The Language Centre offers high school students special English courses

Photo: CJV archives
Wednesday 22 June 2022, 8:00 – Text: Milada Křížková Hronová

High school students from different European countries can attend, for free, a special course of English. The course is in preparation by the Language Centre (CJV) at the Palacký University Faculty of Arts, in co-operation with the Irish Active Centre of English Training (ACET). Thanks to the co-operation of both schools, a ‘Small-scale Partnership’, CJV is now aiming at teaching high school students for the first time.

After repeated transfers to online teaching during the coronavirus pandemic, CJV and particularly its subsidiary, the UPLift Language School, started to field requests from parents of high school students to teach their children English. For CJV this was a signal that not all high schools were managing online foreign language teaching effectively.

“The high school students’ frustration was palpable. Many of the foreign language lessons, especially at the start of the online regime, were substituted by a large amount of grammar exercises and self-study, at the cost of conversation practice. Another problem is that not all of those interested in extra tutorial sessions, whether individual or group, can afford them,” said Zuzana Bazgerová, director UPLift.

According to CJV director Oldřich Břenek, on one hand this was not good news, but on the other hand, the information led to the idea to launch a project within the framework of Erasmus+.

“Erasmus+ Small-scale Partnerships are a new and unique possibility for entities to co-operate with a single European partner. In addition, they are not required to fulfil criteria relating to tertiary education, but can operate in the realm of youth education as well. Our decision was clear-cut. We immediately chose ACET from the Irish city of Cork,” said Břenek. He himself is one of the many very satisfied graduates of that school’s intensive courses, and therefore has first-hand knowledge of the capabilities, methods and materials used by the ACET team.

“ACET and CJV jointly submitted a project application and, since November 2021, have been working on deepening co-operation, and sharing experience, both online and in in-person. We are especially concentrating on the associated results of this project, which are, in effect, a fortnight-long intensive English course aimed at high school students from various European countries. The course will be fee-free and will be online, and our aim is to demonstrate that this can effectively improve conversational competence within a relatively short time period. Another result of this course will be a manual on effective English teaching. We believe that we will be organising more of these courses in the future,” said the CJV director.

The course will start on 22 August 2022 and candidates can apply from the end of July. “We will publish details regarding attendance soon, and upload them to our usual social media sites and those of our partner schools,” added Břenek.

The managing director of ACET, Joelle Coade, expressed great satisfaction during their co-operation with CJV at Palacký University. “We were impressed by the excellence and methods of teaching of the English teachers at the Palacký University Language Centre and at UPLift . We regard them as equal partners of our carefully-selected teachers at ACET. It’s not easy to be one of the best language schools in Ireland.”

An inherent part of the project co-operation will be online meetings, during which education topics will be discussed, while the two partner schools will design the outline of the teaching themselves. An additional benefit of the project was that CJV tutors were able to visit Ireland for a week, where they observed English lessons and got acquainted with the language-learning environment, Cork, and with international groups as well.


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