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Croatian 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 Croatian course outline for your level. If you want to cover the same course outline in a shorter period of time, we also offer One-Week Online Courses and 5-week Courses.

Beginner 1

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Alphabet, spelling, pronunciation
  • Greeting people
  • Saying who you are
  • Introductions – Where from? What’s your name?
  • Do you speak Croatian/English?
  • Hotel check-in
  • Where do you live?
  • Ordering drinks
  • Travel and getting around: simple directions
  • Places in cities – shops, important buildings
Grammar
  • To be
  • Present tense of basic verbs
  • Negative present tense
  • Gender of nouns and adjectives
  • Personal Pronouns – I, you, he, she, it, we, they
  • Possessives – my/mine, your/yours, his, her/hers, our/ours, their/theirs
  • Word order – sentence structure, question words
  • Questions – yes/no
  • Cases of nouns – singular – locative, accusative, genitive
Cultural Content
  • Everyday speaking and polite forms of speech
  • Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian – how different they are
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Facts about Croatia: holidays, climate
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/active practice
  • Alphabet / Writing / Reading
  • Lots of listening
  • Pronunciation – key sounds

Beginner 2

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Shopping: supermarket, post office, tourist shop, news agent
  • Money and cost
  • Ordering in a restaurant
  • Food and drinks
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Getting around a city – directions
  • Invitations
  • Describing your street, part of town
Grammar
  • Review & practise level 1 grammar
  • Irregular verbs moći and htjeti
  • Irregular negative verbs – nisam, neću, nemam
  • Imperative
  • Introduction to verbal aspect – perfective/imperfective verb pairs
  • Cardinal numbers 1 – 20
  • Ordinal numbers – first, second, third etc
  • Cases of nouns in singular – dative, instrumental
  • Plurals / nominative, accusative, dative, instrumental, locative
  • Existentials – ima/nema
  • Dative and accusative of personal pronouns – short forms
Cultural Content
  • Meeting and greeting people
  • Agreeing and refusing
  • Ordering food in a restaurant
  • Croat / Serbo-Croat – language and history
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/active practice
  • Lots of listening
  • Pronunciation – key sounds

Beginner 3

Topics & Vocabulary
  • How old are you?
  • Describing family members, marital status
  • Jobs
  • Describing your flat/house/neighbourhood
  • Telling the time
  • Sports activities
  • Saying “I like”, “I dislike”
  • Seasons of the year, months of the year
Grammar
  • Further practice of all cases singular and plural of nouns
  • Further practice of present tense of regular and irregular verbs
  • Cases of adjectives and pronouns – introduction
  • Possessive adjectives – Markov, Marijin 
  • Numbers 20-99
  • Demonstrative pronouns – ovaj, taj, onaj
  • Word order – introduction to enclitics
  • Reflexive verbs
Cultural Content
  • Geography, cities and accommodation
  • The culture of dining out and visiting
  • Sports and leisure
  • Ex-Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia – politics and history
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/active practice
  • Lots of listening
  • Pronunciation – key sounds

Elementary 1

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Geographic terms, points of compass
  • Excursions
  • Booking flights-boats-trains
  • Booking hotels
  • Telephone conversations
  • Talking about the weather
  • Reporting on events
  • Expressing opinions
  • Expressing agreement-disagreement
Grammar
  • Subjectless sentences to describe weather conditions and subjective states
  • Past tense / affirmative-negative-questions
  • Future tense / affirmative-negative-questions
  • Word order in the past and future tenses
  • Introduction to enclitics
  • Reported speech-reported questions
  • Personal pronouns – nominative-genitive-accusative-dative
  • Imperfective/perfective verbs – pairs
  • Indefinite pronouns and adverbs created from interrogative words / tko, što, gdje, kako and kada with the addition of prefixes ni-, ne- and sva-.
Cultural Content
  • Croatian geography, main rivers, mountains, islands
  • Geography of the Balkans, main countries and capitals
  • Staying in private accommodation in the Adriatic
  • Visiting northern Croatia
  • Visiting Dalmatia and the islands
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/active practice
  • Lots of listening
  • Writing short essays
  • Improving comprehension

Elementary 2

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Summer holidays, beach life
  • Talking about the weather
  • Talking about dates, seasons of the year
  • Clothes and fashion
  • Expressing feelings, moods
Grammar
  • Expressing dates
  • Numbers and agreement with other elements in a sentence
  • Further work on adjectival declension
  • Idiomatic use of the instrumental
  • If clauses
  • Further work on verbal aspect
  • Imperfective-perfective verbs of movement
  • Future Exact
  • Potential mode
  • Declension of interrogative pronouns tko and što and indefinite pronouns netko, nitko and nešto, ništa.
  • Personal pronouns – instrumental
Cultural content
  • Croatian vs Bosnian, Montenegrin, Serbian
  • Iyekavian, Ekavian and Ikavian pronunciations of the BCMS language system
  • Listening to ex-Yugoslav music
  • Daily life in former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/active practice
  • Lots of listening
  • Writing short essays
  • Improving comprehension
  • Expanding vocabulary

Elementary 3

Topics & Vocabulary
  • How are you feeling?
  • Visiting the doctor
  • Talking about ailments
  • Return to work after holidays
  • Business negotiations
  • Business trip
  • Chatting to colleagues about work
Grammar
  • Comparison of adjectives and adverbs
  • Relative clauses
  • Interrogative and relative pronouns – koji, čiji, kakav, koliki
  • Irregular plurals for dijete / djeca; brat / braća and gospodin / gospoda
  • Revision of all grammar covered in Complete Croatian
Cultural Content
  • Ex-Yugoslav music
  • Ex-Yugoslav culture
  • Food in the Balkans
  • Childhood in former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Lots of speaking/active practice
  • Lots of listening
  • Writing essays
  • Improving comprehension
  • Expanding vocabulary
  • Proficiency in the use of grammar patterns / cases and verbal aspects in particular
  • Translation exercises

Intermediate 1

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Money, currencies, banking
  • Arrivals and departures – hotels, trains, airports
  • Talking about feelings, likes, dislikes
Grammar
  • Recap of main grammar structures from Complete Croatian textbook
  • Collective numbers – dvoje, troje, četvero
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Question word čiji (whose)
Cultural Content
  • Visiting western Balkans
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Facts about all countries of former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Listening and responding
  • Reading for comprehension
  • Speaking activities to encourage interaction in class
  • Writing assignments as homework
  • Games to build vocabulary.

Intermediate 2

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Describing your usual day – unusual day
  • Surprise
  • Why are you studying Croatian?
  • My new flat in Zagreb – new job, flat-search, renting
Grammar
  • Locative and genitive cases involving country names
  • Adjectival declension
  • Relative pronouns and relative clauses
  • Recap of future tense, questions, negatives
  • Further work on verbal aspect pairs
  • Verbs of motion – basic verbs of motion and those created with prefixes to mean departures from and arrivals at locations
  • Recap of indirect speech
Cultural Content
  • Former Yugoslav music scene
  • Humour
  • Facts about all countries of former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Listening and responding
  • Reading for comprehension
  • Speaking activities to encourage interaction in class
  • Writing assignments as homework
  • Games to build vocabulary.

Intermediate 3

Topics & Vocabulary
  • House of my dreams
  • Work, career – Do you like your job?
  • Holidays – plans, hopes, obstacles.
  • Return from holiday
Grammar
  • Recap of past tense, creating L-participles
  • Potential mode for polite requests
  • Recap of conditional clauses
  • Location prepositions u and na and their pairs iz and sa 
  • Further work on verbal aspect pairs
  • Personal pronoun declension – short-long forms – further practice
  • Possessive pronouns declension – further practice
Cultural Content
  • Former Yugoslav music scene
  • Humour
  • Facts about all countries of former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Listening and responding
  • Reading for comprehension
  • Speaking activities to encourage interaction in class
  • Writing assignments as homework
  • Games to build vocabulary

Upper Intermediate Lower

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Favourite memories – My childhood in three photos
  • What is happiness
  • Good deed – charitable work
Grammar
  • Recap of cases in depth – nouns, adjectives, pronouns – nominative, dative, accusative, locative, instrumental
  • Third Declension in depth
  • Further work on verbal aspect pairs
  • Demonstrative and interrogative pronouns – further practice
  • Recap of existentials
  • Adjectives – comparatives and superlatives
  • Only plural nouns
  • Verbal adverbs – present and past
Cultural Content
  • Former Yugoslav music scene
  • Humour
  • Facts about all countries of former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Focus on listening, speaking and communication
  • High level reading
  • Development of writing style and tone
  • Pronunciation/accent work to achieve reduced L1 interference

Upper Intermediate Higher

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Serbian turbo folk music
  • Newspaper articles on current affairs
  • Arts and culture
  • Language and humour
Grammar
  • Recap of cases in depth – nouns, adjectives, pronouns – genitive singular, genitive plural
  • Further work on verbal aspect pairs
  • Recap of numbers, agreement with nouns, numbers in dates
  • Nouns with difficult declensions (family members, body parts)
  • Verbs of motion in depth
  • Verbs of transport
  • Collective nouns
Cultural Content
  • Former Yugoslav music scene
  • Humour
  • Facts about all countries of former Yugoslavia
Skills Work
  • Focus on listening, speaking and communication
  • High level reading
  • Development of writing style and tone
  • Pronunciation/accent work to achieve reduced L1 interference

Advanced

Functional Language
  • Developing an argument and defending a point of view
  • Challenging arguments and opinions
  • Expressing beliefs and expressing opinions tentatively
  • Summarising information, ideas and arguments
  • Deducing and inferring
  • Justifying an argument
  • Expressing caution and expressing reservation
  • Expressing empathy and sympathy
  • Evaluating different standpoints
Lexis
  • Vocabulary specific to the topic and subject areas
  • Phrases and expressions related to the listed Functional Language details
Topics & Culture
  • International events, current political and economic issues  
  • The internet, global communication, social media  
  • Diversity, equal opportunity, social injustice, human rights 
  • The future of the planet, climate change, global warming  
  • Well-being, mental health, stress management  
Grammar
  • Consonant and Vowel Alterations
  • Idiomatic use of cases, prepositions
  • Verb conjugation patterns
  • Conjunctions
Pronunciation
  • The clear pronunciation of topic and subject-area specific vocabulary
  • Sounds with minimal interference from the first language
  • Various features of pronunciation which only occasionally deviate from an internationally intelligible model
  • A range of stress and intonation patterns, pitch and volume to convey subtle shifts in meaning and attitude

Proficient

Functional Language
  • All of the functions at Advanced level
  • Asserting
  • Denying
  • Softening and downplaying propositions
  • Contradicting
  • Implying
  • Affirming
Lexis
  • A good command of a very broad lexical repertoire
  • A wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms
  • Phrases and expressions relating to the language functions listed above
Topics & Culture
  • Global economy and the influence of global politics 
  • The global rise of the far right in the 21st century  
  • Internet fraud, scamming, money laundering  
  • The impact of Covid on the workplace and across industry  
  • Love, marriage and sexuality in the 21st Century
Grammar
  • Sentence structure through syntax
  • Vocabulary builder through morphology
  • Understanding differences between Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian
Pronunciation
  • Produce individual sounds so as to be fully understood, with only a rare sound that deviates from an internationally intelligible model
  • Stress and intonation patterns which are recognisably specific to the language without any lapses in intelligibility

Understanding Language Levels

If you are taking a language course with Cactus you can find out more about our language levels and how you can track your progress using the ‘can do statements’ below. These statements outline the key things that you should be able to say and understand once you have completed each level. Can do statements are officially recognised as a set of performance-related scales describing what a learner is able to do in a foreign language, in accordance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and the CEFR defined levels.

CEFR Levels

If you are taking a language course with Cactus you can find out more about our language levels and how you can track your progress using the ‘can do statements’. These statements outline the key things that you should be able to say and understand once you have completed each level. Can do statements are officially recognised as a set of performance-related scales describing what a learner is able to do in a foreign language, in accordance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and the CEFR defined levels.

Beginner (A1)

  • You can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type
  • You can introduce yourself and others
  • You can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, what you do, people you know and things you have
  • You can ask and give directions
  • You can order food and drink
  • You can make very basic travel and accommodation arrangements
  • You can have a basic conversation, provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Elementary (A2)

  • You can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas including basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography and employment
  • You can communicate in simple and routine tasks, requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters
  • You can describe, in simple terms, aspects of your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need
  • You can comfortably ‘get by’ when visiting the country, albeit with some difficulty.

Intermediate (B1)

  • You can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • You can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken
  • You can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest
  • You can describe experiences and events
  • You can talk about dreams, hopes and ambitions
  • You can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans
  • You could consider working in the country using the language (e.g. bar/counter work, waiting service in cafes or basic office work).

Upper Intermediate (B2)

  • You can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialisation.
  • You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible, without strain for either party.
  • You can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue, giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
  • You can do business with speakers of the language in most run-of-the-mill situations.

Advanced (C1)

  • You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning
  • You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions
  • You can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
  • You can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, logical flow of text, and clear awareness of the audience.

Proficient (C2)

  • You can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read
  • You can summarise information from different spoken and written sources
  • You can reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation
  • You can express yourself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely
  • You can differentiate finer shades of meaning, even in the most complex situations.

How to book with Cactus

Select language

Simply select which language you would like to learn and from the box below and click lets go.

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