Supporting Quality Language Schools, Zagreb, 24-25 February 2011

YALS representatives at Regional Association Meeting
From right to left: Dijana Kisić, Danijela Veljković i Eva Bako

The regional meeting of Associations of Private Language Schools that was organized by the British Council Office in Croatia was attended by the following National Associations: Bulgaria ( OPTIMA ), Romania ( QUEST ), Macedonia (MAQS), Bosnia and Herzegovina ( APLS ), Croatia (CALS ), and Serbia ( YALS ).

Representatives from Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo were also present together with the representatives of the British Council from the respected countries.

The first part of the meeting included ten minute presentations of all the mentioned associations.

The second part included the following presentations:

  • What is quality in language teaching organisations: beliefs,challenges and schemes – Lutka Kotarska ( EAQUALS )
  • Quality by association    – Tony Millns ( English UK )
  • Quality from experience – Elizabeth McLaren ( Accreditation UK)

Further work was carried out under the following topics:

The first topic was: Entry qualifications and quality assurance – the Croatian and Serbian Perspective

  • Danijela Veljkovic : spoke about her she became a member of  YALS
  • Dijana Kisic: dealt with the prerequisites of becoming member of YALS
  • Eva Bako : described what regular inspections, every two and three years, for YALS members consisted of.

A joint discussion followed the presentations. It was evident that all associations were faced with similar problems and difficulties.

However the Croatian Association has succeeded in achieving cooperation with their Ministry of Education.

The next topic was: Managing the association- Macedonian and Romanian perspectives

The discussion which followed the presentations, it was evident that the work of the Macedonian association was primarily bases on the enthusiasm of its head-chair whereas the Romanian colleagues are more systematic in their mutual work within the association. This is especially evident in the large number of European projects.

The final topic: Government support and legal status- Bosnian and  Bulgarian perspectives  

The Bosnian association has only just been founded and is faced with numerous legal obstacles in their work. The Bulgarian association, on the other hand, has a worked out plan for carrying out its goals.

As a conclusion to these three topics, the director of the British Council, Mr. Les Dangerfield, suggested that the international associations need to start a working cooperation within the region.

All participants have decided to take the following steps

  • future cooperation should come under the heading – Quality Language Learning Network
  • a forum should be organised through which all the regional participants may continue their work
  • the exchange of experience, in regards to the inspection scheme, should continue
  • to take part in future projects, especially ones of regional significants

The meeting was carried out in a creative atmosphere where the participants showed their willingness to continue their future cooperation.