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:
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.
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.
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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.