The first fully-operational online Slovak language course is now up and running. After more than a year’s work the portal Slovake.eu has been launched and is available to anyone interested in learning the Slovak language, in finding out about Slovakia, its culture and history.
Although work on the site is still continuing, the site right from the outset has enjoyed high traffic volumes with more than 12 000 visitors monthly and already more than 1200 users registered from 70 countries. The site now offers engaging and wide-ranging texts about Slovakia, its history and culture, and about the Slovak language. Visitors can browse the library, where they will find samples of works from various genres. Registered users can also search for friends using the site and send them messages, as well write in the forums. Visitors to the site interested in learning Slovak can use the first introductory Slovak language course, accompanying dictionary, explanatory grammar guide, and practice their vocabulary by means of fun games. For those more serious about Slovak, there is a long-term course at A1 level (beginner) as well as a second comprehensive course at A2 level (elementary) rated according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The website is free to use and offers now seven language versions with the open option of adding other languages later.
This free online Slovak language course caters primarily to foreigners living in Slovakia, foreign Slovaks, tourists, residents of areas bordering Slovakia or students interested in learning Slovak. The course is likewise intended also for Slovaks living abroad, enabling them to maintain contact with their mother tongue, with Slovakia and its culture. The web-based course gives them the opportunity to learn Slovak from the comfort of their home, in their free time and in an entertaining way.
The coordinator of the Slovak Online project is the civic organization Education@Internet (www.ikso.net) from Slovakia, which has a wealth of experience with web-based language teaching. Since 2002 it has managed the world’s largest internet portal for teaching Esperanto www.lernu.net, which has more than a hundred thousand registered users, is translated into 30 foreign languages and has 150 internal and external staff.
Partner institutions for the project are the Stur Institute of Linguistics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Studio Gaus, Germany, University of Vilnius, Lithuania, the Academy of Computer Science, Management & Administration in Warsaw, Poland and the Slovak Centre in London, United Kingdom. The project was supported by the European Commission in the framework of the KA2 – Languages – Lifelong Learning Programme.
The course is available at www.slovake.eu.