You learn Czech and want to know the Czech language good and quickly. But sometimes your motivation falls down. The study seems to be difficult, you are tired, frustrated because your progress goes slowly, you can´t remember anything… You need a restart and here is a little help for you.
1. Choose something you like and do it in Czech
What do you like? Sports? My student Aziz started speaking Czech with his trainer in the gym. Gwen likes running and she learnt Czech words for things she needed for running first. Then she started to join races in CR and she wanted to understand instructions she could hear there…
Do you like cooking? Start to write your shopping lists in Czech. Decorate your kitchen with colourful post-it papers with Czech words for everything you use and have in your cupboard and fridge. Translate your favourite recipe into Czech. Name the activities you do during cooking.
Are you having a baby? (Current situation of my two students 😊) In Czech write down a list of things you are going to buy. Look up how we call different kinds of toys. You can also try to find out information concerning child allowance.
We all know what we like. Start to do it in Czech. You will like it, believe me!
2. Find one extra way of learning
Do you like listening to music? Search for Czech singers and groups on YouTube. Choose such a style you like (rock, hip hop, pop, jazz…) and listen to Czech music. Find the lyrics of your favourite song and learn it. And then the next one. And next …
Do you like watching films? Try serials in Czech. It won´t be a problem – the Czechs love voice acting. Choose the one you know in your language. What about Friends? Student Ruslan says he learnt to understand Czech with The Simpsons while he was running in the gym. You can use the Czech subtitles as well.
Do you like reading? Ask your teacher to help you to choose an appropriate book. Or search here. Student Milen is reading Pražské legendy, Gwen has bought Alenka v říši divů…
3. Reward yourself!
Be proud of every little Czech activity you have finished. And then give a „gift“ to yourself: a cup of good coffee, a piece of chocolate, play (and sing) your favourite song, go for a walk, bake a cake, cook your favourite dish … and smile! It was a very good job!
4. Boast your progress. Let others praise you!
Tell somebody about the way you have been learning and your success. Tell your partner at home, your friend while drinking beer, your colleague at work, your neighbour in a lift, your teacher… He/she will respond positively, for sure. And this is what you need to hear! You deserve it!
My student Madhu is very popular in India these days. We shot a short video about her success in speaking Czech at the Ministry of the Interior. She sent the video to her Mum. Mum liked it and sent it to her large family. And the family members sent it to others… Nobody understands what Madhu says but they are very proud of her! And she surprised her son, too…
Sometimes my students and I go to the „field“ and practise what we have already learnt. Or we phone somewhere. Strong NO is usually their first reaction to my suggestion to do this! But they let me convince them. We prepare everything and then:
- we go to the railway station and students ask when a train to Kolín leaves, from which platform and how much is the ticket
- in a shop they ask for their size of shoes, try them and give back to the shop assistant
- they call to the cinema and ask when the film XY is on the programme, if it has English subtitles and how much is the ticket
- in the street, they ask somebody how to get to…
When such a lesson finishes, each of them is happy. They were successful! They said what they needed and understood well. Perfect job!
Try it, too! By yourself or ask your teacher to help you to prepare a situation like this. It will be like doing an adrenalin sport but it´s really worth doing.
You can find a few unconventional exercises in an e-book Czech for rainy days, too.
Lately, one student sent me a beautiful greeting card and wrote: Learning is a treasure. What motivation! Czech is a nice language. It is not your enemy. It looks forward to working for you. I wish you enjoy learning.
6th March 2018