Expat Guide: How and Where To Learn Czech Language
Settling into a new country can be challenging, especially when the local language is completely alien to you. However, if you want to get the most out of your new life, sooner or later you might come to the conclusion that learning the local language is vital for your integration! Photo Credit: Freepik.
Written by Nataliia Sliusarenko.
Although Czechs love to point out that their language is one of the most difficult in the world to learn, we believe that there’s nothing impossible about learning it! Check our guide for tips on deciding which way of learning Czech will suit you best.
Integration centers for foreigners
One of the best ways to learn Czech is to attend courses organised by integration centers. These courses are aimed at helping foreigners integrate better, and so they are designed by experienced methodologists and teachers to make sure that every participant gets a chance to practice and learn in a friendly and cooperative environment.
Lots of regions in the Czech Republic have their own integration centers where you can take Czech classes. You can always look online for the integration center in your region. Here are some of the biggest and best-known integration centers.
- Prague Integration Centre
- JMK Centre for Foreigners
- Hradec Králové Integration Center for Foreigners
- Center for the Integration of Foreigners in the Ústí Region
You can find information about integration centers in other regions on the main national website. The courses provided by these centers are usually free, but you need to be fast enough to register, as this means they are also in high demand. Although the course is free of charge, some centers might ask you for a deposit to encourage you to attend. The Prague Integration Center asks each student to pay a deposit of CZK 2,000 which is refunded at the end of the course if the student’s attendance was at least 70%.
There are some other common rules that apply to these courses. As they are organised free of charge, there is usually a minimum attendance of 70-75%, repetition of the course is not allowed, and you must always inform the teacher if you are going to be absent.
Nowadays there are lots of language schools offering Czech as a foreign language. Type “Czech language” into the search bar in your browser and you will find hundreds of them both inside and outside of the Czech Republic, offering various modes of learning, including F2F classes, online classes for those who want to learn Czech from the comfort of their own home, and schools offering blended learning with both in-classroom and online lectures.
Here are some language schools in the biggest cities of the Czech Republic:
In addition, some universities offer Czech language courses:
You can choose different types of courses to suit your needs, whether you prefer lessons in a group or individually, and whether you are looking for a short-tem, usually intensive course, or a long-term course that goes step-by-step through the material. You can also find one-year preparatory courses for those wishing to apply to Czech universities, or special courses aimed at preparing you for the language exam required for permanent residence permit and citizenship.
Prices vary according to the level, number of hours, teaching mode, and length of the course. Enrolling is usually easy, you just need to register online and transfer the payment. Some language schools might offer you a placement test to identify your level and help find a suitable course.
If you don’t like the sound of group lessons and want a more personal approach to language learning, a private tutor is for you.There are lots of websites where tutors offer their services. Some of the most popular include:
The price range of one lesson ranges between CZK 200 and 800. The more qualifications and experience the teacher has, the higher the price of their lessons. Lots of language schools also offer private lessons. However, the price of these lessons might be even higher, as you will also be paying the school.
Facebook can also be used to find tutors, and there are lots of groups with people advertising their services. However, use caution with tutors you find on Facebook, and always try to have a phone or video call in advance, to make sure that the service advertised is real and not a scam.
If you are up for a challenge and want to learn Czech on your own, well, good for you! Nowadays there are lots of excellent books and other free resources available for language learning.
Czech language books suitable for self-study include:
- Czech Step by Step (Česky krok za krokem):
A series of books for levels from A1 to B1, suitable for those with a longer-term interest in Czech. In addition to the textbook, there is also a workbook for practicing grammar. The series is available in four languages: English, German, Russian and Ukranian.
- Czech Express (Čeština expres):
A “Survival Czech” course consisting of four parts, designed for those who want to achieve A1/A2 level of Czech in a short period of time.
- Communicative Czech:
A set of textbooks with instructions in English aimed at bringing students to an advanced level of Czech. The book has an emphasis on developing strong communication skills and contains lots of speaking exercises.
Useful free-to-use mobile apps that can help you with language learning include:
Web Pages with video lessons:
Many more resources are listed on the website of the JMK integration center and the Study Czech language school.
The path of learning a new language is hard, but definitely worth it. As each person takes in information differently, it’s very important to find the method of learning that suits you best, so the process brings you not only knowledge but joy. We wish you all the best luck in conquering the Czech language, and we’ll see you in the next guide!
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