Slovak language for children of foreigners

methodological manuals, guidelines and aids for the use of didactic materials in the inclusion of children in the educational process in the Slovak Republic
Dear teachers and the general professional community,
Let us inform you about the results of our project, which we are implementing with the support of the Erasmus+ programme and which is a continuation of our previous project. In the framework of the previous project, we created a set of textbooks, workbooks and supplementary teaching material for teachers teaching Slovak as a second (foreign) language, but especially for children and their parents, which has been available for almost a year now and is part of the work in Slovak classes (Aha, slovenčina!, Svet okolo nás po slovensky, Slovak Language and Literature at School, Translation Dictionary, Manual for the Educational Public). More about the textbooks can be found here.
Today we would like to introduce our follow-up project - Slovak for children of foreigners - methodological manuals, guidelines and aids for the use of didactic materials in the inclusion of children in the educational process in the Slovak Republic. The partners in the project are the National Institute of Education and Youth NIVAM and educational centres of Slovaks abroad - eMeLeS in Ireland, Czech & Slovak Club Birmingham in the United Kingdom and Petit Slavik in France. We still have a lot of intensive work ahead of us, but we would like to inform the general educational and non-educational public about the results of the project.

We assume that you are already familiar with our textbooks Aha, Slovak!, The World Around Us in Slovak and Slovak Language and Literature at School and that they help you when teaching Slovak as a second or foreign language in elementary and extension courses organized by elementary schools or in courses in language schools.

However, also during various webinars and educational activities where we presented the set of textbooks, we became convinced that it is necessary to expand the project so that teachers not only receive high quality textbooks, which are the only Slovak textbooks for children of foreigners so far, but also to provide them with instructions on how to work with the textbooks.

So what new are we preparing for you?

First of all, it is the Methodological Guide to the textbook Aha, Slovak! In a few months it will be available on our website www.slokia.sk in online version. In the manual you will find the key to each exercise in the textbook and if you had any doubts about how to use the exercise in class, you will find the right instructions with our methodological manual. You can find a short sample from the upcoming Methods Manual here.
The methodological manual also includes a chapter devoted to orthoepy and orthography. Since the textbook is used by teachers in Slovakia and abroad to teach the language to groups of children with different starting or contact languages, one can expect very diverse interference phenomena and transfer from the native language in the pronunciation of Slovak syllables and in their writing. Therefore, this chapter includes audio recordings that can also be used to train the correlation of the phonetic and graphic systems of Slovak. Part of the recordings is also devoted to the grammatical system of Slovak. The creation of exercises for the acquisition and automation of individual morphological phenomena is based on the use of microdialogues containing individual morphological phenomena, so that in the context of communicative learning, the starting point of the exercise is not the drill of grammar, but the transmission of certain information in a schematised form. We consider this to be a great plus and an enrichment of the concept of the textbook, the workbooks and the methodological guide Aha, slovenčina!
Teachers in kindergartens, who have children in their classes who are just getting acquainted with Slovak and their mother tongue is different, will receive the Methodological Guide to the workbook The World Around Us in Slovak.

Each teacher defines the objectives of his/her course, based on the duration of the course lessons, defining the target group of pupils, taking into account the diversity of the group and not only the language apd. When a teacher chooses the Aha, Slovak! textbook as the supporting learning material, he/she may have uncertainties in determining the right pace, how long the learning material provided by the textbook will last, what competences the pupils are expected to achieve after completing the course and reviewing the learning material provided by the textbook. These are legitimate questions. The answers to them can be found in the next output of the project, which is the Methodological Recommendations, lesson plans and curricula directly adapted to intensive or semi-intensive courses organised by language schools, to basic and extension courses organised by primary schools in Slovakia, or to Slovak language courses organised by educational centres that are dedicated to teaching Slovak abroad.

These Methodological Recommendations, as well as the Methodological Manuals, will also be available on our website after the end of the course.

Another very interesting output of the project that we want to present is the supplementary teaching material, which is also compatible with the textbook Aha, Slovak! and the workbook The World Around Us in Slovak. The material is Picture Communication Cards. Our partners in the NIVAM project are working on this output. The picture cards are an essential part of the work in the language course. They are suitable for group and individual work. They cover the child's basic vocabulary, covering nouns from different subject headings, adjectives, verbs, prepositions, numerals and mathematical symbols. Working with them and the wide possibilities of their use are described in the Methodological Guide to the set of picture cards. The cards will be available both online and in printed form.
The last output of the project is the completion of the Translation Dictionary of Basic Terms for Primary Schools with 4 more language versions. In addition to the Ukrainian, English, Hungarian, Serbian, Vietnamese and Russian versions of the dictionary, French, Spanish, German and Korean versions will be added.

Ing. Iveta Tunegová

iCan Project Coordinator