The Croaticum Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language is the oldest and largest institution that both teaches and scientifically studies and describes Croatian as a second language. It is a part of the Department of Croatian Language and Literature at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Croaticum was founded in 1962 at the Phonetics Department of the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as the Croatian Language Course for Foreigners. In 1966, it became a part of the Yugoslavian Languages and Literature Department; in 1986, it was renamed the Preparatory Study Year, as it was mostly attended by foreign students who, after two semesters learning Croatian, would begin studying at a faculty in Croatia. Teaching was initially based on an audio-visual global-structural method; in the early 21st century, an approach was designed based on findings and research results from the fields of applied and theoretical linguistics. In 2007, the centre was named Croaticum – Centre for Croatian as a Second and Foreign Language.
Croaticum is attended by students from foreign universities studying at the University of Zagreb as part of numerous student mobility programmes, as well as descendants of Croatian emigrants, people learning Croatian because they work in Croatia, people who have moved to Croatia or are planning to do so, as well as people learning Croatian for numerous other reasons. Attendees are adults from all continents, from nearly all countries in the world, of various ages and with various native languages. In recent years, the number of students has stabilised at roughly 250 per semester, as well as roughly 100 attendees at its shorter programmes.
The number of teaching hours and content of Croaticum's programmes are made to suit the needs of various students; teaching is held by level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A2.2, B1.1, B1.2, B2.1, B2.2, C1). All of Croaticum's programmes are accredited university programmes open to both students as well as the public as a lifelong learning programme. Participation in the programmes is possible by attending courses at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb or via the internet.
Visit the Croaticum website here.