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Palacký University
07-28-2016, 08:01, Age: 6 y.

The Summer School of Slavonic Studies in Olomouc: Destination for All Who Want to Learn Czech

By: Velena Mazochová

Illustration photo: UP Žurnál archives

One hundred foreign students eager to learn Czech were welcomes on July 21 in the Summer School of Slavonic Studies (SSSS), organised by the UP Faculty of Arts for the thirtieth time. In the course of four weeks in Olomouc, both beginners and advanced students from 27 countries will learn Czech. In addition to language courses, lectures, and seminars, there is also a traditional colourful programme of accompanying activities.

Students attend five class hours a day, including conversations and targeted language training. They also have lectures on Czech language, literature, history, and culture conducted in Czech or English, or both. “The phonetic workshop on correct pronunciation is very popular, so this year its duration is extended to one month. Novelties in the programme are translation, conversation, and grammar workshops,” said SSSS Director Petr Pořízka. Participants are allowed to enrol in supplementary classes in Russian and Polish. More than twenty lecturers will take care of them.

This year’s programme brought students to Olomouc from European countries, Japan, China, South Korea, the United States, and Tunisia. The top three student home countries are Germany, Taiwan, and Spain. The oldest participant is a seventy-two-year-old American, the youngest one is a nineteen-year-old student from Azerbaijan. “The participants are often students of Czech or Slavonic Studies, interpreters, and people who study here or are going to. Some of them have jobs in the Czech Republic and need to know Czech for professional reasons, and others have ancestors from the country,” explained the SSSS secretary Lenka Horutová.

Students who pass their final tests will receive a certificate of the achieved language proficiency in the UP lifelong education programme – an equivalent of one academic semester of Czech language training. Those who do not pass or fail to complete the whole course will receive a certificate of SSSS attendance.

Petr Pořízka reports that in comparison with other summer schools at other Czech universities, students appreciate the quiet and pleasant environment of historical Olomouc, the individual approach by teachers, the helpfulness of the entire organisation team, as well as access to the university library. The inspirational atmosphere is further nurtured by the variety of accompanying activities. “Video showings of Czech films with English subtitles and information about their production, directors, and actors take place several times a week. Every year a week-long theatre workshop is organised, with the help of actors from the Moravian Theatre Olomouc; the week is concluded with a joint performance and a folklore night with hammer dulcimer music, preceded by a lesson on polka and other dances, and even folk songs,” added the director. The weekend programme offers field trips to the Moravian Karst, the area of Lake Mácha, climbing the Ještěd Mountain, and visiting the cities of Liberec and Luhačovice.

The thirtieth year of Summer School of Slavonic Studies takes place in Olomouc from July 22 to August 21 in the Palacký University Arts Centre. The ceremonial opening will be held on Sunday evening, on July 24 at 7 pm in the atrium.

More information can be found on the SSSS website.

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Last update: 19. 09. 2012, Vladimír Kubák