"THE NUMBER of languages you speak is the number of times you are human."
This Slovak proverb shows the importance of knowing foreign languages in attaining new study and work opportunities and broadening the mind.
Foreigners who want to have their knowledge of Slovak certified can now do so thanks to the E-KU Institute of Language and Intercultural Communication in Nitra, which offers an internationally-recognised language proficiency certificate.
The certificate is awarded after applicants pass an exam designed by universities and educational institutions that are part of the European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Language (ECL). The deadline to enroll for the December dates of the Slovak for foreigners exam is November 15.
The European Union set up the ECL in 1992 to develop a uniform exam for all the languages of the EU member states.
ECL exams can now be taken in English, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Serbian, Romanian, Spanish, and Slovak, which entered the system in 2006.
"This is the first international exam in the Slovak language," Milena Vdovičenková, the director of the educational management section at the E-KU institute, told The Slovak Spectator.
"Those interested can enroll in one of four exam levels, which were designed according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages," she continued.
The institute has held the exam twice so far.
"University students and interns have been enrolling so far, but we expect foreigners working in Slovakia to take interest soon," Vdovičenková said. "An Austrian company has already contacted us about testing its employees."
The exams take place twice a year, in April and December. The next test dates are December 6-8, depending on the level.
For more information and an application, go to www.eku.sk.
By Jana Liptáková
12. Nov 2007 at 0:00