Imagine you are learning a completely new language (Hm, let’s say… Czech). What are some of the first words and phrases you would like to know? Hello. – Dobrý den. Goodbye. – Na shledanou. Thank you. – Děkuju. My name is… – Jmenuju se… I am American/German/Indian… Well, that also depends on why you are learning the language and in which environment you are going to use it.
I teach Czech as a second language and I especially enjoy teaching beginners. Unless the beginner student has a different wish, I start by teaching the conversational phrases. Then I introduce the verb to be – often starting with the question Co je to? – What is it? And because everybody likes food, I present ten words related to the food. First words should be those important to the learner, often the tangible ones. Just like when a toddler learns its first words and feels the need to ask for food to those that surround him or her.
I am a Czech teacher but I also create online material – videos and worksheets. I uploaded my first public educational video to Youtube on August 30th 2019. It was called Food vocabulary in Czech. This was long before I had the idea to create more content of that sort.
That particular video was originally made for my student Sophie, who was then a complete beginner in Czech. I wanted her to learn ten words related to food. I simply recorded a short session of me showing the vocabulary cards so that she could study it as homework. I would have done it differently now but I am keeping that original video to remind myself of my journey.
I have kept the video public for „what if someone finds it useful too“. Sure enough, on another occassion I remember my student Ahmed saying: „I was looking for an online teacher and this video helped me decide who to contact.“
I would like to thank all my students, whose questions and struggles during learning Czech inspire me to make more video content. In the past, that also helped me stand alone in front of the camera without feeling awkward.
The question „Who am I making this video for?“ was the major obstacle for me at the beginning so I would always imagine them, my students, watching, which made the whole process seem more natural to me. Seeing that my audience on Youtube has grown since then is my greatest award.
Take a trip to the past and learn Czech food vocabulary. Let me know if you have mastered those words.
Here is the list:
citron – lemon
jahoda – strawberry
jablko – apple
ananas – pine apple
okurka – cucumber
rajče – tomato
cibule – onion
mrkev – carrot
sýr – cheese
chleba – bread