The latest round of the HiT-1 on-line course teaching Croatian as a second and foreign language wrapped up with a final exam taken by the fifteen students participating in the autumn semester.

The latest round of the HiT-1 Croatian Internet Course, an on-line course teaching Croatian as a second and foreign language, wrapped up on the 3rd of December with a final exam taken by the fifteen students participating in the autumn semester.
The HiT-1 Croatian Internet course is the first university on-line course teaching Croatian as a second and foreign language in the Republic of Croatia, launched at the initiative of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. The course emerged from a collaborative effort by the Croatian Heritage Foundation, the University of Zagreb, and the University of Zagreb’s SRCE University Computing Centre, with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education.
The course was in the development phase from 2009 to 2010 and had its first trial run in March of 2011. Fifteen semesters have been up to the end of 2017, with classes attended by 149 participants from thirty-five countries from various continents, from Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Africa and Europe to North and South America.
Fifteen attendees registered for the autumn semester (six on scholarships provided by the State Office for Croats Abroad) from twelve countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, South Africa, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Romania, Germany, the USA, Scotland and Uruguay).
HiT-1 is a form of distance learning staged twice a year in spring and autumn semesters. It consists of seven instructional units that participants have a total of twelve weeks to master, in which they are assisted by experienced instructors and experts in Croatian as a foreign language Marija Bošnjak BA, Maša Musulin PhD, Zrinka Kolaković BA and Lidija Cvikić PhD – also the authors of this unique programme.
Instruction is interactive and the approach to learning the language individualised, which means that the content is adapted individually to the needs and capacities of each participant. The course is implemented through an e-learning system and includes a mandatory 24 hours of classes with an instructor via the Internet (Skype), when participants have an opportunity to speak directly with the e-instructors, native speakers of Croatian, which is critical to the overall learning process. The live classes and the interesting content in the e-system has contributed to the very low dropout rate HiT enjoys, as borne out by the participants in their own final evaluations of the course.
The HiT-1 Croatian internet course is a key project that provides a window to learning the Croatian language to Croatians who are unable to attend courses in Croatia or from whom the opportunities to learn Croatian in their countries of residence are limited. There is a great need for learning Croatian as a foreign language among hereditary speakers, especially among those encountering the Croatian language for the first time and those who have never received any formal instruction (as determined in a survey on the need for Croatian language instruction conducted by the CHF during the HiT project preparatory phase on a sample population of 700).
We are happy to see that the State Office for Croats Abroad has conducted a tender for and awarded five scholarships for the sixteenth semester, to be staged from the 5th of March to the 27th of May 2018 (with a registration deadline on the 23rd of February 2018).
The organisers have already announced the upcoming autumn semester from September 10th to December 2nd 2018 (the application deadline is September 1st 2018).

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By: Lada Kanajet Šimić