract and concrete topics. They can speak fluently and spontaneously with native speakers, without too much effort being made on both sides. They can write texts on a considerably wide range of topics, explain their stances on the current issues and defend them, or justify the pros and cons of various options.
The Input Level of Czech and English
The precondition for accepting an applicant to the study programme is the knowledge of the Czech language at the beginning level, which corresponds to the A1 and A2 categories according to the CEFR. Applicants must also be able to communicate in B1 English, as English serves as a language of mediation in the first year of study.
Applicants should thus be able to communicate in simple, repetitive situations with a predictable information interchange about well-known topics and activities. Their word-stock should cover basic conversation topics, such as family, hobby, food, shopping, travelling, studies, etc. Applicants must be able to introduce themselves and their families, describe their previous schooling, explain their motivation for studying the programme, etc.
Besides the spoken communication, applicants must be able to write short, easy texts, such as a simple personal letter (e-mail), a notice, etc.
Language competence thus corresponds to, e.g., the contents of these textbooks:
- Holá, L., & Bořilová, P. (2011). Čeština expres 1: Praha: Akropolis. (the A1 level)
- Holá, L., & Bořilová, P. (2011). Čeština expres 2: Praha: Akropolis. (the A1/A2 level)
The entrance exam is as an oral interview, which may be organized virtually, via the Skype application. In the interview, applicants have to, first and foremost, show the required input level of the Czech language (the A1–A2 level). They must be able to introduce themselves, their previous schooling, and their motivation for studying the programme. They must be able to respond to the questions asked by the entrance-exam committee. What is tested, is the applicants’ language levels (Czech and English), orientation in the basic facts about Czechia, and their motivation.
Applicants may continue to study a Czech for Foreigners Master’s programme at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava, or at a different university.
Online Sources to Get Ready for the Study
Czech step by step https://www.czechstepbystep.cz/
Czech step by step: Krátké české zprávy – Short Czech News https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoa-DQaCD7KmNbtg2-7RqKQ
Čeština extra https://janaharperova.cz/cesky-blog-pro-cizince/
Internetová jazyková příručka – Internet Handbook of the Czech Language http://prirucka.ujc.cas.cz/