Reported by Mirjana LJiljak-Vukajlović
The First Regional Conference of YALS Association of Language Schools of Serbia, titled YALS and Eaquals Day: Striving for Excellence was held on 23 March 2019 at the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš. The conference was supported by the Eaquals Member Event Fund 2019 for local and regional events and a special emphasis was placed on networking and professional cooperation with the partner associations from the region – MAQS, Macedonian Association for Quality Language Services, which was represented at the conference by Buzalkovska Vesna and Tanevska Elisaveta, and Optima, The Bulgarian Association of Quality Language Services, represented by Ananieva Yordanka, Kermendjeva-Dimirova Nikolina and Kermendjeva Teodora. This event was also supported by the Faculty of Philosophy of Niš University, represented by Nina Lazarević, Assistant Professor at the Department of English.
The overall theme of the conference were (extra)curricular activities aimed at increasing students’ and teachers’ motivation. The conference was opened by YALS Chair Marija Pejatović, who introduced the values and principles that YALS members stand for and cooperation with Eaquals, after which she gave a short overview of past YALS activites. This was followed by presentations of 11 teachers from 5 YALS schools – Ivan Petrić, Tijana Rakonjac and Vera Purić from Blackbird School, Čačak, Danijela Beljić and Lora Petronić Petrović from Lingva School, Valjevo, Jelena Spasić from Oxford School, Leskovac, Marina Stošić, Katarina Kostić and Anđelija Ognjanović from Penguin School, Jagodina, and Jovana Popović and Sofija LJijljak-Vukajlović from Tom & Emma School, Belgrade.
The diversity of specific topics and activities was enormous and the presenters radiated energy and enthusiasm. Their expertise and dedication left a lasting impression on the participants, whose evaluation of the conference was highly positive. Here are some of their comments:
- An interesting day – always good to broaden your horizons.
- Really useful seminar, I’ve enjoyed it. I’d love to come again.
- It’s been a real pleasure to spend this Saturday with you.
- This one was among the best YALS seminar ever! So many diverse ideas, approaches and so much dedication!
- Global Issues by Jovana Popović, Tom & Emma, Belgrade
- Humour Is No Laughing Matter by Danijela Beljić, Lingva, Valjevo
- Enlivening Learning with LEGO® Activities by Lora Petronić, Lingva, Valjevo
- Classroom in motion: Fun activities for kinaesthetic learning, Marina Stošić and Katarina Kostić, Penguin English
YALS Best Practices
- Cooking Academy, Sofija Ljiljak-Vukajlović, Tom&Emma;
- TEDEd Club, Jelena Spasić, Oxford School;
- Storytelling, Anđelija Ognjanović Penguin English;
- School Trip Language Project, Ivan Petrić, Blackbird Language School;
- Digital Storytelling and Book Corner, Tijana Rakonjac and Vera Purić, Blackbird Language School
- Blackbird School Projects