Dear parents, our foreign friends,
this school year 2022/2023 is a big challenge for us. We are facing lots of difficulties and tasks which are ahead of us. However, we believe that altogether we will succeed and manage them in favour of your children, our students.
In our endeavour, we must carefully follow the methodical directives stated by the Ministry of Education concerning the process of teaching Czech to foreign students, valid since September 2021.
A large percentage of our students is originally non-Czech speaking (ie. foreigners), and our school makes all its efforts to be open and helpful to these children. We already have a long-term experience with integrating them into ordinary classes, among our Czech students. Thanks to this experience we were able to manage the challenging situation with new students coming from Ukraine in the spring this year.
For many years, we were organizing the process of teaching Czech to foreigners based on our own experience and our common sense. Thus, we were often teaching not only foreigners but also children whose parents were foreigners but who themselves were born in our country, and had the Czech citizenship.
The recent methodical directive has much more precisely stated the conditions of teaching Czech to foreigners. The directive defines the right of foreigners for free Czech lessons, but it also emphasizes the fact that the great portion of success in this language learning process is a responsibility of the parents who have decided to stay and live in our country with their children.
For students within a category of “foreigners” there are following rules based on the Methodical Directive of the Ministry of Education issued on Sep 1, 2021, and its novelization for the school year 2022/2023. For details of the Directive please see a document MSMT-21851/2021-1 on the website of the Ministry of Education.
The key points of the Directive are as follows:
- The right for free Czech lessons for foreigners is primarily granted to the new foreign students attending our school for a period of max.12 months (the period is extended to 24 months for those attending our school since the school year 2021/2022).
- The foreign students defined above are entitled to these Czech lessons. However, they are not obliged to attend them. Their parents must request these lessons for their children in a writing form.
- The registration form for these lessons can be picked up from the class teacher.
- The maximum capacity of each lesson is 15 foreign students in one group.
- The length of the course is 100 hours at minimum, in specific cases it can be extended up to 200 hours within a period of 10 months. The course can be fulfilled in two school years.
- Students with Czech citizenship are not entitled to these language lessons, except for children who stayed abroad for a longer period, and who are experiencing integration problems. These are supported by our school as well, and we treat them in the same way as foreigners.
- The lessons must be taught by a qualified teacher, ie. a lower-grade teacher, or a higher-grade teacher qualified in language teaching.
We understand that it is a tough task to learn Czech in such a short period of time, even for gifted students. It should be the highest concern of each family to support their children in their language learning process. It must be the parents themselves who take the responsibility for the results of their children and actively cooperate in the process. Many parents are already aware of it and seek help in additional private or public language courses.
Our school promises to make its maximum effort to support these children and understand all difficulties they might face in this language learning process. All teachers are ready to help and do their best for their success. Learning Czech is a crucial point for these children if they are to succeed in a Czech educational system. They should not perceive the lessons as an additional burden but as a big help for them.
We hope that the common effort of the school and the parents will help all our students to succeed.
PhDr. Jana Miedzgová, CSc.
Foreign Language Students Coordinator