Once again we learned how precious multimedia resource sharing is in learning English. In our latest English language activity titled News Story Tenses we used Wikinews website both to learn what’s going on in the world and to brush up on our use of English tenses. We have found out that Saudi women will finally be allowed to drive, how the US-based taxi booking company Uber was too relaxed about London transport regulations, that Star Trek enthusiasts can enjoy a new series after 12 years, and about different approaches of Facebook and Russia to the protection of personal data. In the process, we practiced all four language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and as a result we created interactive grammar exercises focusing on tenses for everybody who is interested to have a try.
On 23 June, Lingva English teachers gathered for the 26th Lingva In-house seminar. The presenter this time was Marija Matić Grujić, who demonstrated some of her best teaching pieces done so far in her work with students of different age groups at Lingva Language School in Valjevo. All of the activities included a lot of multimedia resources, such as YouTube chants, Lego Education StoryStarter Set with software support, and Scattergories Card Sets. Marija’s skillful integration of varied and attractive activities, as well as the films she made to illustrate her students’ performance made an exceptionally favourable impression on her colleagues from Lingva, who will definitely include some of her ideas into their own teaching.
We have recently completed this year’s cycle of Business and Technical English courses for students from the Gorenje d.o.o. company. The cooperation between Gorenje and Lingva in the area of language education has been going on for many years and is maximally based on meeting the individual students’ needs and developing their communicative skills. Since the syllabuses included practice of oral presentation skills, students have jointly made a series of attractive multimedia projects, which have been published on our web site www.lingva.com/cafe:
- I Wonder How It Works: Drone Technology by Vladimir
- I Wonder How It Works: Sound by Dalibor
- I Wonder How It Works: My Favourite Domestic Appliance by Aleksandra
- I Wonder How It Works: VASA77 Controller VA-CDX by Vasilije
- I Wonder How It Works: Clocks by Vesna
- LINGVA Web Thistle Newsletter 6 by Ivana & Nataša
- LINGVA Web Thistle Newsletter 5 by Jelena & Saša
- Valjevo as a Tourist and Business Centre by Biljana and Vladan
- Valjevo as a Tourist and Business centre by Verica and Milica
- Valjevo as a Tourist and Business centre by Danica and Milovan
- Valjevo as a Tourist and Business centre by Dragana and Radenko
- Interesting Inventions: Hose Watches by Aleksandar and Aleksandar
- Interesting Inventions: A Super Smart TV by Nenad and Aleksandar
- The Best Mobile Phone by Sladjana and Milan
- Life in the Future by Rada and Marina
- The Best Car by Ivan and Jovan
- Cars of the Future by Natasa and Milan
On Saturday 18 of March 2017, English teachers gathered at Lingva for the 25th round of in-house workshops. The presenters this time were Danijela Bojanić and Marija Milovanović. While Danijela’s workshop, titled Humour Is No Laughing Matter, explored ways of practising different language skills through different forms of humour and using diverse multimedia resources at A2-B1 levels , Marija’s session called “Writing in Class” was dedicated to finding attractive ways of encouraging students of all ages practise this skill, which we more often than not tend to leave aside and assign for homework in order to save precious class time for speaking although we are aware that most of our students do no homework at all. It has been a long time since we last had our in-house workshop and we were all eager to learn and share some new teaching and learning ideas and ready-made activities. Our impressions of the activities presented in both workshops were extremely positive:
Feedback for Writing in Class by Marija Milovanović
“Great, interesting, useful ideas for classes!”
“You’re ready to present at higher levels – at YALS or ELTA seminars and conferences.”
“On the second thought, I’ll use all of your activities. Well done!!!”
“Keep up with the good work!”
Feedback for Humour Is No Laughing Matter by Danijela Bojanić
“I loved it. We haven’t had any workshops so far related to this, what is great is that you could use everything in the classroom (I know I will). Thanks for the ideas!”
“It was very exciting, I liked it pretty much, a lot of interesting ideas and activities. Great job!”
“The song is great! Students could write their own version and practice vocabulary (fruit/vegetables).Tnx”
“I enjoyed it and you encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone! Thanks!”
“A lot of fun! I would actually use the teacher prank list with the worst students and ask them to add their own.”
“Is the inspector coming to observe us too? Why not to our group as well?“ sighed some of Lingva‘s students on Wednesday, 1 March 2017. They were bypassed by the regular teaching reinspection for the purpose of YALS accreditation renewal. It is not customary that students are not afraid of inpectors, but this time it happened that inspector Ana Djordjević, Teaching Fellow in Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Philology of Belgrade University, engaged by YALS Association of Language Schools of Serbia as an external inspector, dispelled all the fears with her professional and unobtrusive approach to the observation of lessons held by 6 teachers in 12 groups, from preschool to adult levels. Teachers did their best to show that all their work is of exceptionally high quality and students responded with utmost interest and cooperation. A lot of enthusiasm and positive energy filled all Lingva classrooms, as well as an all-pervasive feeling that hard work always pays off in the end.
It took less than a month since taking Cambridge Young Learners Exams, on 24 May this year, to receive the impatiently awaited results. On 19 June, Starters, Movers and Flyers gathered at Lingva again, for the 16th year in a row, for the Cambridge Young Learners of English Certificate Award ceremony. Our waiting was rewarded much better than we had expected! There was a much higher number of candidates winning the individual maximum of 15 little coats each for the skills of reading and writing, listening and speaking than in any of the previous years. Especially happy were the Flyers, whose group average was 14 coats. Once again we could see for ourselves that it pays off to work hard and at the end of the ceremony we proudly posed with our certificates for a group photo. This is good news to share through online social media with our friends who are currently on holiday away from Valjevo and were not able to attend the award ceremony.
Since it was founded on 24 April 1990, Lingva has applied high quality standards and innovative approaches in language teaching/learning. Harmonization with European standards was performed in its first years of operation owing to its membership in YALS Association of Language Schools of Serbia. We have achieved very good cooperation with both domestic and foreign institutions, such as the Institute for Advancement of Education and the British Council, through both our own or joint projects with other schools and non-governmental organisations.
As early as 1995, Lingva integrated computer-aided learning activities into its curriculum, which was soon followed by a systematic use of multimedia projects, supported by the internet, IWB and mobile digital devices. Although the low profitability of the core educational activity has frequently necessitated use of additional translation income to support financing of new technologies, Lingva has never regretted making investments in expensive equipment since the attractiveness, topicality and relevance of the teaching content, along with the teachers’ enthusiasm, have always resulted in better motivation and more successful language acquisition. The plan for the next period is integration of interactive Lego Education systems, which are specially designed to stimulate curiosity, creativity and critical thinking as the necessary tools for effective lifelong learning.
In addition to general and special-purpose language courses, Lingva organises preparation for internationally recognized Cambridge and TOEFL exams. It has been the only school in Valjevo since 2000 to prepare 16 generations of 7 to 12 year old children for Cambridge Young Learners’ exams. All of this has contributed to high language proficiency levels of Lingva school leavers. It is exactly for this reason that many former Lingva students of different profiles have easily found employment all over the world. Numerous former Lingva students are studying to become or already work as language teachers, and some have come back to Lingva to apply the same methods as those through which they were once taught foreign languages.
Learning of English tenses can be fun if done through interesting texts, such as excerpts from biographies of famous actors and singers: Sean Connery, Jesse Williams, Avril Lavigne, Johnny Depp, Curt Cobain and Eminem. As we could once again see for ourselves that what we recognize in a text cannot be automatically acquired and that practice makes perfect, the least we can do is to tailor such practice to our interests.
These contributions to Lingva’s treasure trove of interactive exercises “Learn Better English” were made by our students, as part of their preparation for the Cambridge CAE exam – Sofija Rajković, Jovana Đokić, Milica Milisavljević, Tamara Šarčević, Ana Petrović, Jana Perić and Marijana Janković, together with their teacher Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović.
English tenses: Sean Connery by Sofija Rajković
English tenses: Avril Lavigne by Tamara Šarčević
English tenses: Jesse Williams by Marijana Janković
English tenses: Johnny Depp by Milica Milisavljević i Jovana Djokić
English tenses: Eminem by Ana Petrović
English tenses: Curt Cobain by Jana Perić
Our favourite movie genres this month (November 2014) are action, adventure, comedy and fantasy. The films we like best are The Mummy, The Amazing Spider-man, Transporter 2, Home Alone, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Sofija Glišić, Milica Vujić, Veljko Gajić, Luka Lučić, Janko Šejatović, Elena Korčula, Tina Mijatović and Nikola Adžić, with teacher Katarina Vićentijević