YALS at 4th National Conference of Language Schools

YALS members Marija Pejatović, Vesna Stakić, Maja Gavrilović, Sofija Ljiljak-Vukajlović and Biljana Barna, with Verica Amidžić (the third from the left)

Reported by Maja Gavrilović

The 4th National Conference of Language Schools entitled „Global Trends and Innovations in Teaching and Management of Language Schools“ took place on Saturday, 11 October in Belgrade, in the newly refurbished Metropol Hotel. The glamour of the premisses added to the overall success of the event. The English Book, as the conference organiser, prepared a carefully thought-out programme; the opening sessions were delivered by its representative Aleksandar Ilić, British Council director Tony O’Brien, Chamber of Commerce representaive Svetozar Babić, YALS representative Maja Gavrilović, ALS representative Nevena Kaluđerović and ELTA representative Danijela Serafijanović.

YALS representative Maja Gavrilović informed the participants on the latest news from YALS, related to the following:

– YALS has received an accreditation for the seminar entitled „Managing an Educational Institution – the European Model“, already scheduled to take place in Niš on 22 November, and in Kikinda on 28 and 29 November. The particular value of the seminar is also found in the fact that the audience targeted are the directors and assistant directors of both state and private schools, not necessarily language schools but all institutions offering educational programmes.

– Our new project, although still in the pipeline, of certification of language schools, is to be offered to all schools interested in acquiring an external evaluation of their operating procedures. The set of standards is developed by YALS, the schools are not required to become YALS members, and the data base will be created in order to distinguish certified from non-certified schools.

– YALS has turned fifteen this year and all the gratitude is expressed to all its past and present members who have contributed greatly to the success of YALS, for investing their enthusiasm, expertise, hard work and goodwill in creating a prosperous association capable of maintaining the leading role in the field of language school management.

Mark Waistell’s presentation highlighted the part of the conference programme dedicated to various approaches to running a school and positioning it on the market. In his presentation Mr Waistell focused on the role of the principal and the importance of a well-tuned team for achieving success. The other presentations offered insight into possible ways of overcoming extreme and less extreme hindrances in managing a language institution.

In the following segment of the conference, featuring a panel discussion, the emphasis was placed on eliciting valuable advice from experienced professionals, directors of studies, managers and principals, which would help future entrepreneurs in this line of business to embark on a project of starting a language school. The ideas compiled could be put together to create a set of Dos:

Show will and be industrious, spice it with the
Utmost enthusiasm
Comply with the quality standard at all times
Courageously overcome the obstacles
Engage in no-spending
Steadily and bravely over a couple of years and always with a