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THE 3T’s – WE SUGGEST HOW TO LEARN POLISH EFFECTIVELY

Today is January 2022 – you’ve probably heard this question: ‘Do you have a New Year’s resolution?’ Although on the one hand, you say to yourself: ‘Enough of these resolutions, of which nothing comes from’, you subconsciously wonder, what will be your priority this year? Therefore, if learning Polish is an important goal for you that you would like to focus on in 2022, here are our suggestions on how to effectively achieve it!

THE 3 T’s: TARGET, TIME, THANKS

TARGET

Research shows that a target should be defined, realistic and measurable, which means that when learning Polish, it is worth to first clarify your current knowledge of the language, and then determine the level that you would like to achieve in the given time. It is essential for the success of this target that the level you want to achieve is reasonable. There is nothing more frustrating about learning a foreign language than imagining yourself as a participant in a lively conversation once you have only just started your Beginner Polish course. Setting a high goal for yourself causes unnecessary stress and troubles.

So what to do? Verify your current level, which you can check by taking a test or come to the Polish Language School KLUB DIALOGU and talk to the teacher. At the beginning, take up small challenges. Depending on your needs, try to define your progress at the level of 2-3 modules, so that you always have the opportunity to adjust these achievements and set new goals. You will not pass the State B1 Certificate Exam immediately, but by taking small steps, you have a great chance to do so in the future!

TIME

Time is a very important element in achieving our targets, as it allows us to concentrate on the task at hand and prevents postponing it ‘for an eternal tomorrow’. As in the case of the target, time must be realistic, i.e. give us space to complete the full cycle of the process: learning, practice, and feedback. Properly defined time forces us to be specific and organised. Remember, however, that too short a time frame will not allow you to complete the process, and too long a time frame will blur its possibilities, and after some time you will not remember your priorities.

THANKS

Don’t ignore the powerful influence of another person on your Polish language learning process. We instinctively hide our ‘resolutions’ from others because it protects us from embarrassment if something goes wrong. The involvement of other people, however, in our learning has a huge impact on its effectiveness. The support and feedback of people you can rely on can be very useful and can strengthen relationships, and thanks to this your learning will become more regular and consistent. It’s like losing weight, where positive support – from anguish – can turn into a healthy habit. Thanks to others, we can often achieve our goals!

Additionally, it is best to use qualified assistance. This is where the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU comes in handy, which offers a wide range of courses at various levels and intensity.

Christmas in Poland is preceded by a long period of preparations and events that begin four weeks before Christmas itself. The period of spiritual preparation for Christmas is called ‘Advent’. Advent is an important time in the Christian church in anticipation of the birth of Jesus and his coming at the end of the world. This year, this began on 28th November. On 6th December, we celebrate ‘Mikołajki’ in Poland. This is the only day of this kind, especially for children who expect little gifts left in their slippers by Santa Claus when they wake up in the morning. In addition, in December, children in schools and kindergartens take part in ‘Jasełka’, or nativity play performances, and the cities shine with the light of a thousand beautiful Christmas lights.

Three weeks later, it’s Christmas time.

This is a special time for many Poles. Christmas traditions are very important in Poland. These customs are nurtured and passed down from generation to generation so that they can still give the holidays a solemn and family feel.

The most important family event is the evening of 24th December, when Christmas Eve is celebrated. The whole family sits down to the Christmas Eve dinner, which does not start before the first star shines in the sky. An extra plate is always served with supper for an unexpected guest, and there is hay under the tablecloth – a reference to the birth of Jesus in the stable. Before eating, family members share a wafer, expressing their best wishes to each other. This custom emphasises the special bond that binds loved ones together, as well as the readiness to forgive and reconcile with each other. During the dinner, 12 meatless dishes are served, and depending on the region of Poland, these are: borscht with dumplings, fried carp, cabbage with mushrooms, vegetable salad, potatoes, carp in jelly, dried fruit compote, kutia, poppy seed cake and cheesecake. After supper, all well-behaved people are visited by Santa Claus (in Warsaw), Aniołek – a little angel (in Krakow), or by Gwiazdor (in Poznań) 😊. One of these 3 people can also leave gifts under the tree that’s lavishingly decorated with ornaments (baubles, tinsel, a star, gingerbread, etc.). At midnight begins Midnight Mass, a very solemn mass in the church, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas in Poland is, next to Easter, the most important religious holidays. Celebrating these special days in December culminated a warm, joyful, and family atmosphere. Cultivating Polish Christmas customs is conducive to strengthening the bonds between family members and emphasising national identity, but also gives the celebration of Christmas a unique beauty that can be longed for many months.