Language studies and educations

The Czech system of education
School attendance in the Czech republic is compulsory from the age from six to fifteen.Most children attend state school, but there are also newly established private and church schools.Education at state schools up to eighteen is free of charge, but students at secondary schools must pay for their textbooks.Private and church schools charge school fees.All schools are coeducational.Students do not wear uniforms.Hendicaped children are educated separately.

The school year starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June of the following year.The school year is divided into two terms.The average number of lessons at a secondary school is around thirty a week, primary schools have fewer lessons of course.Classes usualy begin between eight and eight-fifteen.There are usually six lessons in a row followed by a lunch break and then afternoon lessons.Breaks between lessons last from five to twenty minutes.

Pupils and students are evaluated by marks from 1 to 5, 1 is the best, 5 is the worst.Each term they get school report with marks of each subject.Some of us went to creches ( for children up to 3 years ) and some went to nursery school ( for children aged 3 to 6 ).At 6 they start to go to primary schools and they stay there until 15.At the age of 15 pupils transfer from primary to secondary school.There is another way.Pupil can transfer to grammar school at the age of 11 after they have passed an entrance exam.

At the age of 15 pupils can choose among variety of secondary schools :
a) grammar schools with general and rather academic education with prepare students for university study
b) special schools which include technical colleges, specialized in building, chemistry, engeneering etc., bussines academies, agricultural schools, nursering schools, music and art schools which offer professional education
c) vocational schools training would-be workers for practical jobs

Secondary education
Secondary eduction usually lasts 4 years and at grammar and specialized schools it is finished with a school-leaving exam, which is required by all universites and colleges.This exam is taken in four subjects.It’s different on each school.The exam is held in May and is mostly verbal except Czech in which an essay is writen about a month before.The verbal part of the exam takes about two hours, half an hour for each subject.A student chooses one of 25 to 30 topics by drawing a number and after 15 minutes preparation he ( or she ) speaks on the topic and solves given tasks.If they are succesfull they got School-Leaving Certificate.Now they can apply for study at universities and colleges.

Universites and colleges provide tertiary education which lasts from 4 to 6 years.Before he ( or she ) is accepted they have to pass an entrance exam.The exam consist of a written test and an interview.Our oldest university is Charles univerzity in Prague and it’s also most renowned univerzity in our country, but it’s renowned also around Europe.Other notible universities are Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký Univrsity in Olomouc and Purkyně Univerzity.Prague has also one of two technical universities in our country, the other one is in Brno.

Ungraduates can study a variety of subjects such as economics, foreign trade, architekture, law, jurnalism, medicine, engeneering etc.
The university college students can enroll at three-year courses for a Bachelor’s Degree or four and five-year courses for Master’s Degree.Medicine usually takes 6 years.Doctoral Degrees are awarded after another few years of study, which may be also individual, and completion of another thesis.

Full time university students are expected to bear the expence of their tuition and they must also pay for their accomodation and board.The students from distant places usually lodge at a hall of residence ( dormitory / dorm ).Only a limited number of students get a grant or a scholarship.

A school, a Classroom
School buildings in our country look very similar as an England.They are usually large buildings with a few floors, often with a sportsground attached.In the basement or on the ground floor there are cloakrooms with student’s lockers, a boiler room, a workshop, a school canteen, gym and somethimes caretaker’s flat.

All classrooms in the Czech republic are almost the same.There are large windows opposite the door, rows of school desks and chairs with two aisles in between, a blackboard and a shelf with coloured and white chalk, a sponge, a cloth, a teacher desk, a bookcase, a notice book, a few pictures and a portrait of the president etc.We also have special classrooms such as chemistry, biology or physics laboratory ( there are special equipments ).

Now what is a lesson in a Czech school like ?After the bell, when the teacher enters the room, the pupils or students stand up to greet him.He makes an entry in the class register, marks absent students and then he starts lesson with revision of the previous lesson.Before the end of the lesson he sums up the topic and sets assignments for the next lesson.The teachers are supposed to follow the curriculum ( syllabus ), but they are free to choose textbooks for their students.Students also have after-school activities such as sport, art club etc.

The English system of education
Most children in England and Wales follow this route in the state system.( = free education )
At the age of 3 some go to nursery.At the age of 5 everyone starts primary school.At 11 pupils go to a secondary school ( U.S. – High school ).This may be a comprehensive ( mixed ability ) or a grammar school ( children selected for their academic ability ).At 16 they leave school ( with exam called O-level or GCSE / General Certificate of Secondary Education ) and get a job, or go to a college for vocational training e.g. hotel management, secretarial courses, or stay at school for two more years.At 18 they leave school and get a job or go to university or go to a college for further education / training.

You can normally do / study these subjects at university, but not always at school : medicine, psychology, bussines studies, law, sociology, agriculture, philosophy, history etc.

Studying at ( a British university )
First you must pass exam that most students také at the age of 18 called A levels.If you get a place at university, the tuition is free and some students also can get a grand ( money to pay for living expences ).Students at university are called undergraduates.Most university courses lasts three years.When they finish the course and pass their exam, they receive a degree.This can be BA ( Bachelor of arts ).

Postgraduate courses
When you complete your first degree you are a graduate.Some students go to a second course or degree ( postgraduate course / postgraduate degree ).These students are the postgraduates.There are usually three possible degrees : MA ( master of arts ), Mphil ( Master of philosophy )PhD ( Doctor of philosophy.

Schools vs. University
At school you have teachers and lessons, at university you have lecturers and lectures.At university students listen and make notes.They have only occasional questions.

The English universities can be divided into three groups :
a) Oxford and Cambridge ( or Oxbridge ) – they are the oldest and the most famous.
b) Redbrick universities – they were founded in the 19th century ( London, Durham, Manchester etc. )
c) The new universities – they were opened after 1960 ( Sussex, York, Kent etc. )

American system of education
In the USA there is not a national systém of education.Each of the 50 states has its own laws regulating education.Every child gets minimum 13 years of education.This is regardless ( bez ohledu ) of a child’s race, religion, sex, learning problems, ability to speak English or physical handicap.
Nursery – 3 till 5
Kindergarten – for ages 5 – 6 years.
Elementary school – grades 1 through 6 for ages 6 or 7 till 12 or 13
Secondary school :
a) Junior school : grades 7 through 8 for ages 13 till 14
b) High school : grades 9 through 12 for ages 14 till 18
Marks – they can get A, B, C, D, E
- There is a law in the USA that children must go to school until they are sixteen.

Obecně : When you want to study at university you have to have :
a) Good marks
b) SAT exam ( Scholastic Aptitide Test ) – IQ test pro studium na universitě
c) Extra curriculum activities – mimoškolní činnost ( mainly sport )

The English speaking countries
The term is used for the countries where the majority of population speaks English as their mother tongue.They are Great Britain, Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.Beside these countries there are large areas where English is spoken as a second language ( e.g. India, Pakistan, the Republic of South Africa, and other African countries.Generaly speaking, English is spoken in the USA, Ireland and in the Commonwealth countries.The commonwealth is a voluntary association of Britain and 47 her former colonies ( together 1,200 million people ).It developed in the 1st half of this century when Britain gave self-government to her dominions.Founding members were Britain, Canada, Newfoundland, Australia and New Zealand.Later the Commonwealth included many African, Asian, South American and Caribbean nations.Member countries co-operate to encourage world peace, social understanding, racial equality and economic development.The queen of England is the formal head in 17 member states – dominions ( e.g. in Canada, Australia and New Zealand ).

English language
Nowadays about 420 million people use English which means that English is the most widespread language in the world.It has become a world language – it is used not only as a native language, bur also for practical purposes – in administrative, bussines, technology, education, sport, aviation etc.English became so important only in the 17th century with the first settlements outside Europe.

The English language is of Germanic origin.There are five main types of English which differ in pronunciation, spelling and vocanulary but the differences are not so crucial that they could avoid understanding.They are : British English, American English, Indian English and African English.

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