Communication / communication (linguistic, cultural differences)

Language education

The language skills of the recipient country are one of the most important factors that contribute to successful integration. In addition to practical reasons (looking for a job, independence in dealing with official and other everyday matters, etc.), it is also important for the people of Ukraine to be able to establish new relationships with the locals in Slovakia and feel accepted there.

Currently, there is no uniform language training for people coming from Ukraine. However, different options are available. It is necessary to distinguish whether it is language education for children attending primary school (processed in the section on education) or for adults.

Jazykové vzdelávanie pre dospelých

Many people from Ukraine prefer online Slovak language courses or individual study, due to their time possibilities. For example, if they already work, their working hours may not allow them to attend courses in person. It can also be difficult for mothers with small children if they do not have to entrust them to anyone while they are on the course.


The portal offers the opportunity to acquire knowledge of Slovak at the A1 to B2 level. Education is free. Information on the website is also available in Ukrainian (and other languages). This site has a lot of grammar. The site requires registration (free). The site also contains texts, videos and audio materials for listening and learning Slovak.

This portal provides teaching of Slovak at levels A1 and A2, ie from the very basics. It allows for self-study, which can be started at any time of the year, or for study with a tutor, which will be the next admission by September 2022. This page is an interactive version of the textbook Crosses. It is a quality course with a good methodology. Education is free. The site requires registration (free).

Slovak Academic Studies

The Comenius University in Bratislava organizes a 2-week intensive Slovak language course for people from Ukraine (currently they do not accept new students as they have full capacities, but this may change over time). The course always takes place from Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 10:30.

They offer full-time (see below) and online education. The course is free. Students will receive basic study materials free of charge (textbook First Aid in Slovak). Students will also need to purchase a textbook Cross by Cross for a symbolic 5 euros. Register for the online course here.

Youtube channel Slovak as a foreign language

The channel contains a number of videos in Slovak with subtitles, some of which are designed specifically for people from Ukraine. It offers learning Slovak through stories (simple tales), but also contains videos that introduce Slovak grammar, various recipes or situations from everyday life (my day, vaccinations, seasons, etc.).

On the page, click on the section I learn Slovak (for students, learners), which contains materials (videos and exercises), which are marked according to difficulty (easy – A, medium – B, and difficult – C). Exercises are focused on listening, but also grammar and text transcription (students can watch video and read the text). Materials can be filtered by difficulty or by topic.

We speak Slovak

The site contains comics with common situations, but also a simple and practical grammar for everyday use. In addition, there are „boards“ with simply explained grammar, exercises and a game (pixeso) to memorize words.

IOM Migration Information Center

These courses are usually on-site, but are all currently online. They provide the basics of Slovak for complete beginners. They focus on mastering the basics of Slovak, which can be used in real situations and expanding vocabulary. The next course opens in August 2022.


This initiative offers 15 free hours of Slovak via the ZOOM application every working day in the early evening. The number of participants is limited to 500 (due to ZOOM limits). You must register for the course in advance here.


ONLINE COURSES OF SLOVAK BASICS for children and adults from Ukraine.


Learn Slovak – 50 languages

The application is intended for complete beginners, it contains lessons at the A1-A2 level. Language is learned through listening and text.

Learn Slovak – 5000 phrases

This application offers the opportunity to learn Slovak through your mother tongue (more than 60 languages are available). The application contains conversational phrases on various topics with pronunciation and phonetic transcription in Slovak. It also offers games for listening, writing and speaking. It is suitable for both beginners and advanced.


The application is charged, but it is possible to try it for free for a month. The application is completely free for students from Ukraine.


Slovak for asylum seekers and asylum seekers

The book was published by the Migration Office of the Slovak Republic, but of course it is not only intended for asylum seekers and asylum seekers, but also for all foreigners who want to learn Slovak. It is a book freely available for free download. Contains grammar and exercises.

First aid in Slovak

It is a small book, but very good for learning Slovak. It is not a textbook, it contains phrases in Slovak and Ukrainian, as well as basic practical information about Slovakia, culture and language. The book is available for download in pdf for free.

Slovak for foreigners

It is not a textbook, but worksheets with exercises for levels A1 to C1, but most of them are there for level A1. It also contains basic phrases that are often used. They also contain a list of words that sound the same in Slovak and Ukrainian, but have different meanings (homonyms).


Slovak Academic Studies – Bratislava

Studia Academica Slovaca is a center for Slovak as a foreign language at Comenius University in Bratislava. For people coming from Ukraine, it offers an intensive two-week Slovak language course free of charge. The course takes place every Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 10:30 on Gondova street no. 2 in Bratislava, on the 2nd floor, door number 417.

Students will receive basic study materials free of charge (textbook First Aid in Slovak). Students will also need to purchase a textbook Cross by Cross for a symbolic 5 euros. Register for the course here. At the moment, however, they are not accepting new students to fill their capacities, which may change. You need to follow the information on their Facebook page.

IOM Migration Information Center in cooperation with SOS We are together – Bratislava

These two organizations in cooperation offer free Slovak language courses for people from Ukraine in Bratislava. Courses for adults take place in two groups: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30 to 12:00 and Monday and Friday from 8:30 to 10:00. The courses take place in the Slovak-Ukrainian house on Ovručská 5 in Bratislava.

Free courses without registration – Mareena in cooperation with the Bratislava City Library

In the period from 16.5. Until June 29, 2022, there will be a free Slovak language course for people from Ukraine in the premises of the Bratislava City Library at Kapucínská 3. It will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 to 10:00. The course does not need to be registered in advance and is open to everyone regardless of age. Capacity is limited to 20-25 participants.

Slovak language courses in the regions

Free Slovak language courses for people from Ukraine are also available in some cities, but they are often various volunteer initiatives.

Old Town Library – Bratislava

The Old Town Library is launching a free Slovak language course for Ukrainians


Language schools in every major city also offer Slovak language courses for foreigners. However, they are paid (in Bratislava, prices are around 160-200 EUR for a 40-hour course).


Especially at first, it can be useful if you also learn a few words and phrases in Ukrainian. In addition to facilitating communication, it is also an important signal of acceptance. For example, this short Slovak-Ukrainian dictionary (stored on google disk and available for download) can help you. Google Translate is also useful.


Working with clients who fled the war can be very challenging – especially when it comes to people from a different culture. Experience from other countries that have accepted refugees shows that there is a phenomenon that is relatively universal and more or less experienced by all refugees. It is called culture shock or shock from an acute situation. It is their reaction to the enormous stress they are going through. How we help them deal with it can have a huge impact on their situation.

1) recognition of the situation, 2) information, 3) contact with a familiar environment, 4) community building helps to manage the shock.

However, in addition to the culture shock, many people coming from Ukraine are experiencing a trauma that does not end with coming to a safe country. After the initial relief from coming to a safe country, the stress comes from an unknown society, otherwise functioning rules and barriers (linguistic, cultural, social), which are difficult to overcome. In addition, refugees are constantly experiencing great fear for their country and for those who have remained in the fighting. The new, unknown environment does not offer the sources of support they would have in their original environment. Traumatization in refugees can manifest itself in various ways, from complete withdrawal, through physical manifestations (headaches, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, eating disorders, insomnia, etc.) to irritability and aggression. It is therefore important to perceive their behavior in this context.

You can read about how to communicate sensitively with clients from Ukraine with regard to their traumatic experiences in the leaflet of the Center for Ethnicity and Culture Research and in the Great Psychological Manual of the League for Mental Health.

When working with clients who fled the war, it is important to be aware of your own assumptions and expectations that you have from them. You also need to be aware of your own motivations for which you have decided to help. Volunteers or people working in the helping professions may have some idea of ​​what a refugee should „look or behave“. However, the most important thing is to see in them their human dignity. You can read more in the article by Zuzana Vasičáková Očenášová (stored on google disk).

Power point presentation: click here / презентація powerpoint: натисніть тут


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