The third transnational meeting of the CITA project was held in Vilnius. The usual evening get-together took place at the centrally located “Holiday Inn”, where the guest members were staying.
There was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere since we had already worked closely and had become truly familiar with one another. This time we were joined by our external evaluator, Neus Lorenzo, who is at present Inspector at the Departament d’Ensenyament at Generalitat de Catalunya and professor at “Postgraduated Diploma in CLIL”. Her task was to assess the development of our programme and analyse our performance sharing with us her professional expertise and knowledge.
On Monday the 29th our agenda included a review and update of the tasks carried out at the Budapest meeting. LAKMA, IAETFL-Hu and APABAL submitted their report and presented tasks to be fulfilled in the future as a result of the information exchanged among the three associations. We realised that some of the activities that had proved successful in one country had been well adapted in a different context, such as the Creative Cafe, the film forum series, the student contest or the mutual collaboration in existing publications and blogs, among others.
We also learnt that we still had to face some new challenges, such as implementing new practices, strengthen collaboration, improving management and administration, increasing membership or reaching out to the international community. Some ideas were also presented on how to make our associations grow.
Part of the day was focused on the preparation of the next Budapest course to be held in October 2015: “The new teacher’s profile”. The course will be addressed to high profile experienced English teachers from the three associations. Topics will include the specific skills teachers need in order to face new challenges, reflection on professional development, the role of emerging World Englishes, mixed ability classroom management, ways of connecting the classroom with real life and the English teacher’s role in CLIL courses.
It was also agreed that a needs analysis questionnaire would be sent out to novel English teachers. Feedback on the existing CLIL questionnaire and the new one should be provided and analysed at the Budapest meeting.
Tuesday the 30th was split into two sessions. The morning was dedicated to planning the “job shadowings” which are to take place in Budapest, Vilnius and Palma. Two English teachers from each association will travel to the corresponding country in order to observe the educational system, exchange experiences and do some peer teaching. The teachers involved will be committed to present a brief project about their experiences.
The afternoon session was centred on setting and discussing the agenda for the next transnational meeting in Budapest. The remainder of the afternoon session was devoted to updating the budgets allocated to our programme.
Apart from the usual exchange of courtesy gifts, maps and folders, the social programme included an informal lunch at “The Green Hall Restaurant”, a beautiful place in the open air overlooking the city of Vilnius and a dinner party at a popular pub “Republican Sole” located close to the bank of the Vilna River. It is an unofficial republic inhabited by artists and bohemians, which was founded in 1887. An unusually surprising place and environment
Our last evening was spent on a stunning walking sightseeing tour organised by the Lithuanian association. This activity was joined by all the teachers who had just arrived from the different countries to take part in the Vilnius CLIL course which was due to start on the following day.
We were also taken to a restaurant in Belmontas, a recreation complex established inside an old mill that is surrounded by the most incredible nature landscape, with ponds and waterfalls. There we had the opportunity to taste the typical Lithuanian food in the open air.
All these activities took place in a most familiar and cheerful atmosphere.