Polish course outline

The Cactus Course Outlines provide a learning framework for the Cactus Foreign Language Evening Courses. They are designed to provide you with a good idea of what you might cover over a 10-week period, and include typical themes, grammar and vocabulary fields. They are flexible rather than prescriptive, in that our teachers may decide to adapt their learning plans to the specific level, aims and interests of their classes. Use the tabs below to view the relevant Polish course outline for your level.

Polish Beginner 1

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Introductions (informal and formal)
  • Pointing to common and useful objects, naming them
  • Small talk and “breaking the ice” – e.g. What is your name? ( Jak masz na imię?), Where do you live (Gdzie mieszkasz?)
  • Talking about self & others, inc. family – key personal info incl. How old are you? (Ile masz lat?), What is your occupation? (Jaki jest twój zawód?)
  • Polish sounds and letters. The alphabet, pronunciation and accent
  • Adjectives describing people and wellbeing
  • Nationalities
  • Professions
  • Family tree and relationships
  • Asking about age
  • Hobbies and interests

Grammar:

  • Formal / Informal mode in Polish
  • Verbs and conjugation – introduction
  • Present Tense
  • Nouns: genders in Polish
  • Numbers 1-100
  • Adjectives following nouns: masculine, feminine and neutral forms
  • Pronouns – subject, object, possessive
  • Cases in Polish – Nominative (Mianownik), Instrumental (Narzędnik) and Accusative (Biernik)
  • Word order – sentence, question, negative
  • Questions – yes/no (tak/nie), Is this…? Yes, it is… / No, it isn’t. (Czy to jest..Tak, to jest…/Nie, to nie jest…) Where is…? Who is it? Whose… it is? (Gdzie to jest…? Kto to jest…? Czyje to jest…?)
  • Giving instructions (imperatives)
  • Key prepositions: in, on, at, etc.
  • Key adjectives and adverbs – size, shape, personal opinion, colours
  • Key linking words (and, or, but, so)
  • To be interested in + Instrumental (interesować się), to like + Infinitive (lubić), to like + Accusative
  • Adverbs describing frequency – sometimes (czasami) , often (często) etc.

Cultural Content:

  • The geography of Poland – main cities, rivers, provinces and regions
  • Popular Polish websites
  • Polish lifestyles and common hobbies
  • Basic politeness conventions in Poland in formal and informal situations

Skills Work:

  • Lots of speaking – inc. situational exercises & interaction
  • Basic pronunciation rules
  • Plenty of listening activities
  • Writing practice – e.g. simple e-mails

Polish Beginner 2

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Revision of the most important subjects covered in the previous course
  • Describing things (colours, size, features, etc)
  • Asking for directions
  • Eating & drinking. Ordering food and drinks in restaurant / cafe. Names of popular food
  • Shopping. Have you got…? (Czy masz…?) How much is…? (Ile kosztuje…?) How much do I pay? (Ile placę?)
  • Asking for time and questions about time
  • Days of the week
  • Daily life – routines, free time. Going places
  • Inviting and responding to invitations (how to accept and how to decline)
  • Meetings and social gatherings
  • Describing past activities – What did you do last week?
  • Party and Leisure Time. Talking about leisure interests
  • Saying what you like, dislike, want or prefer
  • Describing weather.
  • Money and Shopping

Grammar:

  • Review & practice previous level grammar topics
  • Singular vs. Plural nouns
  • Cases in Polish – Genitive (Dopełniacz), Locative (Miejscownik)
  • Imperatives (colloquial and polite forms)
  • Declension of nouns and adjectives
  • Past Tense Imperfective
  • New verbs and verbs conjugation in the past
  • Adverbs – cont.
  • Possessive forms
  • “There is”: Jest – “There isn’t”: Nie ma
  • • Double negatives: I have nothing (Nic nie mam) I never drink milk (Nigdy nie piję mleka) etc.
  • ‘Want to + infinitive’
  • Prepositions + Cases
  • Revision of numbers: 100-10000.

Cultural Content:

  • Polish cuisine, the most popular Polish dishes
  • Polish cultural life – cinemas, theatres, fashion etc.
  • Traveling in Poland – at the train/bus station, hotels, etc.

Skills Work:

  • Lots of speaking – inc. situational exercises & interaction
  • Revisiting pronunciation rules and numbers
  • Plenty of listening activities
  • Writing practice – e.g. notes in diary, describing people and clothes, simple CV

Polish Beginner 3

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Revision of the most important topics covered by the previous courses
  • Time: months of the year
  • Talking about the future, future plans and expressing future wishes
  • Travel and Sightseeing: making bookings/enquiries (on the phone and via e-mail)
  • Geographical directions: North, East, South, West
  • Accommodation: household objects and appliances, renting and furnishing an apartment
  • Asking for/giving directions and information
  • Describing and comparing places – houses, flats, rooms, etc.
  • Longer answer phone message: listening to and leaving
  • Listening to and participating in longer phone conversations
  • Weather: small talk, weather forecast, seasons
  • Health: symptoms, visiting a doctor, healthy lifestyle – giving advice, making a phone call
  • Appearances and looks: body parts, describing people
  • Reading and writing longer e-mails, advertisements and text messages
  • Writing/reading postcards from holidays

Grammar:

  • Revision & practice of previous level grammar
  • Future Tense Imperfective
  • Future time clauses
  • New verbs and verbs conjugation in the future
  • Declension of nouns
  • Prepositions + Locative
  • Word-building: diminutive suffixes, adjectives – adverbs. More linking words (either… or… / neither… nor…)
  • Clauses with “że” (‘that’)

Cultural Content:

  • Polish “texting” conventions
  • Read simple authentic Polish press articles

Skills Work:

  • Lots of speaking – inc. situational exercises & interaction
  • Writing practice – e.g. new years resolutions, postcards, online and letter reservations, replying to letters
  • Plenty of listening activities

Polish Elementary 1

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Revision of the most important subjects covered by the previous course
  • Past facts: biography
  • Listening to a longer radio program
  • Sport: types of sport, sportsmen, rules, places, listening to sport coverage/news, telephone enquiry
  • How long does it take you? (Ile czasu Ci to zajmuje?)
  • Education and Studies: study skills, memory, courses
  • Traditions, customs and special occasions in Poland and around the world
  • How to wish someone: to get better, happy birthday, good luck, a good trip etc.
  • Business/Office: understanding business cards, what is/what do we do in the office, business vocabulary, conversation in the office/business meetings

Grammar:

  • Adjectives: in the present and past
  • Revision and comparison of Cases
  • Wish you…. – Życzyć + Dative + Genitive
  • Past Tense Perfective
  • Imperatives – giving instructions – cont.
  • Nouns – cont.
  • Nouns from verbs
  • Grammar presented will be the grammar used for each function/theme

Cultural Content:

  • Prominent Polish figures
  • Important cultural traditions and celebrations

Skills Work:

  • Formal language: listening to and making a formal speech/presentation
  • Reading and writing a formal letter – CV cont., business cards
  • Reading and writing season/birthday wishes

Polish Elementary 2

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Revision of the most important subjects covered by the previous course
  • Appearances and character: describing people
  • Expressing opinion about other people
  • Expressing opinion and preferences: I think that…(Uważam, że…) …is better, because …(…jest lepsze, bo…) In my opinion…(Moim zdaniem…)
  • At work: working patterns, types of jobs, job ads, job interviews
  • Agreeing/Disagreeing
  • Expressing opinion about job
  • Ordinal numbers: first, second, etc. (dates in Polish)
  • Time expressions typical to perfect and imperfect forms of verbs in the past
  • History: famous people/events, our ancestors, talking about finished and unfinished past
  • Feelings and emotions: e.g. hope, fear, worry
  • Education, exams, courses
  • Talking about future plans

Grammar:

  • Adjectives in masculine plural form
  • Relative clauses: e.g. which, who, where, when (który, która, kto, gdzie, kiedy)
  • Nouns in masculine plural form
  • Demonstrative and possessive pronoun (ten, tamten, jego, ich)
  • Ordinal numbers and months in Genitive (Dopełniacz) and Locative (Miejscownik)
  • Verbs – recognizing imperfectives and perfectives
  • Modal verbs in future tense
  • Perfect and imperfect verbs in future tense

Cultural content:

  • Polish history
  • Polish culture within the work environment
  • Polish Nobel prize laureates and other famous Poles

Skills Work:

  • Reading a short text that includes data
  • Reading a biography
  • Writing an informal letter
  • Writing covering letter

Polish Elementary 3

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Living in a city: architecture, housing, facilities, services, entertainment, landmarks, etc.
  • Comparing people and objects: e.g. ona jest podobna do…. tak samo jak…
  • Environment: nature, animals, countryside
  • Justifying opinions (Jestem przekonany, że…)
  • Describing situations
  • Expressing wishes and expectations (Oczekuję, że…)
  • Talking about relationships
  • Listening to an interview
  • Taking part in a pair/small group discussion
  • Talking about pros and cons: For example (Na przykład), On the other hand (Z drugiej strony)
  • Asking favours: Could you…? (Czy mógłbyś…?)

Grammar:

  • Comparative and superlative adjectives: e.g. fat-fatter-the fattest (gruby – grubszy – najgrubszy)
  • Time expressions: e.g. tomorrow, next year (jutro, w przyszłym roku)
  • Comparison of adverbs and adjectives
  • Grading adverbs (trudno-trudniej-najtrudniej)
  • Cases in Polish – Dative (Celownik)
  • Comparison of Cases
  • Comparative and superlative of adjectives
  • Clauses with “żeby” (‘that’) in comparison with “że” (that)
  • Conditionals
  • Prepositions in relation to Cases (do ogrodu, w ogrodzie, z ogrodu)
  • Grammar presented will be the grammar used for each function/theme

Cultural Content:

  • Housing in Poland, buying and renting
  • Holidays and leisure time in Poland
  • Idioms and popular Polish sayings: “pracowity jak mrówka”

Skills Work:

  • Writing a short argumentative text, e.g. to express own opinion
  • Writing a dating advertisement
  • Preparing a job advertisement
  • Job interview

Polish Intermediate 1

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Revision of the most important subjects covered in the previous course
  • Objects and appliances: describing purpose of things and how things work: e.g. In a microwave one can quickly prepare food (W mikrofalówce można szybko przygotować jedzenie)
  • Expressing preferences
  • Technology, Media and Internet
  • Expressing satisfaction/dissatisfaction/disappointment
  • Adjectival Past Participle: e.g. cooked (ugotowany), written (napisany)
  • Describing the way we feel
  • Encouraging, making recommendations
  • Travel and Leisure

Grammar:

  • Impersonal forms of present and future verbs (trzeba – trzeba było, wolno – wolno było)
  • Gerund in Polish (czytać – czytanie, być – bycie)
  • Adjectival passive participle (zablokowany, zapsuty)
  • Passive Voice
  • Cases in Polish – Vocative (Wołacz)
  • Grammar presented will be the grammar used for each function/theme’

Cultural Content:

  • What it was like to live in communist Poland
  • Domestic life of a typical polish family
  • Life in the Countryside in Poland

Skills Work:

  • Reading longer texts including statistical information, figures, data
  • Writing a press article about lifestyle and cuisine
  • Taking part in a discussion and expressing own opinion
  • Writing a complaint letter

Polish Intermediate 2

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Celebrations and Traditions
  • Books and Films
  • Hobbies – cont.
  • Fashion and beauty: paying and accepting compliments, detailed descriptions of people, hair styles, clothes, beauty products and toiletries
  • Expressing wishes and expectations: e.g. I want to…/I would like you to…/You should …(Chcę żeby…/Chciałabym żebyś…/Powinieneś…)
  • Giving and receiving advice
  • Making comparisons – cont.
  • Relationships and feelings
  • Internet and computers

Grammar:

  • Talking about future + conditionals: what if…
  • Reported speech
  • Imperfective and Perfective Verbs – cont.
  • Complex sentences – zdania wspołrzędnie i podrzędnie złożone okolicznikowe czasu, celu, miejsca, przyczyny, podmiotowe, dopełnieniowe oraz przydawkowe
  • Żeby + Infinitive, dla + Genitive

Cultural Content:

  • Polish traditional values and relationships
  • Around the world: emigration/immigration, ethnic minorities

Skills Work:

  • Study skills and techniques
  • Reading and writing a review
  • Writing a longer, complex letter
  • Conversational strategies – taking part in a longer conversation/debate: openers, showing interest, turn-taking, active listening, joining in a conversation, “maintaining the floor”, closing the conversation

Polish Intermediate 3

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • Revision of the most important subjects covered by the previous course
  • Food and eating: cuisines around the world, eating habits and diets, table manners, kitchen utensils and appliances, cooking, recipes, writing a recipe
  • Types of exams and how to write exams in Polish
  • How to start, maintain and finish conversations in Polish
  • Different ways of giving advice
  • Offering help/services and promising/accepting help and expressing gratitude
  • Expressing interest/lack of interest
  • Expressing necessity
  • Persuasive language
  • Encouraging and convincing (warto, trzeba, należy spróbować…)

Grammar:

  • Genitive after prepositions do, dla, z
  • Cardinal numbers in complex sentences
  • Genitive after numbers (kilo mąki, kawałek mięsa)
  • Prepositions of time with different cases, e.g. until, since, from, between (do, od, pomiędzy)
  • Grammar presented will be the grammar used for each function/theme

Cultural Content:

  • Polish slang and idiomatic expressions
  • Work environment in Poland
  • Cooking, recipes and table manners
  • What it is like to live as a foreigner in Poland

Skills Work:

  • Making a speech/presentation to a larger audience
  • Listening to longer recordings: listening for gist and detail
  • Writing advertisement, invitations, formal letters
  • Filling in longer forms: e.g. course application
  • Reading longer texts for gist and specific information

Polish Upper Intermediate

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • A wide range of topics including: social issues: employment, human rights, equal opportunities, discrimination, economy, politics, emergencies, etc.
  • Asking for and giving permission
  • Expressing uncertainty (Nie wiem dokładnie…Być może)
  • Accepting, refusing, protesting
  • Expressing positive and negative opinion/indifference
  • Reporting
  • Using services: dry cleaning, alterations, hair and beauty salon, repairs etc.
  • Common idiomatic expressions
  • More adjectives – how to make adjectives stronger/weaker, e.g. quite good, pretty good.
  • Numbers and figures: measurements, financial issues
  • Recognizing different types of texts/formal and informal register
  • Sequencing events/linking action and consequence, e.g. due to, hence, as a result, eventually (z powodu, w rezultacie, więc, w końcu)

Grammar:

  • Reported speech cont.
  • Conditional sentences: If the weather is nice, I will go for a walk (Jeśli będzie ładna pogoda to pójdę na spacer) If I were rich, I wouldn’t work (Gdybym był bogaty nie pracowałbym)
  • Modal verbs
  • Cases cont.
  • Grammar presented will be the grammar used for each function/theme

Cultural Content:

  • Polish slang and idiomatic expressions
  • Using services in Poland such as repairs and dry cleaning
  • Average Polish family
  • Studying in Poland

Skills Work:

  • Making a speech/presentation to a larger audience
  • Listening to a longer radio program
  • Reading a book/film review
  • Reading and discussing an interview
  • Summarizing information: speaking and writing
  • Writing a commentary based on reading an article
  • Writing an argumentative essay

Polish Advanced

Topics & Vocabulary:

  • A wide range of topics including: environment, media and advertising; culture and entertainment; beliefs and religions, etc.
  • Criticizing and responding to criticism (Szkoda czasu…To okropne/straszne)
  • Agreeing, disagreeing
  • Talking about all aspects of art – literature, music, paintings, cinema, theatre, etc.
  • Encouraging and persuading (Najlepszy ze wszystkich..Kup teraz….Nie przepłacaj)
  • Expressing approval/disapproval (Nic podobnego..To wykluczone…Nonsens)
  • Reporting speech, asking for repetition (Przepraszam, ale nie uslyszałem…Przepraszam, ale nie wszystko zrozumiałem..)

Grammar:

  • Revision of all grammar aspects
  • Revision of cases (Dative)
  • Pronouns “nikt, nic, żaden” in different cases
  • Word order in negative sentences with pronoun “się”
  • Preparing for B1 level Polish exam – practicing speaking, writing, and reading
  • Locative after expressions with “o” (o tym, że…o tym, jak…)
  • Interrogative pronouns in different cases
  • Grammar presented will be the grammar used for each function/theme

Cultural Content:

  • Polish mass media
  • Polish slang and idiomatic expressions
  • Entertainment and cultural life in Poland
  • Religion and beliefs in Poland

Skills Work:

  • Reading longer texts for gist and detail
  • Preparing, writing and conducting an interview
  • Writing formal long letters, essays, commentary, etc.
  • Summarizing information: speaking and writing

Proficiency

  • A wide range of topics based around students’ own interests, could include topics of general interest: global issues, popular science, environment, media and advertising; culture and entertainment; beliefs and religions, etc.
  • Materials used to spark conversation will include articles, DVD, video, internet extracts.
 

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