At the invitation of the partner association QUEST, we spent the last weekend in October at a conference in Romania. When the president of YALS, Marija Pejatović, received an invitation to give a plenary presentation on the topic of the emotional well-being of teachers and students, a support team of four quickly assembled and registered for the conference. The very topic of the conference – “Emotional Intelligence and Digitalisation in Language Teaching and Learning” – was certainly very interesting and stimulating in itself, and the opportunity to spend a warm weekend in October in the charming town of Cluj-Napoca an additional reason to quickly go from an intention to a successful realisation.
The conference was organized by the two partner associations – QUEST, the Romanian Association for the Quality of Language Services, and Bridge Language Study House, a School for learning foreign languages, with the support of Eaquals, European association for evaluation and accreditation of quality language services. During the two days of the conference, we heard a lot of useful things, participated in interesting workshops, met with some old colleagues, and got introduced to some new ones as well. As the theme of the conference itself suggests, we had the opportunity to get to know the meaning of the term emotional intelligence, but also to learn some useful activities on how to develop it in students and teachers. We also got acquainted with certain digital tools that are useful for every type of teaching, but also for independent learning of students. Furthermore, we listened to an interesting plenary presentation by Marija Pejatovic on the importance of emotional balance, well-being and mindfulness, not only in life in general but also during classes; we practised breathing, calming and concentration techniques that are useful for both students and teachers, as they can be easily applied during classes.
In particular, I would like to highlight two projects that the organisers did as a part of the Erasmus projects: “EASE” (a project that aims to help teachers apply the principles of emotional intelligence when teaching) and “DigiTISE” (a project that aims to help adult students and teachers use more easily digital tools not only during classes but also in everyday life). You can read more about these projects here:
And finally, let me mention that the hosts welcomed us wonderfully and that everything was perfectly organized. Cluj-Napoca is a charming town with many well-kept squares and parks, as well as nice restaurants, so we are adding it to the list of cities to return to. I hope that this report managed to emphasize the importance of going to conferences and continuous professional development because, in addition to gaining knowledge about innovations in teaching, you always have the opportunity to establish some new contacts and get to know some new parts of our planet.