What is the best way to learn the Croatian language? Are online lessons more effective than lessons in person? How to teach Croatian to your child?
We were curious to get some answers to these questions, so we spoke to prof. Mihaela Naletilić, Croatian language teacher and owner of CRO to go – a Croatian language centre specialized in learning Croatian online. CRO to go is located in Zagreb, but using their online teaching method, they are successfully working with students all over the world.
We asked prof. Naletilić is the Croatian language really that difficult to learn and what are the advantages of learning Croatian online.
Yes, Croatian is a language that takes a lot of effort to learn. So far I haven’t met a student who is not struggling in the process of learning Croatian, but the goal – is definitely worth the struggle! – says, prof. Naletilić.
In the 15 years that I have been teaching people how to speak Croatian, I have met all kinds of learners – quick learners, slow learners, people who get along well with grammar, but have troubles talking in everyday life and students who roll their eyes on even mentioning cases and other grammar categories, but have absolutely no problem trying to order coffee in Croatian after just a few lessons! The trick is to find the best learning style for each student. There are a lot of ways to learn something. And in CRO to go, I believe we are excellent in adjusting lessons to each student and their learning style.
What are the advantages of learning Croatian online?
I always say that I am an old-fashion teacher who needs a board and a classroom to teach, but times have definitely changed and I myself realised the huge advantage of online learning. The biggest advantage is that your teacher is with you at the place you are, in a time that suits you.
A lot of our students around the World live in areas where they have trouble finding Croatian lessons in person. Other people simply don’t have time to go to school and it is more convenient for them just to the lessons from the comfort of their office or home. CRO to go online lessons are simple to take, interesting, and very effective. Of course, in the end, it all comes down to the teacher, not the computer and technology. And our teachers – are excellent.
What is the type of courses you offer?
In CRO to go, we offer courses online and courses in person. Courses online are very practical and effective and we have people all around the World who learn Croatian online with us.
CRO to go courses are divided into levels:
CRO start – for beginners in Croatian
CRO plus – medium level for students who already have some knowledge of Croatian
CRO talk – conversational lessons
Also, we offer CROintensive – intensive Croatian language course.
Do you offer lessons for children at CRO to go?
Yes, CROkids – Croatian language for children. We are especially proud of our CROkids course with lessons adjusted to our youngest students. CROkids courses are intended for children from age 7 to age 14, they are fun, simple and methodically adjusted to children.
Or as our little 9-year-old student Giulio, Pennsylvania, USA said: “If only my school lessons would be as fun as my Croatian lessons!”
I am really happy when I talk to some Croatian parents abroad, and they tell me that their child has started to speak. One little girl had Croatian lessons all year to surprise her grandma when visiting her during summer in Croatia. These moments make us very happy.
What are your expectations of your students? Are you a strict teacher?
My expectations from my students are the same as they are for myself and my teachers: to do and give your best. The biggest advice that I can give to all of my students is: Talk. Talk. Talk. And then talk some more, and never be afraid to make a mistake. A student needs to make a mistake so that the teacher can correct it and get him or her to a new level of language.
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