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:
We haven’t wavered in our commitment to quality! The maximum number of points awarded by YALS inspectors proved once again that we continue to work with the same professionalism and dedication, as shown before in numerous previous regular inspections ever since 2000. During the second stage of YALS inspection for the purpose of accreditation renewal inspectors Maja Gavrilović from Livingston School, Belgrade, and Biljana Barna from New English School, Pančevo, inspected and assessed implementation of professional standards, school management, as well as school premises and equipment. They held separate interviews with students, parents and teachers, and were able to see for themselves that all the participants were extremely satisfied with Lingva services and attitude. This practice offers a good opportunity for any language school to review the status of its work procedures and processes and to update and improve them in accordance with the latest developments in the field of education.
“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.
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Immediately before summer holiday, as planned in the Lingva’s Annual Teacher Training and Development plan, the topic of our 24th in-house workshop, held by Director-of-Studies Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović on 24th June, was Speaking Assessment Standardisation, as a sequel to earlier workshops on the same topic held on 15 October and 14 december 2010.
As in the previous workshops, the first part of our session was dedicated to familiarizing with CEFR speaking overviews and descriptors. In contrast to the event in 2010, when the second part included watching and discussing filmed samples of CEFR-calibrated oral production as part of a CoE-EAQUALS project, this time video clips of Cambridge English Examples of Speaking Tests were used first to identify the CEFR levels on the basis of the given speaking criteria and then to analyse which particular features of students performance indicate each specified level. The third stage involved studying the examiners’ commentaries on students performances and comparing them with our own.
The workshop proved to be very useful, especially in providing a much clearer picture of the performance required of students at each particular level and clarifying what each of five speaking assessment criteria – Range, Accuracy, Fluency, Interaction, Coherence – actually implies. Once again it was concluded that we have to be very careful not to be overly demanding when assessing lower level students and that students should not be penalized too much for mistakes as long as they do not impede understanding.
Our adult students Natasa Simjanovska, Jelena Davidovic, Natasa Damnjanovic, Stanko Markovic and Radisa Jovanovic, from General English group B1+/a, supported by teacher Ivana Lazic, prepared some interesting news for us about topical events this spring in our country, town and language school Lingva. We can read about some good and some not-so-good events, such as a case of mugging in Valjevo and a traffic accident in Pirot, paying homage to actor Dragan Nikolić, but also about a wine festival in Valjevo, and especially about how finely tuned and cooperative their language group is, especially when they discuss varous issues, and how fond they are of their teacher Ivana.
A dilligent group of Lingva students of Technical English at B2.a level from the Gorenje company has recently given presentations on a miraculous graphene material, for which two scientists, Geim and Novoselov won the Nobel prize in Physics in 2010. Graphene caught attention of several groups of scientits in Serbia as well, and Novak Đoković has been using racquets reinforced with graphene, which makes them lighter and more durable than rackets used to date. Vesna Kosovec, Dalibor Andrić, Vasilije Andrić and Vlada Petrović have made interesting presentations in which each of them, from their own perspective, pointed out countless advantages of this material of the future.
In March this year Lingva Business English students at C1.b level from Gorenje took part in the multimedia project “What Helps My Team Learn Better“, one part of which refers to giving a presentation about a hobby or topic they are personally interested in and designing activities that will engage the most frequent multiple intelligences of the group in the best possible way. All of these student-made English learning activities are aimed at extending the scope of the given course syllabus with additional language practice, closely tailored to the needs of students. The diligent students did their best!