Prague school takes friendly approach to building confidence in Czech language skills

VĚDA offers an inclusive Czech school education with a gentle approach toward teaching non-native students.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco Published on 23.11.2021 17:00 (updated on 24.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

The high cost of international schooling means that many expat parents are forced to look into local educational options for their children. And while sending foreign-born children to Czech schools may help them integrate better, the state system can overwhelm both students and parents with its language and cultural differences.

The VĚDA school in Prague is focused on helping bridge that gap through an exclusive above-standard individual approach that celebrates all languages. By nurturing both native and foreign language skills, VĚDA is helping children become global citizens in an environment of local integration that doesn’t ignore or deny the child’s heritage.

For decades, researchers have emphasized the many benefits of bilingual education, including improved problem solving, creative thinking and working memory. But for children jumping into a school where Czech is the language of instruction, this requires a proper support plan for language learning so they can thrive along the way.

To achieve this, VĚDA’s team includes bilingual assistants who help with bilingual teaching, a school psychologist, and an ICT methodist. Their motto, first and foremost, is “We help you to cope smoothly not only with online education.”

“We work hard on creating a good atmosphere and psychological support with the help of the school’s multilingual psychologist,” explains the school’s founder Elena Pinskaya, PhD, adding that their pedagogical and administrative staff is not only helpful but also very empathetic, always taking into consideration learning, emotional and language differences.

For families planning on a long-term stay in the Czech Republic, receiving an integrative education in Czech will also improve the child’s social and economic opportunities. For example, it can give the child more options when it comes time to choose where to continue their education.

The key, Dr. Pinskaya says, is to always show respect for a child’s mother language while encouraging students to learn more languages so they can thrive in different countries. 

Plus, there's the added benefit that higher and university education is free in the Czech Republic for students who are able to study completely in Czech. "We are proud to offer quality preparation for entering high school after year 9," says Dr. Pinskaya, who adds that VĚDA is “not a drill school but a school of understanding and that’s why our graduates are successful at prestigious secondary schools entrance exams.”  .

“Unlike an all-Czech school, VĚDA offers more Czech language lessons, including Czech for foreigners,” she explains. “We also use every subject as a language lesson, helping children achieve a real understanding of what they’re learning – in a state school, there is no space for this.”

Adults can also benefit from this approach, as VĚDA is an accredited language school that offers Czech language courses for parents as well as preparation for the state language exam for permanent residence and citizenship.

For Dr. Pinskaya, VĚDA School’s approach has always been about the human component, which is why the school enrolls students throughout the whole year. "The school then provides those who join classes later on with the individual assistance needed for them to catch up at no extra cost," Dr. Pinskaya says. For children who are not native speakers of Czech, this can mean the difference between a frustrated learner and students on the path to success.

“When something goes wrong, we look for a way and a solution,” she says, adding that the door to their office is always open – for both students and parents. The school is there to act as a partner for students so they can develop their abilities, self-confidence, and skills.

“We welcome all questions, suggestions, and ideas from parents and students,” Dr. Pinskaya says. “Plus we’re always ready to offer different tips to parents and children to help them master the Czech language: watch cartoons, participate in our translators’ competition, join the school drama club that performs several times per year.”

In the end, helping your child adjust to school abroad needs to be a combined effort. A healthy family environment is part of the foundation to help them process the change, but so is a school that respects their differences and sees them as strengths that need to be celebrated.

This article was written in association with VĚDA základní a jazyková škola s právem státní jazykové zkoušky s.r.o. To read more about our partner content policies see here.

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