Our Czech teachers

Jana

Teaching Czech language since: 2005

Education and Certificates: Czech Philology and Teaching at Secondary Schools, Baltic Studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno (completed with the M.A. title). Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking – intensive course for teachers. International House Certificate in teaching 1-2-1 (individual courses). Experiential Learning Methods – methodology course, Prázdninová škola Lipnice. Member of the Czech as A foreign Language Teachers’ Association.

Why are you teaching Czech for foreigners?

I like showing foreigners the beauties of the Czech language, which we can be really proud of. Thanks to teaching, I have learnt a lot about my native language.

What is your favourite activity in class?

I like working with texts, especially with short stories and tales. It may seem boring to some people but text activities can be very interactive and a student can really enjoy them!

If you could teach a foreigner one Czech word/phrase, which one would you choose and why?

“Děkuji” because this short word makes other people feel appreciated and respected.

What motivates you to do your best as a teacher?

The progress of the student. It is a great feeling when you have a new student who can’t say anything in Czech and after a few months he/she speaks only Czech with me. There are many myths about how difficult Czech is but I don’t agree with them. Of course, it depends which level you want to master butif your goal is just to communicate in Czech, with good motivation and good learning methods you can manage it quite quickly.

What do you like doing in your free time?

Being with my family :) I love Scandinavia and the best relaxation for me is to disappear for a week or two to a Finnish forest. I also like reading books, doing yoga practice, playing piano, swimming, riding a bike, driving a car and flying:)

What would you do if you weren’t a teacher?

I would be a teacher:). I must teach, at least a few hours per week.

What would you tell those who hesitate to choose Study Czech Language school?

Stop learning about the Czech language with others, learn the Czech language with us!

Staňka

Teaching Czech language since: 2002

Education and Certificates: Czech and English Philology and Teaching at Secondary Schools, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno (completed with the M.A. title). Teacher’s Training Methodology course modeled on CELTA. International House Certificate in teaching 1-2-1 (individual courses). International House Certificate in teaching Young Learners. International House Certificate for teaching Business courses.

Why are you teaching Czech for foreigners?

It’s wonderful to see foreigners interested in the Czech language and it’s great that they don’t insist on using their mother tongue or English here, but they make an effort to learn about the culture and the language of the country they are staying in.

What is your favourite activity in class?

Eliciting words and phrases students know. And stories about how they got to know the words (e.g. one of my beginner students came to the first lesson with knowledge of: mrož/walrus, liška/fox, šiška/pinecone etc.)

If you could teach a foreigner one Czech word/phrase, which one would you choose and why?

I was trying to come up with some fabulous word, but I’ll go for the obvious one: “pivo”. Not only because we are called the nation of “beer-drinkers”, but also because it’s practical for further learning. Meeting in pubs and starting a conversation is probably the best way to bring the language to life. (But students usually know this word by the time they get to the first lesson; they usually don’t have to be taught that.)

What motivates you to do your best as a teacher?

The enthusiasm of students.

What do you like doing in your free time?

Dancing, meeting friends, walking in the woods, ikebana flower arrangements.

What would you do if you weren’t a teacher?

A florist, a dancer or an actress.

What would you tell those who hesitate to choose Study Czech Language school?

Forget about boring lessons. We bring real life to class!

Jana

Teaching Czech language since: 2016

Education and Certificates: Czech language and literature + Baltic studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk university in Brno (completed with the B.A. title, studies for M.A. title in progress). One-year course in teaching Czech for foreigners, Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies, Charles University in Prague.

Why are you teaching Czech for foreigners?

I like languages and I perceive the foreign ones as a cipher, in which many interesting things hide. However, the most interesting ones will certainly not be revealed by the Google translator, so the only option is to figure them out by yourself, little by little. I really love uncovering these things and, in addition, helping other people with the cipher I know best is even better than discovering it by myself.

What is your favourite activity in class?

Probably conversation. School is a safe place where students don’t need to be shy to speak and they can practise their reactions to different situations, which they might encounter during their lives in Czechia. In school, no-one will interrupt them or switch to English, so students can easily practise for reality. Isn’t that exactly what we’d all need from time to time, even in our native language?

If you could teach a foreigner one Czech word/phrase, which one would you choose and why?

For the fans of unconventional social situations, I’d choose “Mé vznášedlo je plné úhořů”. (My hovercraft is full of eels.) For everyone else, probably “Dobrý den!” (Hello!) or “Promiňte!” (Excuse me.), because if you’re able to make polite contact in a foreign language, it shows your effort to adapt, which is the quality Czech people tend to be quite sensitive to. This simple gesture can therefore positively influence the reaction of the person you’d wish to speak to, even though your language abilities might not make it possible to continue the conversation in Czech (yet! :-) ).

What motivates you to do your best as a teacher?

The work seems meaningful, even if it is only because the students are mostly living here, so they can actually use what they’ve learnt in classes every day. The greatest thing is when a student starts to see the progress themselves and they’re starting to enjoy arranging things in the Czech language, because it suddenly “works”.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I translate, paint, travel, eat, jog, eat, study and learn how to drive a motorbike.

What would you do if you weren’t a teacher?

I’d probably engage more in machine translation or natural language processing, because I like to dismantle complicated systems into small parts that actually make sense.

What would you tell those who hesitate to choose Study Czech Language school?

I really appreciate the individual approach, which takes into account the fact that everyone learns differently. I also like all the nice and skilful teachers and the emphasis on the real usage of the language, so if you want to learn Czech you might actually use, certainly give our school a try :-)

Barbora

Teaching Czech language since: 2009

Education and Certificates: Czech Philology and Teaching at Secondary Schools, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno (completed with the M.A. title, Ph.D. studies continues). Member of the Czech as A foreign Language Teachers’ Association.

Why are you teaching Czech for foreigners?

I had always dreamed about teaching languages. Finally I chose language which I like and know best – mother tongue. In 2009 I stopped just dreaming of it and started to teach.

What is your favourite activity in class?

My favorite activity in the class is listening, but I do not mean listening to CDs or making up a dialog or a monolog, but to the stories of my students. Thanks to this I can notice their progress, I can meet their needs, find out what they like and then I have ideas for next lessons and for new vocabulary.

If you could teach a foreigner one Czech word/phrase, which one would you choose and why?

One of my students told me that the most useful words in Czech are “no” and “jo”, even the combination “no jo”. You can respond this to every question. I agree, but if I could choose only one, it would be a phrase Promiň, promiňte. In English excuse me, I am sorry.

What motivates you to do your best as a teacher?

There is not only one thing. It is a combination of interest, enthusiasm of students, their progress, atmosphere in the classroom. Meeting people from different countries around the world of different ages with different reasons for studying Czech, willing to speak or speaking Czech without help of any other language are the most important reasons why I teach. It makes me think there are no borders, you just have to want, you just have to find the will and then you can do anything. This motivates me not only in my job, but even in my personal life.

What do you like doing in your free time?

My free time consists of meeting friends, doing sports, participating in culture events in Brno and learning languages. But the best way to relax for me is to spend a couple of days in the mountains!

What would you do if you weren’t a teacher?

I would love to work as a tourist guide. In my point of view the job of a guide and a language teacher has a lot in common. In both fields you have something beautiful, such as historical places for travelling, some set phrases for teaching, and your job is to show it to the people who are motivated to listen. Such a great job, isn´t it?

What would you tell those who hesitate to choose Study Czech Language school?

With us you will definitely make the right decision, because we encourage our students to speak Czech, and they really do!

Martina

Teaching Czech language since: 2008

Education and Certificates: Teaching of Czech language and Art at Secondary Schools, Charles University, Prague (completed with the M.A. title).

Why are you teaching Czech for foreigners?

Thanks to teaching, I have met the most wonderful people in my life. I am happy that I can “guide” foreigners on their way when they decide to be in the Czech Republic. I like helping them to discover not just the language, but also the whole culture, our habits, and to help them be a part of this place.

What is your favourite activity in class?

I love feeling that I can give my students space where they can start to speak easily. I want them to feel that even if they speak with some mistakes, they can speak without fear and feel comfortable. For this reason, the activities I like the most are group activities and games where my students can talk to each other, see that other students understand them and that the language “works”. I also like practical classes where we go outside of the classroom and actually use the language in the real world.

If you could teach a foreigner one Czech word/phrase, which one would you choose and why?

Definitely “děkuji”, because this word will put a smile on every Czech person’s face, and after that, everything is easier. With higher levels, I focus on teaching conditional and negative because Czech people use it frequently just to be polite. When a foreigner says “Prosím vás, nemohl byste mi pomoct?”, I am sure that Czech people would give that foreigner any help they needed.

What motivates you to do your best as a teacher?

Seeing how my students can suddenly talk and manage everything they need in Czech is a great motivation for me. When you see their progress, when all your work starts to become visible, it feels like a little miracle.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I am an artist and a musician. I love all creative activities. I like playing the guitar, singing, writing songs in Czech, painting, drawing and writing books.

What would you do if you weren’t a teacher?

I have to say I am happy with the combination of being a teacher and artist. I cannot imagine living without one of these parts. I am not sure if I could just be a singer or just a teacher. One of the gifts I get sometimes is having my students at my concerts listening to my Czech lyrics. I feel happy when my world becomes complete.

What would you tell those who hesitate to choose Study Czech Language school?

If you really want to speak, come join us! :-)

Eva

Teaching Czech language since: 2010

Education and Certificates: Czech Philology, Baltic Studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno (completed with the M.A. title, Ph.D. studies continues). General methodology courses where special attention was paid to teaching of languages, Pedagogical Faculty, Masaryk University. Qualification courses for teachers of Lithuanian.

Why are you teaching Czech for foreigners?

I like the work with foreigners, because they are open-minded, talkative, friendly and enthusiastic learners and I am satisfied when I am making progress with them. I like my country and my language very much and I am happy when I can show others all of its beauties.

What is your favourite activity in class?

I like talking (and not only in my work:)). I like working with short interesting texts and talking about them and about students’ opinions and experiences after reading.

If you could teach a foreigner one Czech word/phrase, which one would you choose and why?

I think that everything starts with a smile and that is similar in every language:)

What motivates you to do your best as a teacher?

The satisfaction of students that they can speak with Czechs:)

What do you like doing in your free time?

I like dancing, Pilates, going to the theatre, talking with my friends and family, travelling (especially to my beloved Lithuania).

What would you do if you weren’t a teacher?

I have three favourite jobs – teaching, interpreting and translating. I can’t imagine my life without them. But, it would be nice to have my own café as well and every day drink a tasty coffee and talk with friends:)

What would you tell those who hesitate to choose Study Czech Language school?

Good choice. You will speak Czech very soon!:)