2017 ACAP Conference – Bridging the gap: Opportunities and Connections for Learning the Croatian Language

By Alejandra Pavisich. Photo: Branka Slavica HRT. Video: Association of Croatian American Professionals

Dear readers, I want to share with you the video of my participation at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Association of American Croatian Professionals (ACAP) 2017, held in Chicago, United States on May 12, where one of the topics was focused on the education opportunities to learn the Croatian language in the United States and also in Croatia.

The panel in which I participated was called: “Bridging the gap: Opportunities and Connections for learning the Croatian language.” My participation focused on the success story of the high participation of the  Croatian South American community (90%) in the annual public call for the partial scholarships granted by the State Office for Croats Abroad that consistently has the highest number of participants in the Croatian language courses in Croatia and online. During my intervention (minute -18:29 to – 12:42 in the video link below) I mentioned that we have 4 factors for that high rate of participation of the South American diaspora:

1) Word of Mouth. This is how a lot of people find out in their Croatian communities in Latin America about this annual public call, through friends or relatives who have participated in the program.

2) Dissemination of the partial scholarship program through social media (Facebook, WhatsApp) and mass media. The scholarship information is widely distributed in about 40 Facebook pages and groups of the different Croatian communities accross Latin America, where there are also radio programs broadcasted by the Croatian communities in Argentina and Chile where most of the Croatian community is concentrated in South America.

3) The active use of the Facebook group for partial scholarships, which already has over 760 members. In this group both applicants and alumni communicate, inform and advise on the steps to be followed for the application, and then the trip to Croatia. The applicants can ask any question regarding the scholarship.

4) The need to learn Croatian to take and pass the Croatian citizenship test. Due to a change of Croatian citizenship law made in 2012, it has become a requirement for descendants of Croatians to learn the Croatian language and pass the Croatian citizenship test studying 100 questions from which 15 are selected randomly. In addition to passing the test, the applicants also need to fill out the application in Croatian, submit a brief resume in Croatian and have a brief interview in Croatian.

The panel brought together a variety of participants who contributed with their experience and knowledge to understand the challenges and opportunities that Croatian Americans have in learning the Croatian language, not just in Croatia but through Croatian language classes in the United States.

Video link: Panel on opportunities and connections to learn the Croatian language. Click link to watch the video.

Conferencia ACAP 2017 – Superando la brecha: Oportunidades y conecciones para aprender la lengua croata

Por Alejandra Pavisich. Foto: Branka Slavica HRT. Video: Association of Croatian American Professionals

Estimados lectores, quiero compartir con ustedes el video de mi participacion en la 2da conferencia anual de la Asociacion de Profesionales Croatas Americanos (ACAP) 2017 que tuvo lugar en Chicago, Estados Unidos el 12 de mayo. Pueden ver mi intervencion desde el minuto -18:29 al – 12:42. Me toco participar en el panel sobre la educacion y las oportunidades para aprender la lengua croata, donde hubo un enfasis especial sobre la gran participacion de la comunidad croata sudamericana (90%) en la convocatoria y becas parciales que otorga la Oficina Estatal para los croatas fuera de Croacia.

Mencione que tenemos 4 factores para ese alto indice de participacion de la diaspora sudamericana:

  1. La informacion verbal que transmitimos los latinos dentro de nuestras comunidades
  2. La difusion sobre el programa de becas a travez de las redes sociales (Facebook, WhatsApp) como la pagina DOBAR DAN SANTA CRUZ y los medios masivos de comunicacion como son los programas radiales de las comunidades croatas en Argentina y Chile
  3. El uso activo del grupo de Facebook “Becas de aprendizaje del croata en Croacia o Internet 2017 – 2018” sobre las becas parciales que cuenta ya con casi 700 miembros. En este grupo tanto aplicantes como ex-becarios se comunican, informan y aconsejan sobre los pasos a seguir para la aplicacion,
  4. La necesidad de aprender croata para tomar y pasar el examen de ciudadania croata debido al cambio de la ley de la ciudadania croata el 2012 que desde esa fecha tiene el requerimiento de la lengua croata. La conferencia fue maravillosa y continuare informandoles sobre los temas tratados en los siguientes dias, para ver el video cliquea en el enlace a seguir https://www.facebook.com/DobarDanSantaCruz/posts/1410002125726809