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Czech teacher gets language lessons in Prague

Petra Hunter, a teacher at Yukon’s Czech Hall, is receiving lessons in teaching the Czech language in the best place to learn — the Czech Republic.

Petra Hunter, Yukon Czech Hall teacher, stands in front of the Tyn Church, also known as the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, on Tuesday. The church is located in Prague’s historic Old Town Square and was founded in the late 13th century as the main Old Town church. Photo / Provided

Hunter is the only U.S. citizen selected to travel to Prague to study Czech language.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic selected 20 Czech teachers worldwide to make the trip.
Both governmental bodies are responsible for international cooperation within their fields.
“I am so blessed to be among them,” said Hunter.
The ministries had an application process from March to May for interested applicants.
Hunter said the main factors to be selected was to have a degree in pedagogy, the practice of teaching an academic subject or theoretical concept, and experience teaching Czech language in a Czech community.
With an extensive background in education and influence at the Czech Hall in Yukon, she meets both requirements.
Throughout their trip, the teachers will study the methodology of teaching Czech language to foreigners at Charles University, one of Prague’s oldest and largest universities.
Czech language professionals are teaching the 10-day class that includes 60 hours of 45-minute lessons.
She said the new strategies, such as more grammar games, live conversation and modern reading methods, may help people with learning the language.
Their trip will last about two weeks.
Hunter has taught Czech language for a year at the Czech Hall.
This year, the Czech Hall plans to open another Czech language class.
The class will begin Sept. 14 and last until May.
A beginners’ class will start at 5:45 p.m. and an intermediates’ class will be at 7 p.m.
Those who have taken last year’s beginner’s class are considered intermediate students.
“We are socializing a lot, not only studying the language, but also learning about the Czech culture,” Hunter said.
In the past, students have celebrated Christmas the Czech way, by preparing a potato salad with fish and lentil soup, which is a fancy Czech holiday dish, Hunter said.
“We’re trying to keep the heritage alive,” said student Amy Otto.
They have also participated in Czech customs, like throwing a shoe behind their backs to find out if a girl will get married the following year.
Hunter uses conversational books and CDs for students to study from, as well.
“I think the biggest motivation for every Oklahoman is to be able to travel to the beautiful, and so historically rich, Czech Republic and to be able to speak the language, read a Czech book and understand locals,” Hunter said.

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