More Than Just an English Course: A Language Week at Masaryk University, Brno


Unterrichtssituation
Photo: Hana Poledníková, Masaryk University

Working in the media centre of a language centre (Mediothek) requires some understanding and knowledge of different languages, right? Since I work with many English native speakers, I actually use English quite frequently. But somehow over the years I became a little less fluent, and so I decided to participate in a refresher course organized by our EDUC-partner Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. The course was funded by the EU and in cooperation with the EDUC Alliance.

Despite the pandemic, MUNI (Masaryk University Brno) was able to organize a week of on-site classes for us, the staff of different partner universities across Europe. Once we arrived, we really started wondering why everyone always goes to Prague when visiting the Czech Republic. Brno is a gem, the second biggest city of the country, not even hidden and it is just fantastic. Its eclectic architecture, ranging from medieval to Art Nouveau, Bauhaus and Brutalist styles, merges elegantly to give the city its unique appearance. German, Jewish, Slavic and Roma heritage have left their traces everywhere in town. And who is actually responsible for the oh-so-vibrant atmosphere?  It’s the extremely high percentage of students–almost a quarter of the population; half native and half international students (around 80,000 in total)–contribute significantly to nightlife and the cultural scene.

After a very warm welcome, Libor Štěpánek (head of MUNI Language Centre) and his dedicated team of teachers and administrative staff introduced our group (from Italy, France, Hungary and Germany) to their institution and to an impressive schedule full of different lectures and cultural/social events for the upcoming week.
We got involved in a variety of specific classes, each with a different focus: Writing, Reading & Speaking Skills, Vocabulary Building, Creative Thinking and Communicative Dynamics and even Feedback and Self Reflection Skills. And after class, our wonderful hosts offered another activity, like a city walking tour, an architectural tour and a typical Czech dinner to give us the best overall experience.
To top everything off, we were invited to take a boat tour to Veveří castle, across the Brno reservoir just outside of town, enjoying a last day of perfect weather and perfect company at the end of the week.
Surely the expectations regarding the improvement of our language skills were met – but we also made new friends and had a great time in a truly spectacular place.

Special thanks to Martina Malášková, David Zelený, Anjuli Pandavar, Jan Pavlík, Martina Šindelařová-Skupeňová, Libor Štěpánek, Barbara Staffolani, and Hana Poledníková.

 

Contact: Sarah Blum

Published 29 Sept. 2021