Polish language classes are taught in Fribourg Dr. Beata Kulak.

Some Information About the Language

Polish belongs to the family of Slavic languages; together with Czech, Slovak, Kashubian, Upper and Lower Sorbian and the extinct Plobaic, it forms the group of West Slavic languages.

In structural terms, Polish is an inflectional language; inflection (declension and conjugation) influences all levels of the language. A characteristic feature of Polish is the morphological changes associated with inflection, in which one phoneme is replaced by another within the morpheme. This peculiarity is based on language-historical processes that took place during the proto-slavic period, as well as in the early period of the development of Polish.

Today’s standard Polish language, in which Poles communicate both within the country and throughout the world, is a unified, supra-regional and strongly standardized variant of Polish. Nevertheless, Polish is not completely homogeneous, as the striking difference between written and spoken language alone suggests. In addition, there are territorial variants of the language, so-called dialects; in some of these, remnants of earlier language use and historical peculiarities have been preserved.

Linguistic politeness norms are an integral part of the culture. Polish courtesies have a lot to do with Polish language etiquette. This concerns greeting and farewell formulas, for example, as well as other forms of salutation with the characteristic neutral form pan (Mr.) / pani (Ms.).

Information About the Course Program

Polish language courses are aimed at students of Slavic Studies, as well as students of other fields of study.

Course Structure

Polish classes are offered at different levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Upper Intermediate. The courses are as follows:

Polish I, for beginners, consists of three hours per week (2 hours grammar, one hour phonetics/conversation).

Polish II, the intermediate level course, consists of three hours per week (2 hours of grammatical and stylistic exercises with a focus on written usage and pronunciation, and one hour of communication exercises).

Polish III, the upper intermediate level course, consists of 2 hours per week (writing).

After each course, students take an examination (written and oral).

Content and Goals

Polish I:  Beginner

Goals: Communication in simple (typical) life situations, getting to know the structure of Polish in official and unofficial contexts, and the development of language skills at a basic level. Students must take a cumulative examination at the end of the semester.


Polish II: Intermediate

Goals: Deepen vocabulary, consolidate existing knowledge and expand various linguistic skills. Use of the Polish language in speech and writing, ability to express oneself on topics of everyday life as well as on more general topics. Students must take a cumulative examination at the end of the semester.


Polish III: Upper Intermediate

Praca z tekstami autentycznymi (publicystycznymi i literackimi), wprowadzanie lub utrwalanie struktur trudniejszych (składnia liczebnika, tryb przypuszczający, aspekt czasownika, zdania okolicznikowe celu, frazeologizmy), a także typowych dla języka pisanego (imiesłowy). Po kursie student powinien bez kłopotόw identyfikować formy wyrazowe i posługiwać się polszczyzną ogόlną w rόżnych sytuacjach życiowych, niezależnie od stopnia oficjalności. Może czytać polską prasę i literaturę (przy pomocy słownika).

Teaching Materials

The teaching materials for Polish courses are adapted by the lecturer to the needs of each group. This involves the use of various Polish textbooks, as well as selected adapted and non-adapted texts. From the intermediate level onwards, instructional materials are used which have been prepared by the lecturer herself. All teaching materials are officially recognized by the State Commission for Certification of Knowledge of Polish as a Foreign Language (Staatlichen Kommission zur Zertifizierung der Kenntnisse in Polnisch als Fremdsprache), and are in line with the current state of research in foreign language instruction.