Open Czech Curriculum

The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and the Center for European Studies (CES) at The University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) are currently developing online instructional materials to accompany beginner Czech language courses. The content author Dr. Christian Hilchey (Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin) has taught numerous 1st-year Czech courses and specializes in Czech language pedagogy. The goal of the project is to create open-access digital materials capable of replacing traditional language textbooks, and in the process develop a more contemporary, interactive, and personalized curriculum to better suit the needs of twenty-first century Czech language students.

The Reality Czech team will leverage the Canvas LMS and develop an independent textbook website. All materials will be made available online under a Creative Commons license to any university or individuals who wish to use them. The following materials are currently being created:

  • Classroom communicative rehearsal activity book available online or as print-on-demand
  • Grammar explanations with supplementary videos
  • Interactive grammar exercises with instant feedback
  • Vocabulary presentation, rehearsal, and index
  • Audio recordings and listening tasks
  • Video interviews with native speakers and students of Czech
  • Czech cultural videos
  • Web-Czech activities designed to teach language and culture through the use of Czech websites

This project began in the Fall of 2014 and completion is planned for Spring 2018. The goal is to create ten units that could correspond to an academic year, or be modified for the needs of individual programs. Fall of 2014 was devoted to investigating available materials and existing Czech textbooks and developing a scope and sequence for the project. Unit 1 is complete and is being piloted in the First-year Czech course at UT Austin. Based on student feedback, modifications will be made to course structure and content during the development of subsequent units. Additionally, extensive video materials were collected during a trip to the Czech Republic in Summer 2015, for incorporation into a variety of exercises and activities designed to increase exposure to authentic native speech and encourage students’ active use of the language.

The contents of this website were developed under grant #P229A140005 from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education.