Richard Ozanne

  1959 -
  City of Birth:
St Louis

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Richard 's Story > Chapters > Prague Story

"A Lecktor-Professor at Charles University A University Founded 1342" 


Date Range: 03/03/1997 To 03/03/2003   Comments: 1   Views: 5,544
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During the course of my residence in Prague Czech Republic I began to teach as a Lecturer at Charles University in Prague.
According to Wikipedia:

Charles University in Prague (also simply Charles University; Czech: Univerzita Karlova v Praze; Latin: Universitas Carolina; German: Karls-Universität zu Prag) is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1347, it was the first university in Central Europe and is also considered the earliest German university.[1] It is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation.

Its seal shows its protector, Emperor Charles IV, with his coats of arms as King of the Romans and King of Bohemia kneeling in front of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is surrounded by the inscription, Sigillum Universitatis Scolarium Studii Pragensis (English: Seal of the Prague academia, Czech: Pecet studentské obce pražského ucení).[2]

According to the recent Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University:
 Charles University ranked as the leading university in the Czech Republic and the second one in Central and Eastern Europe after Moscow State University.

This was a magnificent experience for me to be part of an extremely rare offer for a foreigner of the United States to teach at Charles. (If I didnt know what an honor it felt like Oxford or Cambridge-The brightest and best from Central, Eastern Europe.

I began to teach after a reference from one of Czech Republics formost politicians recommended to me a post that I might want to apply for at the Fakulty of Pedagogy (School of Teachers) where I taught 3 classes in a course of one semester for older students interested in professional development of Scientific and Technical English. This was 1998 in Prague.

I remember the first class that I was teaching at a well embellished school called "The girls school" in the center of Prague. I had been teaching at NOVA Television (one of the largest television stations in Czech at that time-other than two other stations  known as  "1" and "2" in those days) some classes in Broadcast English. My day was filled with other classes teaching students from the tower-flight communications-Ruzne Ariport too as well as a battery of private students. (all in a days work) 
This was a stable to get me into teaching art, as Prague at that time was sporting some rather phenominal talents as teachers at the Czech Academy. It was a rare occasion that I could teach there...since I was not Czech and didnt have command of my national papers-aka Czech Green Card. Once I did the overflow students would come for private sessions in art. 
We can joke...this was not merely ESL or TESL courses that I was teaching. I liked to work with professionals in their fields who already had command of their talents only to augment their vocabulary and expertise in areas of the English language as facilitator, this was my job. I was not the nuts-and-bolts grammar guy, English 101,102,104 teacher. This was not my job. Often I had challenges in some of the fields I would work in. I would have to know the basis of technique that each of the professions would have as well as a rather extended vocabulary and knowledge of principles in subjects taught. I found myself working out dissertations and speeches that would be given to foreign dignitaries who were on a public platform in the USA to give a lecture ecific subjects at our universitys. Sometimes I was a member of an invisible team, getting the information in direct translation from Czech to be layed out, and then the paper was passed to a Czech translator...and back again for clarification. (academic least in Czech)

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Member Since
Aug 2007
Agnes Williams said:
posted on Jun 03, 2010

You've led a really rich and fascinating life history thus far Richard. Far more than most people dare to live, I must say.