YALS Conference 2016: Fostering excellence in language education centres

Yals Chair Marija Pejatović opening Yals Conference 2016: "Fostering Excellence in Language Education Centres in Serbia" in Belgrade, on 15 October 2016

Yals Chair Marija Pejatović opening Yals Conference 2016: “Fostering Excellence in Language Education Centres in Serbia” in Belgrade, on 15 October 2016

Reported by Danijela Veljković

On 15 October, Yals, Association of Language Schools of Serbia, organised a conference titled ’’FOSTERING EXCELLENCE IN LANGUAGE EDUCATION CENTRES IN SERBIA’’ in Guarnerius Centre in Belgrade. The conference was supported by Eaquals, European Association for Quality Language Service, and was aimed at Private School Owners, Academic Managers, Directors of Studies and experienced teachers.

Marija Pejatović, Yals Chair, opened the conference, attended by around 120 people. The participants were also greeted by  the newly appointed British Council Director of Serbia, Clare Sears, who emphasized the importance of following the standards and maintaining the quality in foreign language schools in Serbia, and added that it was the main reason for a long-lasting cooperation between the British Council and Yals.

The main presenter was  Ludka Kotarska, Director of Eaquals Accreditation and Consultancy Services. The topics of her presentations were:

Fostering excellence in language education centres, and

The importance of CPD for an institution

A panel discussion was also held with the following participants: Aleksandra Pejatović, Ph.D, Associate Professor at Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Aleksandar Nedić, Services Sector Secretary, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Josip Sobin, Jantar School Director; member of Language Association, Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Marija Pejatović, Yals Chair, was a moderator.

After the panel discussion, a short promotional film on quality in teaching and management in language schools in Serbia was shown. The name of the film is:  “DO YOU KNOW HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD LANGUAGE SCHOOL?”, and its author is Predrag Todorović.

In the last part of our conference the participants enjoyed the examples of good practice from Yals, workshops prepared by our teachers:

Jelena Spasić, Senior Teacher, Teacher Trainer, Academic Director, Oxford School, Leskovac, ’’Storytelling with the Giving Tree’’

Katarina Andrić, Senior Teacher and Teacher Trainer, Lingva School,  Valjevo,  ’’Vocabulary Beats’’

Jovana Popović an,d Sofija Ljiljak Vukajlović, Senior Teachers and Teacher Trainers, Tom & Emma School , Belgrade,  ’’Aiming High with Video’’

YALS Conference 2016 Invitation

YALS Conference 2016
Dear Colleagues,
We have the pleasure of inviting you to a one day Seminar called
FOSTERING EXCELLENCE IN LANGUAGE EDUCATION CENTRES IN SERBIA
organised by YALS, the Association of Language Schools of Serbia and supported by Eaquals.
The seminar is aimed at Private School Owners, Academic Managers, Directors of Studies and experienced teachers.
This seminar will be held on 15th October, 2016
Venue: “GUARNERIUS” – Centar Lepih Umetnosti, Džordža Vašingtona 12, Beograd.
The main presenter will be:
Ludka Kotarska
Teacher, Teacher Trainer, Academic Manager and School Director
Director of Eaquals Accreditation and Consultancy Services.
Workshops will include:
♦ Fostering excellence in language education centres
♦ The importance of CPD for an institution
♦ Examples of good practice from YALS
The preliminary programme is for Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
We hope that you will join us in making this seminar a success.
Please fill in the registration form attached and email it to seminari@yals.rs by 8th October.
Due to a limited number of seats, all registered will receive a confirmation by 12th October.
Looking forward to welcoming you at Guarnerius.
Most sincerely,
Marija Pejatović,
YALS Chair

YALS Teachers Complete the Second Round of Pedagogical and Andragogical Training in Active Methods of Teaching/Learning

aktivne-metode_grupna

On 12 and 13 September, YALS teachers gathered again for the second in the series of trainer developing skills seminars held by a group of experts from the Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade – Aleksandra Pejatovic, PhD, Associate Professor, Violeta Orlović Lovren, PhD, Assistant Professor, as well as Dubravka Mihajlović and Edisa Kecap, Reasearch Assistants.

The seminar titled “Active Methods of Teaching/Learning“ was focused on developing trainer skills related to fundamental strategies and methods of teaching/learning, role of teachers with respect to active methods, observing various criteria in selecting appropriate methods, applying active methods in the context of taxonomy of educational outcomes, and using different ways of assessing achievement of educational outcomes in compliance with the applied methods of teaching/learning.

In addition to gaining insight in the big picture of theoretical foundations of active methods of teaching and learning, participants were also challenged to design the most suitable lessons using the given sets of methods and techniques, with the special emphasis on the specifics of teaching adults. This newly acquired knowledge and experience will certainly boost self-confidence and enhance the teachers’ quality of work, and the spin-offs from the workshops will soon be used in many English language classes of YALS teachers in places all over Serbia.

In line with the first event held in June 2014 and titled “Basic Trainer’s Skills”, this seminar also featured boundless creative energy, enthusiasm and readiness for sharing.

Remarkable Participation of YALS at 14th ELTA Conference 2016

Predstavnice YALS-a na 14. Konferenciji ELTA 2016

YALS representatives at 14th ELTA Conference 2016

Reported by Marija Pejatović

 ‘One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world’ by Malala Yousafzai was the moto of this year’s ELTA Conference. The Conference was held in the modern Singidunum University in Belgrade on 20 and 21 May, 2016.

Since YALS and ELTA have been partners for years, ELTA again generously gave us one free attendence for the conference.

YALS decided to be as visible as possible and thus we had our info desk once again this year. The info desk was our base and the meeting point for all YALS teachers and YALS friends. Also, it gave us a great opportunity to share information about our work with the interested professionals. We had a number of visitors, among whom, representatives of the Singidunum university who are interested in partnering with YALS within their new English language department. We met colleagues from Croatia who shared their experience in the process of accreditation. Our team had fantastic time talking to YALS sponsors who traditionally support our literary competition every year, Pearson and the English Book. Thanks to these friends of YALS, our annual competition has been growing each year and now it has a new, multimedia part in accordance with the 21 century children and their skills, and we are grateful for their support.

However, the most important part of ELTA Conference is the professional development and we can proudly say that this year, five teachers and teacher trainers from YALS had materials to share with their colleagues. Sofija Ljiljak Vukajlovic, teacher trainer from Tom & Emma school, had an interesting workshop on storytelling entitled A Story to Tell …. Using Narrative in ELT. Jovana Popovic, teacher trainer, also from Tom & Emma school, had another great workshop on Using Video in Classes – Fun for Both Students and Teachers. Lora Petronic Petrovic from Lingva, supported by her colleague Ivana Damjanović from the Faculty of Business, had a successful presentation on Self and Peer Assessment with Young Learners. One more YALS teacher, Jelena Spasic from Oxford School, who successfully finished ELTA’s seminar on Creative Writing, publicly read the story she had written on the course, and which was included in the resulting book published under the title Small Town Stories. In this publication, there is also a story from another YALS teachers, Katarina Andric from Lingva School.

All in all this was yet another successful ELTA Conference and we want to congratulate the organizers and also to use this opportunity to invite all interested professionals to the next big ELT event organized by YALS and supported by EAQUALS and the British Council in Belgrade, in October this year.

Eaquals 25th Anniversary Conference 2016

Marija Pejatović, predsatvnica YALS-a, pridruženog člana EAQUALS-a i Vesna Stakić, predstavnica škole Tom i Ema, jedine akreditovane članice EAQUALS-a iz Srbije

Marija Pejatović, representative of YALS, associate member of EAQUALS, and Vesna Stakić, representative of Tom & Emma School, the only accredited member of EAQUALS from Serbia

–reported by Marija Pejatović

Lisbon, Portugal

It was my great pleasure to represent YALS at Eaquals 25th anniversary conference held in magnificent Lisbon from Thursday 21 April until Saturday 23 April.

The Conference was attended by more than 270 delegates from over 40 countries – a record for Eaquals.

The conference was opened by the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Dr Augusto Santos Silva, who paid tribute to Eaquals’ work in raising standards in language education and highlighted the important role of language teaching in promoting better global understanding.

Thursday is usually an inspectors only day, but this time, we had an interesting oportunity to attend a whole-day training on management held by inspiring and vigorous George Pickering. He taught us not only how to manage ‘the monkey on our shoulder’ but also how to be efficent managers with some free time on our hands.

On Friday and Saturday the conference was organized around 5 general themes: Teaching and learning, Course design, CEFR and assessment, Staff development, Managing for quality and Business and marketing management.

I attended workshops mostly on Business and Marketing management since it is important for our schools to learn how to effectively and efficiently advertise on a low budget.

Evenings were reserved for social events and sightseeing tours and they were a great opportunity for networking with other members and learning about Lisbon and its wonderful people.