Countdown to Speaking Autonomy - 1 Year

On average, my teaching experience shows that any foreigner can reach a sufficient level of Czech within a year, give or take, in order to be able to speak and get by autonomously.

Being a polyglot of sort (English, Spanish, German, Russian, French, Hungarian, Arabic - in the descending order of language command), I also happen to have a fair amount of experiences and insights as a learner of foreign languages myself.

Since I also enjoy exploring many things, and for that very reason I might appear to some as some kind of an odd jackie of all trades, I continuously run up against time. And let me tell you something, a lack of time is the greatest teacher of all when it comes to efficiency, at least in my view.

In short, I would like to share some of my knowledge with you.

The following sections of my "open textbook" or website are free:

  • monolingual dictionary (some 9,000 words)

  • phrasebook (audio,English translation)

  • exercises

  • reading and listening

  • tips on how to learn

  • recommended resources

  • I will be happy if you share your learning experiences with me.

    Have a nice year!

    Start with what matters to you

    Teachers and educational theorists could argue ad nauseam what communication essentials really are and what exactly is a good balance of practicing all language skills. CLO takes a rather different approach in believing that the learner is to pick the actual phrases himself or herself – thus controlling the content and study volume - within the 5 strategic areas of interpersonal communication:

    • Introducing oneself
    • Inquiring about another person
    • Asking for directions
    • Asking questions
    • All question words alone (why, how, when…) are short and succinct questions in their own right, of course in the flow of a conversation.

    • Vocab of your expertise (profession) or interests
    • The sooner you start reading, the better. Start with a sentence, move to a paragraph, enjoy a full page, entire article, and finally a whole book.

    The fact of the matter remains that it´s highly individual how often a particular learner must hear one particular word in order to remember, and recognize it, let alone use it actively. Another highly individual aspect is the learner´s situated knowledge (his or her particular expertise, interests). This is why rigid exercises and strictly defined uniform levels (both in terms of grammar and vocabulary) set all throughout a textbook, course or software application don´t make much cognitive sense. CLO lets you build your own learning rhythm while always having a lot more in store for you – to tease, stretch and increase your appetite to learn more than you would have originally imagined.

    CLO believes there are six skills and/or competencies, in fact - listening, reading, writing, speaking, grammar, AND comprehension gap endurance – stretchable tolerance of situations where, although one does not understand every single word or sentence, she or he does get the gist of a conversation or text. This kind of tolerance is key for full immersion and very instrumental in speeding up your learning.

    The biggest drawback of a majority of methodologies is that it provides a learner with the barren opportunity of learning in what I call a bilateral mode, i.e. you learn one word at a time. CLO promotes learning in a multilateral mode or learning in clusters, more words at once. This saves time and hugely aids your memory.

    For all of these above reasons it is important that you let CLO know why you are studying Czech, how/where you would like to make use of it or what you are hoping to improve.

    Note: the rest of this website is in Czech only, with occasional pop-up translations in English (see main menu icons).