Charles University academic Ivana Bozděchová has taught Czech and Czech Studies in several corners of the world, including in the United States and in the South Korean capital Seoul. When we spoke, the conversation took in everything from the particular difficulties Czech tends to throw up for English speakers to Czechia to the use of -ová surname endings. But I first asked Ms. Bozděchová about her experiences of teaching at the University of Nebraska in 1990, right after the fall of communism.
Some 140 students have signed up to Charles University’s Czech language summer school, which is being held this year for the 60th time. The course, which is organised by the Institute of Czech Studies at the institution’s Faculty of Arts, runs from Saturday until 25 August. Students are divided into four levels at the summer school, which also focuses on Czech literature, history and culture and has a rich accompanying programme.
The summer school of Slavonic languages opened at Masaryk University in Brno on Monday to 140 students from 38 countries. It offers a four week intensive course in Czech language and literature, with film screenings, trips and dance lessons. Established in 1967 the summer school is traditionally attended by second and third generation expats and foreign students. The youngest participant is 13 years, the oldest 58.
How to teach your children the Czech language and maintain it in an environment where everyone speaks English? That is a big question for the Czech expatriate community living in the United States. Marta McCabe, a Czech teacher who moved to North Carolina, decided to deal with the issue by establishing a Czech and Slovak School in the town of Durham – the first organisation of its kind in that state. I met Marta McCabe on her recent visit to Prague to talk about the Czech community in North Carolina and about the school she founded. But I first
The Czech government on Monday approved a draft directive of the education and interior ministries aimed to prevent cheating on Czech language tests by foreign nationals applying for permanent residency. The directive follows an amendment to existing legislation. Private language schools, where the greatest number of problems were found, are to be stripped of the right to organise future tests which are to be supervised by the Czech School Inspection. The change was prompted by criminal proceedings taken against several employees of language schools suspected of having secured positive results for foreigners in exchange for bribes in early 2014. As a result, foreigners’ police representatives will also be present at future exams.
It’s officially been one month since I landed in Prague and began my study abroad program. Whenever someone from home asks me about the most surprising things about Prague, after mentioning the well-behaved dogs that are too independent for leashes, I usually say the Czech language and that there’s a large Asian population living here. I find it funny that these are the two things giving me, a native hailing from New York City, the most culture shock.
Each summer the small eastern Bohemian town of Dobruška becomes a home to dozens of people from around the world who come to reconnect with the language and customs of their Czech ancestors. The summer programme, organized by Prague’s Charles University and supported by the Czech government, offers intensive language courses as well as an insight into Czech culture and way of life.
An international meeting of Czech language and literature experts, among them teachers and translators, kicked off at Prager Literaturhaus, a Czech institute that promotes Prague’s German literary heritage. For the next four days, lovers of the Czech language will be discussing their field of expertise and exchanging their findings in a number of seminars, panel discussions and lectures. On the first day of the international get-together, we speak with Kristin Kilsti, a Norwegian literary translator who works from Czech into her native tongue.