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YALS representative at OPTIMA – Eaquals Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria

Reported by Marija Pejatović

Participation in the Erasmus Plus project made YALS more visible to the similar associations in the neighbouring countries and thus, YALS was kindly invited to participate in the annual OPTIMA Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria on 29 and 30 June, 2018.

OPTIMA is a Bulgarian association for quality in language services and Eaquals associate member. Marija Pejatovic, YALS president, represented YALS at the Conference.

The Conference was organized in the City Center hotel in Sofia and the sessions were excellently chosen. The presenters were Julie Wallis, director of The London school in Thiene and Eaquals inspector, and Grzegorz Spievak, PhD,  honorary president and advisory board member of IATEFL Poland.

The title of the Conference was Trends in Academic Management and apart from giving the participants tools, tips and techniques for  successful academic management, the participants had a chance to discover how to maximise the impact they have on students’ learning.

The conference was supported by the British Council and Macmillan Education.

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet new colleagues and  expand the network of language professionals internationally.

YALS teachers held workshops at ELTA Serbia 2018 Conference

Reported by Milana Papić
Translated by Milijana Petrović

During the two-day ELTA Serbia conference, ‘The Teacher’s Guide Though the ELT Galaxy’, The Association of Language Schools of Serbia YALS proved to be a successful participant, repeating its last year’s success at the conference.  Five teachers and teacher trainers, YALS school members, had their workshops on 11 and 12 May 2018 at the Teacher Education Faculty in Belgrade.

The participation of the YALS teachers and teacher trainers was part of the ‘Teaching and Learning Enhanced’ project within the Erasmus+ grant programme for the purpose of supporting the activities in the area of education and training, as well as in the area of youth education and sports in the period from 2014 to 2020.  YALS teachers shared their knowledge gained during the implementation of their mobility programmes with other ELTA participants from Serbia and other countries. These mobility programmes took place in two institutions accredited by Erasmus+, i.e. at Executive Training Institute Malta, in St.Julian’s, Malta and ELC School in Brighton, Great Britain.

Upon the opening statements and the first plenary session, teacher and teacher trainer Jelena Spasić held her workshop ‘Teaching and Learning Structures’. At the same time, teacher Milana Papić had her workshop named ‘Are you Human? How technology can facilitate vocabulary acquisition’.  During the second day of the conference Sofija Ljiljak-Vukajlović, teacher and teacher trainer, had her workshop first, ‘Spice Up Your Reading Activities’, followed by teacher and teacher trainer Jovana Popović and her workshop ‘Vocabulary Revisited’ and teacher Milijana Mitic with ‘Gamification Strategies’.  Many ELTA participants attended all five workshops and they were introduced to new ideas easily applicable in our classrooms.

Just like every year, YALS had the information desk that was visited by many ELTA participants, just like our teachers’ workshops. YALS Chair, Marija Pejatovic and YALS teachers talked to the conference visitors interested in our association. They could also help themselves to our traditional, delicious YALS muffins.

YALS announces 2018 Literary & Multimedia Competition Winners

Reported by: Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović

In the month of April, YALS organized its traditional literary and multimedia competition for young students of its member schools at all levels. The general theme for multimedia creations was My World, while the topics for literary works were as follows:

A1 – My favourite place
A2 – One thing I cannot live without
B1 – My best holiday
B2 – Are we too dependent on new technologies?
C1 – These days people live much longer than they used to
C2 –What do you think success can be attributed to?

This time again, a large number of students from YALS member schools sent their work and YALS Jury, consisting of Coordinator Danijela Karafilipović, teachers Marija Vojvodić and Milica Gojković from Centre Britannica Niš,  Jelena Spasić from Oxford School Leskovac and Sofija Ljiljak-Vukajlović, from Tom & Emma School, Belgrade, had a difficult task in determining YALS award winners, so in many cases there are multiple winners.

As in the previous competitions, the most successful authors will receive public recognition and their works will be published on YALS web site. The winners will also be awarded books and other surprise prizes.

Here are their masterpieces:

YALS 2018 Literary Competition Winners

YALS 2018 Multimedia Competition Winners

YALS representative at 27th International Eaquals Conference

 

Reported by Marija Pejatović

The 27th International Conference, welcomed a record number of participants. It  was held in Prague from 26 – 28 April and YALS representative was Marija Pejatovic, YALS president.

The conference was officially opened by Eaquals Chair, Justin Quinn, who welcomed new members to the organisation and reflected on a year of growth, followed by an opening address by Professor Hana Machkova, Rector of the University of Economics, Prague.

It was announced during the conference AGM that Eaquals will launch a scholarship award scheme, which will enable Eaquals-accredited members  to benefit from funding to attend Eaquals conference in addition to the recently introduced  Teacher Award Scheme in recognition of the hard work and dedication required to be an outstanding teacher.

Three days of innovative presentations, workshops and discussions included a full day Management Training Workshop‘Managing to Succeed’, delivered by Fiona Dunlop.

The conference was an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and meet language professionals and experts from all over the world.

16th YALS Inhouse Seminar: Management Approach to Relationships in Educational Institutions

16th YALS Inhouse seminar: Management Approach to Relationships in Educational Institutions

— Reported by Mirjana Ljiljak-Vukajlović

On 17 March 2018, YALS school representatives had pleasure to attend the 16th YALS Inhouse Seminar, organised by Big Bird School from Belgrade, and titled Management Approach to Relationships in Educational Institutions, at Karađorđe Elementary School in Belgrade. The lecturers were Professor Šefika Alibabić, PhD, and  Professor Jovan Miljković, PhD, from the Andragogy Study Group, the Faculty of Philosophy of Belgrade University. The seminar centred on the three main topics:

– Organisational Culture as a Context of Creating Relationships
– Marketing Mix as a Function of Creating Relationships in an Organisation
– Managerial Skills as a Function of Managing Relationships in an Organisation

The lecturers provided a very useful input about the the different types of organisational cultures and their impact on educational organisations. The participants were given specific tasks to analyse the current position of their association, and its member schools, in the language teaching and learning market, and to agree on the most important strategies and measures to take in order to improve its image and competitiveness. The seminar activities also included discussing the importance of creating suitable work environment and dress codes, developing specific rituals and models of interaction between teachers and students/clients. Detailed SWOT and Differentiation analyses were done in order to find out unique selling points of YALS.

The seminar was conducted highly professionally, and it was especially interesting for the participants to look at their association from a different perspective, as well as to be given instruments to assess it more objectively.

The host of the 16th YALS inhouse seminar was Dijana Kisić, Director of Big Bird School in Belgrade, who once again did her best to immaculately organise this gathering and make it a memorable event for both the lecturers and the participants.