What is Croaticum

Croaticum: Learn Croatian, learn about Croatia

Croaticum – Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language is the oldest and largest institution engaged in teaching, research and description of Croatian as a second and foreign language. It is part of the Department of Croatian Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, the largest Croatian academic institution specialising in social studies and humanities. Croaticum is renowned for its tradition, expertise and knowledge.

Croaticum was founded in 1962 at the Department of Phonetics at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, as the Croatian Language Course for Foreigners. In 1966 it became part of the Department of South Slavic Languages and Literature, and was renamed to Preparatory Course of Croatian Language in 1986. This two-semester course mainly prepared international students for studying at Croatian universities. In the beginning, teaching was based on the audio-visual global and structural method but in the early 21st century a new approach was articulated based on the findings of applied linguistics, theoretical linguistics and research results. In 2007, the centre was named Croaticum – Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language.

Croaticum is attended by students of international universities who study at the University of Zagreb through different mobility programmes, descendants of Croatian emigrants, those who learn Croatian because they work in Croatia or because they have moved to Croatia, and other people who want to learn Croatian for a number of different reasons. Our students are adults from all continents and from most world countries. They are of different age groups and speak different first languages. In recent years, we have had a total of around 250 students per semester and around 100 in shorter programmes.

The duration and content of the courses have been adapted to cater for the needs of different students, with classes organised at different levels in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages  (A2.2, B1.1, B1.2, B2.1, B2.2, C1). All Croaticum programmes are accredited university programmes open to students and the general public as life-long learning programmes.

Croaticum Programmes

Croaticum: Tradition, expertise and knowledge

In addition to teaching, members of Croaticum’s staff are engaged in research and other professional activities. They regularly publish research papers, as well as textbooks and workbooks used to teach Croatian as a second and foreign language not only at Croaticum, but in numerous study programmes and lectureships of Croatian in Europe and around the world, as well as in language schools in Croatia and abroad. Croaticum organises the annual Professional and Scientific Symposium for Lectors of Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language (SIH), Croaticum Round Table (COS) as a place to discuss current linguistic issues, and the programme Culture at Croaticum (KUC). Other activities include cultural events and Croatian language testing for different purposes, e.g. for obtaining permanent residence and citizenship, enrolling in a university programme, for employment etc. Croaticum is active in the training and mentoring of future lectors of Croatian as a second and foreign language.

In addition to teaching, Croaticum’s lectors and phoneticians are engaged in research and other professional activities. They regularly participate in conferences, coordinate and take part in research projects, author and edit books, scholarly papers and other works. As guest lectors, they also teach abroad (in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Ukraine, Australia, etc.)

More about Croaticum

Udier, Sanda Lucija. 2016. “Filološki pristup poučavanju hrvatskoga kao inoga jezika“. Croatica: časopis za hrvatski jezik, književnost i kulturu 40 (60), 139–152.