Learn Polish

Since the accession of Poland to the EU structures (2004) the interest in learning Polish as a foreign language is growing. More and more people want to study in Poland, work in international companies based in Poland, do business in this country or simply live in Poland.

A few words about the Polish language

Polishis an Indo-European language of West Slavic subdivision. It is a language that has been influenced by foreign languages, especially Latin, French, Italian, Belarusian and Ukrainian, Russian and English. The language adopted the Latin alphabet in the twelfth century.

The Polish language has the status of official language in Poland, but it is spoken around the world because of the presence of Polish minorities. The number of Polish speakers is estimated at 56,000,000: Poland (38,000,000), the United States (10,438,000), Germany (3,341,000), Ukraine (1,151, 000), Brazil (1,000,000), the UK (546,000), France (500, 000), Belarus (403,000), Lithuania (258,000), Canada (225,000), Israel (100,000), Russia (94,000), Kazachstan (61,500), Latvia (57,000), Austria (50,000), Slovakia (50,000), Czech Republic (39,000), Hungary (21,000), Australia ( 13,753), Romania (10,000),Azerbaijan (1,300), Estonia (600).

The Polish education system is currently offering the following types of training of Polish as a Foreign Language (PFL) :

  • Academic studies for future teachers of PFL and specialists of Polish culture (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate).
  • Full PFL training (from A1 to C1 level).
  • Language training under the Erasmus programme (Erasmus Intensive Language Courses: EILC) or under an other international academic exchange programme.
  • Intense training to improve the knowledge of the Polish language.
  • Summer trainings of Polish language.

Certification of knowledge of the Polish language

First state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language took place in Poland and abroad in 2004. As a result, having passed such examinations, learners of Polish as a foreign language can obtain a certificate indicating the level of their proficiency in Polish. Since 2004, B1, B2 and C2 examinations have been organized at least 3 times a year (in spring, summer and autumn). The examinations are set by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language.

Examination requirement standards and rules of procedure are based on the latest recommendations of the Council of Europe aiming at the standardization of foreign language proficiency testing across Europe. In 2008, ALTE (Association for Language Testers in Europe) audited the state certificate examinations in Polish as a foreign language with the aim to confirm their consistency with the guidelines of the Council of Europe. The State Certification Commission is currently working on the introduction of examinations for the remaining proficiency levels (A1, A2 and C1).

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Malgorzata Kobierska (Editor)

Karol Kasiński (Correction)

International Relations Office
University of Lodz