Polski via Skype – Learning Polish via Skype? Posted by on Apr 18, 2009 in Grammar

Thank you once again! I’m sure that your answers to my question in the last post are going to be very helpful to any readers who are still not sure whether to sign up for a Polish language class or go it alone. And as a few of you noticed, sometimes there’s no choice – it’s self-study or nothing, because Polish classes can be hard to find in some places.

That brings me to another point I’d like to know your opinion about. What do you think about the effectiveness of learning via Skype with a tutor? A couple of you mentioned this way of studying Polish and this is something I’d like to know more about from the student’s point of view.

You see, I am myself helping a couple of Polish learners via Skype and from where I’m sitting, it looks like a wonderful way to study a foreign language. It can be a quasi-language course, and a quasi-private class with all the convenience of doing it in your pajamas.

But how effective is it, really? Do you think that it can replace a structured “in-person” language course and offer the same learning benefit? To be honest, this is something I’m not sure about, and as a tutor I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but I have to say that Skype is not for everybody. It requires the same discipline and dedication as independent self-study. And it requires more concentration and attention than working one-on-one with a tutor face-to-face – for both the teacher AND the student. Myself, I find it more challenging than working with a student in real life.

But those of you who use this option, do you think you get out of it what you want to get? Are you happy with your results and the progress you are making? And how do you deal with the time difference if you and the tutor live in different time zones? Who stays up? Is it you or the teacher? Do you think this method can be used alone, or is it best in conjunction with something else?

I think Polish is a very challenging language to teach via Skype. A simple conversation lesson about, let’s say, ordering beer, almost always ends up as a very involved grammatical explanation of, let’s say, noun cases or numerals. However, what I think might be vastly different from what you guys think.

I know that quite a few Polish tutors read this blog, and I know your answers will be very valuable not only to me, but to anyone who teaches a foreign language on the internet. And that in turn should bring better results to our students.

  • uczyć się polskiego – to learn Polish
  • uczyć się – to learn

Remember when we talked about “się” and how it can change the meaning of a verb completely?
Here’s your chance to review:

  • Ja uczę polskiego. – I (am) teach(ing) Polish (“language” is implied and understood). – This is what I would say about myself.


  • Ja uczę się polskiego. – I (am) learn(ing) Polish (“language” is implied and understood) – this is what you could say about yourself.

But if you want to direct the first sentence to me, what would you say?

  • Ty uczysz polskiego. – You (are) teach(ing) Polish.

And if I want to direct the second sentence to you, what would I say?

  • Ty uczysz się polskiego. – You (are) learn(ing) Polish.

Ok, next time we will take a look at the many different English tenses this one Polish sentence can be translated into. Yes, it’s grammar time! Oh joy, oh joy!

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  1. Jade:

    I would like to try learning via Skype, but I think I am a more visual learner so it would be difficult for me. I currently try and learn by myself, although I’m trying to find a Polish teacher in my area (with no success…). I’ve learned a lot through actually being in Poland. I’ve visited twice now for 3 weeks at a time (I’m actually in Poland now!).

  2. David Honley:

    Hi again Anna!
    Last year I had ‘Polish Lessons’ via Skype with a very nice Polish lady for 6 months (a teacher in a High School in Lubsko). She was very diligent and gave of her best. I had loads of assignments (writing discursive essays in Polish etc). I’m sure my writing and reading improved immensly.
    BUT, my main object of communicating with a Pole via Skype was for Listening and Speaking skills. I found this to be VERY hard via Skype. Eventually my teacher said she felt she could no longer continue with the lessons. We remain friends and I hope to meet her when I visit Poland again next year.
    I am finding Rosetta Stone to be a very useful language tool re the Listening and Pronunciation skills, but I guess really I need to go to Poland for a minimum of 6 months AWAY from the English language and to a place in Poland where NO English is spoken!
    Serdecznie pozdrawiam
    David from the UK

  3. Parrish:

    I am one who is in favor of learning Polish by Skype. However, in the end it is more important that a proper program be put in place so that you know how you are going to go about learning a language. Don’t assume that just because someone speaks Polish and has a webcam that they are knowledgeable regarding the ends and outs of teaching a language. My wife, who speaks Polish as her first lanauge is finishing up her undergrad in ESL, and believe me, this has equipped her 100x over in her abilty to be effective in teaching me.

  4. PK:

    I am interested in learning Polish via Skype. Can you please tell me more about how this will be done and how to sign up? Thanks. Phyllis

  5. Vladimir:

    I have a few people who are interestion in lerning Polish via Skype.
    let me know your skype, we will discus it.


  6. Malgosia:

    I teach Polish through Skype, so if you are interested, please get in touch.

  7. Ms Maziah:

    Would appreciate somebody can translate “floral foam” to polish language


  8. Andrzej:

    If someone still needs the answer for Ms Maziah’s question – floral farm in polish is hodowla kwiatów.

    By the way, you website is very useful, and has a lot of interesting resources for lerning foreign languages!

  9. Cindy:

    Hi! Here you can find a native Polish teacher – 🙂

  10. Marta:

    Hi 🙂 ‘floral farm’ means ‘ uprawa kwiatów’. ‘Hodowla’ is only about animals 🙂