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28 February 2023

The Association of Teachers of Czech as a Foreign Language celebrated its 20th anniversary

The celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Association of Teachers of Czech as a Foreign Language Association of Teachers of Czech as a Foreign Language, which is a professional interest organization of teachers at all levels and types of schools and educational institutions, started with a festive conference held on 18 February at the Impact Hub in Smíchov. The symposium was also the 80th meeting of the Association. 

Marie Poláčková, chairwoman of the Association board, welcomed the participants and reminded them that the Association was founded at the initiative of the Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University in 2003. "Since its beginning, the Association has been providing methodological and professional support to teachers of Czech as a foreign language, and at the same time it has been a place of friendly meetings," she said.

The next speaker was Dana Hůlková Nývltová, director of the Institute of Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University, who said she was pleased that the association was open to all teachers and professionals in the field of Czech as a foreign language. "I am proud to have been there as a founding member when the Association of Teachers of Czech as a Foreign Language was founded, and I am very pleased to be here when it is celebrating its 20th anniversary at its 80th meeting. I recall that at the first meeting someone suggested that only employees of ILPS CU could be members of the Association. I am glad that this is not the case and that the Association represents great diversity and cooperation, which we as an institution are very happy to support," said the director of the Institute.

While the morning programme featured two panel discussions, the afternoon session included five specialised workshops. The Perspectives of Czech Language Teaching panel was led by Petra Jirásková, head of the Methodological and Professional Centre of ILPS CU, who focused on the current as well as the anticipated changes resulting from the expansion of online teaching, the enormous number of foreigners in the Czech Republic due to the Ukrainian crisis, and the question of the future of methods of teaching Czech and foreign languages as such. The following panel - Specifics of Czech Language Exams for Foreigners - was led by Pavel Pečený, vice chairman of the Association. 

During the conference, participants could purchase teaching materials at the stands or view presentations by the Institute of Phonetics and the Institute of Czech Studies at the Faculty of Arts Charles University, the NGO META, which supports foreigners in equal access to education, and Moje česká škola (My Czech School) association, which runs a portal for parents and teachers of Czech expatriate children.   

The Association of Teachers of Czech as a Foreign Language

was founded in 2003 and currently has more than 300 active members. For the first few years, the Association was based in the Hloubětín centre, but currently it is using premises at Krystal provided by ILPS. Our experts were/are traditionally members of the Association board. The Association supports an active and regular exchange of experience in teaching practice, facilitates the methodological development and further education of teachers of Czech as a foreign language and enables them to meet and share the joys and challenges of their work.

Foto: René Volfík, AUČCJ

Text: Petra Köppl

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