On 17 June 2023 the annual Optima Bulgaria Conference in Sofia was the centre of attention for language educators and professionals alike in the Balkans. The conference focused on reading comprehension and, at the end, there was an award ceremony for the winners of the International Reading Comprehension Competition, which had taken place immediately before the conference. Students from several YALS schools won great prizes for their success.
There were six presentations by speakers from Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia and the YALS representative, Marija Pejatovic, showcased our expertise and shared innovative approaches to enhance reading skills among young students. The conference was organised with great precision and support from the prestigious European Association for Quality Language Services (Eaquals), which further boosted its significance and ensured top-notch discussions and networking opportunities.
Apart from the enlightening sessions, the Conference also offered delightful social events. The wonderful hosts ensured the participants enjoyed their stay by organizing a sightseeing tour, giving us a taste of the rich history and culture of Sofia. The informal dinner gatherings provided a relaxed setting for attendees to exchange ideas and build lasting connections.
The YALS representatives were particularly thrilled by the warm hospitality we received during our stay in Sofia. We expressed our gratitude and appreciation to the organizers for orchestrating such a successful event and making us feel right at home in a foreign city.
During the time at the conference, the YALS representatives also extended a special invitation: We eagerly look forward to welcoming our hosts at the upcoming event in October – the 25th-anniversary celebration of YALS in Belgrade. With our shared passion for language education and dedication to advancing the field, this collaboration promises to be an enriching experience for all involved.
As we prepare to welcome our counterparts to Belgrade later in the year, we are sure to carry forward the spirit of camaraderie and knowledge-sharing that characterised this exceptional gathering in Sofia.