Here are some more news this spring from our area and the world in the 9th issue of Lingva Web Thistle Newsletter, as reported by Kalina, Teodora, Uroš and their teacher Mira, who write about the English classes and companions at Lingva, the forthcoming opening of the Lidl megastore in Valjevo, whether the sun could kill the coronavirus, as well as YALS Spring Online Meetups – a series of five online workshops organised by YALS Association of Language Schools of Serbia for their English language students in the period from May to June 2020.
Two new issues of Lingva students’ newsletter covering the latest news from the local to the global communities have been recently published on the Lingva Café website. In the 8th issue of the Lingva Web Thistle Newsletter, Teodora, Sofija, Jelena and Ignjat report about their Cambridge CAE preparatory course at Lingva, happenings around Valjevo Jazz Fest in the times of the coronavirus pandemic, the alleged occurrence of “the black widow” in Serbia and the discovery of a microbe that could be successfully used in the fight against malaria. In addition to practising writing articles and news reports at an advanced level in their final year of learning English at Lingva, these students are leaving a relevant digital footprint of their own time on the Web.
Lingva B2.a students took it very seriously when told to do the English multimedia project called News Verb Forms. They were first instructed to read the latest news stories on various topics on the website https://www.wikinews.org/, and summarize them orally for their classmates. The second step of the assignment involved creating verb form gap-fill exercises using the interactive Hot Potatoes authoring tools, and the final one was to do their classmates’ exercises, practicing use of verb forms both in the stage of creating as well as in that of doing the exercises. Although at first the teacher thought that students would not like to do more than one additional peer-created exercise, Sofija Belušević, Teodora Beljić, Iva Obućina, Jelena Perić, Filip Petrović, Kalina Petrovic, Uroš Uverić, pleasantly suprised her by asking to do all five exercises; what is more, the fast finishers even did some of the similar last year’s activities done by former Lingva students.
As in the previous years, a large number of higher-level course students from Gorenje made a special effort in their English language learning by taking part in multimedia projects. They created slide presentations on various business and technical topics, held them before colleagues in their groups, and finally took part in the assessment and follow-up discussion. In this way they additionally developed all language skills and enhanced their communicative skills and confidence about public speaking. Here are some of their presentations which have been published on our web site www.lingva.com/cafe :
A lot of love, patience and hard work has been invested in these charming presentations of best friends and close cousins by young teenage students in A2.b and A1.a groups and their teacher Katarina Ristic at Lingva. This new generation has many interesting things to reveal to us – we can learn that not only PE is the most popular subject but also math, that they like to be surrounded with pets and go out for a walk with a dog and actively do more than one sport. Their meeting points are city squares and their destination is most often Pećina Park. The music they listen to are songs by Marcus and Martines Shakira, and they adore acting of Kira Kosarin on the Nickelodeon channel. What can be more delicious than eating spaghetti and attractive than going to the seaside in Greece.
As a sequel to previous workshops dealing with the same teaching area, which were held on 16 March 2016 and 18 February 2011 and responding to the specific needs of Lingva English language teachers, the 29th in-house workshop was dedicated to writing assessment standardisation. The workshop was attended by both more experienced and new teachers. The main purpose of the workshop was to improve quality and consistency of writing assessment in order to ensure unified and fair school assessment procedures for young adult and adult groups.
In the first session, teachers refreshed their knowledge of overall CEFR written assessment criteria – this time including the sublevel or “+“ level descriptions, and then revised the criteria of Cambridge Writing Assessment (sub)scales referenced to CEFR level descriptors: Content, Communicative Achievement, Organisation and Language. In the second session, teachers were given Cambridge ESOL test samples from A2 to C2 levels to rate them individually and in pairs, which was followed by the whole group discussion. In the final stage, teachers applied the same procedure in assessing Lingva test samples of written students‘ work.
The next workshop, will be held in June, this time as a sequel to the series of speaking assessment standardisation workshops.
On 26 February, Lingva students attended a multimedia presentation on the activities of European Youth Parliament (EYP) of Serbia, given in an effective and upbeat way by young activists Lenka Živanović and Luka Jovanović. Students were invited to join 8th Outreach Weekend of EYPS to take place in Valjevo on 2nd to 3rd March. EYP is a unique educational programme which empowers young people from all over Europe to take an active part in the decision making and intercultural exchange processes. In addition, young people improve their language skills and learn to work in an international environment. Lingva students who have already participated in organizing the previous EYP events for their peers at the local, regional and national levels, have a very positive experience of this programme.
Last two nights we burst open Monster Octo and Sweet Medusa to free Santa so that he could give presents all over the world, we made Christmas cards for our dearest ones, constructed cute snowman figures, coloured an Advent calendar, solved plenty of joyful puzzles by pulling Christmas crackers, watched a film how Christmas trees are made, and did a super quiz on the interactive whiteboard, as well as mobile phones.