The Centre for Slovene as a Second and Foreign Language came into existence in 1965 and nowadays operates in the framework of the Department of Slovenian Studies at the University of Ljubljana. Its chief aim is to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Slovenian language, literature and culture on an international level. In addition to a bevy of scientific publications as well as conference and seminar proceedings, the centre also publishes textbooks for foreign learners of Slovenian. In 2014 the Pocket Slovene, a bilingual language phrase book, was prepared in 22 languages.
The centre coordinates a number of projects, namely Slovenian language courses, seminars on Slovenian language, literature and culture, the annual symposium "Obdobja", scientific conferences, publishing scientific publications, the Slonline.si website for distance learning of Slovenian, and many more. The centre is also authorised to organise examinations and issue official certificates of knowledge of the Slovenian language.
The symposium "Obdobja" joins domestic and foreign linguists, literary theoreticians and historians as well as social sciences professionals and scientists. The discussions and presentations have had a common interest in, yet varying approaches to, a number of topics, such as Slovene dialects, or contemporary Slovene literature.
The Seminar of Slovene Language, Literature and Culture aims to deliver the latest in Slovenian language and culture; its participants hail from many countries and backgrounds from around the world, yet share a professional interest in the language. The seminar is comprised of lectures, conversation classes, language courses, and other activities that foster the understanding of the language and deepen cultural awareness.
World Festival of Slovene Documentary Films
In 2012 the Centre organised a significant project: 9 Slovene documentary films that tackled themes like architecture, painting, lingustics, rap music, jounalism, sports and ethnology, were translated into 21 different languages by 39 teachers of Slovene and their 260 students around the world, RTV Slovenia added subtitles in foreign languages to films, provided DVDs, and the films were shown at more than 50 foreign universities where Slovene is taught or studied with accompanying cultural events coorganised by Slovene embassies.
World Days of Slovene Culture
The World Days of Slovene Culture took place at Slovene lectureships at foreign universities 3–9 December 2016. See the brochure link below.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport in cooperation with the National Education Institute (Zavod RS za šolstvo), the Centre for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes and the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad provides scholarships covering tuition fees for members of Slovene ethnic minorities in other countries and descendants of Slovene expatriates and emigrants. Applicants must be 35 years old or younger. Traditionally, these were the only scholarships offered for the study of Slovenian language at the Centre of Slovene.
In 2011 the centre established the Jana Zemljarič Miklavčič Scholarship Trust, which awards grants to individuals who do not have a Slovene background to further encourage their work in promoting Slovene culture worldwide.
Slovene at foreign universities
The centre also offers support to Slovene lectureships at 60 universities around the world, 22 of which offer students the ability to attain a degree in Slovenian and further their studies at the postgraduate level (see the link to the list of contacts below). This is done through new textbooks, proceedings, and other assorted learning materials, mostly provided by the Centre. More than 2000 students study Slovenian at various levels at foreign universities. The focus is on language teaching, although teachers also incorporate other areas, such as Slovene literature and culture, help their students writing seminars and degree papers. Throughout the year teachers organise various cultural events, some also with guests from Slovenia.