Would you like to keep your brain fit, find a new hobby and meet new people while increasing your value on the job market? Learning a new foreign language can be a great way to achieve it all!
I am a big fan of learning languages myself. I speak 6 languages and I am currently learning the 7th one. I’ve tried different approaches, university classes, various language courses, private lessons and unofficial language exchanges. All of them have pluses and minuses, of course. The key is to find the method which would fit your personality and goals.
Use the advantage of such a multinational city as Bratislava for learning and practicing a foreign language. Here are the options which you might consider:
Official cultural centers such as British Council or French Institute are often providing the possibility to learn the language. These courses are quite pricy but usually high quality and held by professional teachers and native speakers. These institutions are also giving you the possibility to pass international language exams such as IELTS for English or DELF for French. For more information, you can visit the following pages:
- For English: British Council
- For French: French Institute
- For German: Goethe Institute
- For Russian: Russian Cultural Center
- For Spanish: Cervantes Institute
State Language School
I can personally recommend the State Language School – I was studying German there for 2 years (A1-B1) and I was very satisfied. The teachers were Slovak, but professional and with a lot of experience.
The prices are very affordable, e.g. 103 euros per semester for 4 academic hours weekly. You will enjoy it if you like a classical approach of teaching languages. The class is about 10-15 people, they provide a text-book and various video, audio materials during lectures. They offer a wide variety of languages, including Slovak for foreigners.
If interested, you can also pass a language state exam after completing your studies as well as international language exams. And another plus is that this school is easily accessible, they have 2 locations in a broader city center, one in Vazovova and one in Palisady.
Private Language Schools
You can find plenty of private schools which offer various languages and use different methods. I tried several of them, also for German language but wasn’t as happy as with State Language School.
In my case the ratio price/quality was not good. You never know what kind of teacher will you get, it might be a native speaker but without any teaching experience or student.
On the other hand, you may find a course where they are using new interactive methods which would work perfectly for you. So, you just need to try your luck or follow a recommendation of someone who attended a school.
This option is the best to address your individual needs. It also allows more flexibility with time and program. You don’t even need to leave your home, you can have a lesson via Skype. Basically, you are the one to decide what would you like to learn and how to approach a learning process. A good teacher will adopt to your preferences. If you know where are your weak points and want to improve soon, opt for private lessons.
Usually they are not cheap, especially with a good and experienced teacher, however you may try to find a language student who would be willing to teach you for a lower price.
This is a great and fun way of practicing a language. These exchanges are regularly organized in Bratislava, usually in some bars or coffee shops. Native speakers are present as well as those who learn the languages. It’s free and you can enjoy a nice informal chat in foreign language. Once you already have a certain level of language, don’t hesitate to use it! This will make you progress much faster. And as a bonus you will become a member of a nice international community.
You can check a Facebook page, where people are posting events for language exchanges in different languages. Or you can also join a Language exchange group for a certain language.