On 18 March 2023, the thirtieth Lingva inhouse workshop was held, under the title Lingva Teaching Sparkles 5. Teachers from Lingva Valjevo: Danijela Beljić, Ognjen Petković, Lora Petronić Petrović, Katarina Ristić and Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović, together with the participants from Lingva Belgrade: Ana Petrović, Željko Ljiljak-Vukajlović and Sofija Ljiljak Vukajlović held a series of workshops where they presented a selection of most successful activities in teaching English for all age groups and levels of knowledge. This first live workshop after years of online gatherings due to the coronavirus epidemic passed in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere.
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.
LINGVA teachers Katarina Andrić, Ivana Lazić, Lora Petronić Petrović & Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović have recently attended the 16th Conference of ELTA Serbia – English Language Teachers’ Association, which was held under the title “The Teacher’s Guide through ELT Galaxy“ in Belgrade on 11 and 12 May. The coference was attended by over 400 teachers, and the speakers included numerous famous experts in the field of English language teaching and learning from the world and Serbia. YALS Association of Language Schools of Serbia, one of whose members is Lingva, was again represented by five speakers, as in the previous ELTA conference, who held interesting and successful workshops. LINGVA teachers had ample opportunity to explore the current and future trends in ELT approaches and methods, as well as to share specific experiences with other colleagues.
On 24 March 2018, Lingva teachers attended the 27th Inhouse Worskhop “Lingva’s Teaching Sparklets 3“. The presenters were Katarina Mirković, German language teacher and Ivana Lazić, English language teacher, who held the following workshops:
· Deutch mal anders (German in Another Way) by Katarina Mirković
· We Love LEGO® by Ivana Lazić
· Compare, Compare by Ivana Lazić
Both teachers meticulously prepared their workshops and demonstrated a large number of activities for young learners at A1 and A2 levels, including integration of multimedia and educational LEGO® activities. They also stressed the importance of diversity and TPR in work with children as motivationa boosters leading to better language learning results.
Their presentations were received with exceptional interest and enthusiasm. Here are some of participants’ comments for Katarina’s work:
“It was super, you are very energetic. The activities are interesting and I will be pleased to use them in our lessons. Thank you J“
“Exceptionally good ideas, especially those demanding movement and breaking the lesson monotony. Bravo, Katarina!“
and some feedback for Ivana:
“A lot of useful multimedia material, great online resources, thanks!”
“All activities are excellently integrated, both lesson perfectly planned, a good blend of multimedia and the textbook.”
On March 3rd 2018 Lingva teachers Marija Matić Grujić, Katarina Ristić, Katarina Andrić, Marija Milovanović and Lora Petronić-Petrović attended the conference ‘SIG Day Joy of Teaching Young Learners’, which was held at the Faculty of Legal and Business Studies Dr Lazar Vrkatic in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Teachers were presented with some practical and innovative ideas which they could use while teaching young learners.
Three Lingva teachers Marija Matić Grujić, Marija Milovanović and Katarina Andrić held a workshop called Tricks with Brick in which they showed how LEGO® bricks and StoryStarter educational software can be used for foreign language learning. Participants got familiarized with using LEGO® bricks to enhance listening, speaking, sreading and writing. They also got to experience building stories with bricks and their feedback was very positive, particularly pointing out that these activities would boost students’ creativity and self-confidence.
Another Lingva teacher, Lora Petronić Petrović, held a presentation Speaking and Listening with Polly the Porcupine, which was aimed at practising listening and speaking skills, with special emphasis on speaking skills according to YLE Starters format.
This workshop shows the way of adapting coursebook material to the features of Cambridge Starters Exam. At “Lingva”, private language school in Valjevo, the main material for teaching used in classes are different course book series from renowned publishers, since not all students take this exam. In view of the fact that the test and portfolio items format differ from the one in Cambridge YLE Starters Exam, author of the activities shows the ways of exposing students to exercises which will both, bring test format closer to them, and put them in the exam similar circumstances from the very beginning of the school year. The activities presented are based on New Chatterbox 2 coursebook by Derek Strange Units 7 and 8, as well as Starters Exam Speaking part.
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 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.