Do Czechs speak English?

Can you make yourself understood in English in the Czech Republic or is it necessary to begin cramming Czech before your trip to Prague? How does the language education in Czech Republic look like?

In Czech schools, the first foreign language is compulsory when you are 8 that means in the 3rd class of elementary school. However, the kids often begin with a foreign language games already in the kindergarten that means at the age of about 4 years. Unlike some countries of the EU the language is not established, but mostly English is offered.

In the lower secondary education at least one foreign language is mandatory, as well as in other European countries. At upper secondary level with general orientation two foreign languages are obligatory in contrast to upper secondary level with vocational orientation: Two thirds of pupils learn just one foreign language and just one third two foreign languages.

Generally it can be claimed that more and more pupils learn foreign languages. This foreign language is mostly English – at elementary schools 87 % pupils learn English, at grammar schools 100 % and at the high schools with vocational orientation 74 %. The second language is usually German, but in the last years Spanish and French have been very trendy.

So, according to numbers it looks like everybody in Czech Republic can speak English. However, there is definitely some room for improvement – the level of language education in particular schools differs. For this reason it is good that there are organizations supporting a good language education. One of them is the Prague Post Endowment Fund (PPEF). The aim of PPEF is to improve the level of English-language education in the Czech Republic. What are its main areas of interest?

The Prague Post Endowment Fund organizes trainings and seminars for teachers. These workshops received accreditation from the Czech Ministry of Education in 2011. In 2007 the Prague Post Endowment Fund in cooperation with U.S. Embassy launched the first year of the Best Teacher of English Award to appreciate English teachers in the Czech Republic who by the use of progressive teaching methods motivate students to acquire and actively use the language in globalized world. Teachers can be nominated by their students, school deans, their colleagues and students’ parents. There are also very useful links for pupils, students and teachers on their page. And last but not least have a look at the Czech Republic’s English-language weekly newspaper The Prague Post which is related to PPEF.

How did you learn English? Would you nominate your teacher for the Best Teacher of English Award? Do you read English newspapers? Share your experiences in the comments!

22. 03. 2012 Source: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-SF-10-049/EN/KS-SF-10-049-EN.PDF

[Čeština]

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