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Slovenian On-line Language Centre

by Expugnator

Address: http://www.slovenian.com/Enter/

Author: Metka Čuk

A fragment of lesson 3 for intermediate students The Slovenian On-Line Language Centre offers many ways of learning the language so that learners of all styles can find the best suitable alternative for them. The site is not a simple grammar reference or a list of useful sentences for tourists.

It has virtually all the sections a language course should have: a Course divided into 3 parts for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners; a Discussion board; a How-To section with some ready sentences concerning daily life topics; a Grammar section, Translations, Vocabulary, Reading and Exercises sections.

A part of description of the Slovenian Present Tense Thus, the site presents a complete language course having a structure, which if copied by other language courses would improve their quality a lot. Some learners may enjoy learning little-by-little, in a course; others might prefer having a look at a reference grammar, while some might just want to memorize important sentences and words. All of them will find the Slovenian On-line Language Centre for their methods of study.

The only but of the site may be the lack of sound files, and that’s what Silvia Franke/ Car, a UniLanger from Germany mostly complains about. She also finds the lack of a separate pronunciation guide to be a drawback. The site does have a guide that can be found in the 3rd lesson of the basic course, but she feels it should be a separate section so that people locate it easily. She says:

The site is structured clearly, it’s easy to find something one is looking for. There are so many sites that confuse one more, this is not one of them. The lessons are not too long and the explanations are good. Some sound files would have been a good idea. I didn’t find a hint how to pronounce the letters and letter combinations. So how would a beginner start to learn with it? He’ll have to look for a pronunciation guide or sound files elsewhere, which isn’t good. The links to other sections can also confuse one a bit.

The ‘How-to’ section is nice, as it teaches useful sentences without much grammar, just what one needs to say when travelling as a tourist, for example.

‘Grammar’ is explained well, with good examples and it is not presented too much at a time either. A positive point to note is that the ‘Reading’ texts don’t get very difficult in the beginning. (I can only speak about the lengths of the texts here).

Discussion board The discussion forum isn’t very active though and the learner can’t be sure if he will get help. I don’t recommend posting something there. The exercises and vocabulary are a good idea and help one to practise.

Overall it is a good resource if one already knows how to pronounce Slovene.

A site helping memorize new vocabulary This is what the author, Metka Čuk, says about her site:

I have always been fascinated by computers so it is probably no wonder I embraced the Internet most enthusiastically the moment I first encountered it. At first, I just thought of creating a few pages with explanations and examples from Slovenian grammar to provide my students with an additional reference point. Once I had that, I realised I could go further and add pages with frequently asked questions, such as, how to write a Christmas card in Slovenian, how to count and similar; texts in Slovenian and English so that students could compare the two languages; exercises and even lessons with links to appropriate exercises and grammar explanations.

A site from the ‘Reading’ section: a Slovenian letter with English translation
(If you plan to create a language course website on your own and wants to know more about the author’s experience, it would be quite interesting to read her full commentary here).

Metka says she had a lot of trouble throughout all her attempts to teach Slovenian, but that it is always gratifying when she is acknowledged for her hard work, when she receives letters like this one a visitor to her site sent her:

A site from the ‘How to…?’ section: the difference between formal and informal Slovenian I just want to write and tell you how much I enjoy your website. I found it while searching for information on learning the Slovene language. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find information. My family is from Slovenia but I was born in the USA and didn’t learn the language as a child. Your language page is very helpful and I learnt a lot… When my friends or relatives ask me about my experience in Ljubljana… I refer them to your web page. For the very beginner, your page is both practical and very helpful. So Thank you from all of us here in Wyoming, USA who have used your site. :-)

Apart from some minor criticisms, the Slovenian On-line Language Centre is much more than a useful and extensive guide for learners of Slovenian. It is actually a reference for all those willing to create a language course. The explanations are clear and concise, and learners have many alternatives and are able to make the course fit into the learning method they prefer. It provides enough material for the learner to go far beyond the basic level. It is highly recommended to those who want to learn Slovenian on the Internet. If you want to learn Slovenian but are worried about the lack of on-line resources, just visit the Slovenian On-line Language Centre and start learning!

Written by E}{pugnator

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Originally published in Babel Babble