Job Shadowing Vilnius

Between the 12th and 18th of October I spent a wonderful week in Vilnius as part of the CITA teacher exchange project with my host teacher Grazina. As the 2015-10-15 14.42.17primary aim of the project is to get to know each other’s schools and the education system I spent my mornings at Karolinskiu Gymnasium, where I recei
ved a warm welcome both from the teachers and students. It was very interesting and useful to see a CLIL project done in a regular classroom, to find out how students work on it in groups, and to get to know more about the benefits and challenges of such a project. I also had the opportunity to give a short presentation about my school in some of Grazina’s classes, I was really happy to meet her students and really enjoyed talking to them. It is a memorable experience for me.

2015-10-15 13.30.55On Friday and Saturday I took part in the LAKMA conference at the Pedagogical University. The topic of the conference was CLIL and there were several plenaries and smaller presentations on the theory behind CLIC and using it in various ways for language teaching. So managed to collect great ideas that I will be able to use in my teaching.

Besides visiting the school, I manged also to go sightseeing in Vilnius and Trakai. I was really impressed by the beauty of both places and it was fascinating to see how fast the country is developing, how many new buildings are built.

Gulyásné Pusztai, Réka English teacher

Radnóti Gimnázium, Budapest

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Job Shadowing Budapest

On the 4th of October, 2015  I came to Budapest with a lot of expectations and willingness to get most out of the project CITA. The main idea of the project is to bring teachers from three countries (Lithuania, Spain and Hungary) together and help us learn from each other by sharing our experiences and views.

In Hungary I spent one week and had a chan2015-10-09 18.49.52.jpgce to build close relationship with Reka, an English teacher from Radnoti gymnasium whose lessons I was observing. The gymnasium is considered to be the second best gymnasium in Budapest. My responsibilities during the stay were to observe Reka’s lessons, participate in school activities, learn about educational system of the host family and see as much as I can of Hungary. The following week a Hungarian teacher came up to Lithuania and in my school we had a CLIL lesson on Maths including English, there were three integrated Maths and English lessons per week and students had to conduct a research as well as present statistical analysis by making power point presentations. Having done the CLIL project a Maths teacher and we (English teachers) came up to the following conclusions. The benefits of CLIL are students develop communication and 20151007_121129 (1)digital competences, it is motivating for the students, bilingualism is promoted; the projects like this prepare students for future studies and working life. The challenges of CLIL are flexibility of curriculum and lack of CLIL teacher training programmes. However, advantages outweigh disadvantages and it is worth doing CLIL lessons.

20151009_144615.jpgOn the 11th of October, 2015 I left Hungary on a high note visiting the 25th annual conference of IATEFL-Hungary. T his CITA project gave us not only  an exciting opportunity to get to know better with colleagues and students from different countries  but also motivated and inspired us to try new things and do our best during lessons. I hope we will have some common projects in the near future.

 

An English teacher Gražina Morozovienė

Vilniaus Karoliniskiu gymnasium

 

JOB SHADOWING (PALMA DE MALLORCA)

Teachers feel very comfortable while working in their own environment without questioning what life can be outside the walls of their classroom, school or even country. Job shadowing, a part of a CITA project, gave me a priceless chance to plunge into a different educational system for a week and get the greatest experience on both professional and personal levels.

First of all, job shadowing has an array of professional development aspects. Getting acquainted with a different educational system, learning the specifics about the host’s job and being a part of it has an immense value. Being able to see everything from inside, compare the differences and taking the best ideas will result in changing something in the school back home. The main differences are working with a language assistant, the length of the lessons, the break system, the number of students in class, the way and frequency of informing parents, students addressing teachers and many more. In addition, observing lessons of three different teachers gave a deeper insight into various methodological approaches with a chance of getting acquainted with student’s evaluation system. In general, I observed a number of lessons: Crisis in Medieval Ages – a CLIL lesson by Apolonia, Gothic architecture in which students made their presentations about the magnificent Cathedral of Palma, Film Analysis “Freedom Writers”, Job sectors by a host teacher Apolonia,  Reading comprehension in a mixed ability class and Horror story writing with native English speakers by Maite, and Unsolved Mysteries by Carmen. While observing different teachers giving various lessons to diverse students made me grow as a teacher by learning new strategies and approaches towards students and the subject itself. Moreover, I gave some lessons myself. Probably the most interesting one was Exploring Lithuania, where students got acquainted with the fascinating facts about my country while watching the presentation and some short films and filling in the crosswords and questionnaires to check how much they had learnt. Another lesson was Brief History of Lithuania as Apolonia asked for one for her CLIL classes and Life and Traditions of MBG (Mykolas Biržiška Gymnasium), which was a great success among students wishing to participate in an exchange programme.

On a personal level, travelling to a diverse country, exploring its culture and meeting the people is unforgettable involvement allowing to broaden the horizons, make new friends and gain a great deal of  knowledge about various aspects of life, in particular, history of the country, the most famous sights, food, relationships and customs.

On the other hand, job shadowing provides several challenges such as planning lessons in advance without knowing the audience except the fact that there will be 25-30 students in class of mixed language levels. The issue arises what and how to prepare for the lesson in order to attract students’ attention and get them interested in the subject. Yet, if most of the job is done beforehand and the teacher is flexible and tends to be spontaneous these challenges can be overcome easily.

All things considered, after spending  a week in a different educational system and utterly strange environment, after meeting a wealth of various people and being shown around  I have realised how elated I am to have been chosen to participate in this project.  Having taken the best of the observations made, I can improve my performance as a teacher and a person. Despite some minor challenges the job shadowing might have, it definitely is a beneficial experience I would plunge into once again if offered without any hesitation.

 My special thanks to LAKMA board for giving a chance to take part in the project.

Lina Morkūnienė

CITA project-Budapest meeting 25 -27 October 2015

 

The fifth meeting of the CITA project was held in Budapest at Eötvös Loránd University from 25 to 27 October. All 12 members of the CITA partnership attended. The meeting began with the consideration of the external evaluator’s, Neus Lorenzo’s, report. There were a number of specific recommendations in the report, the most important 12208586_10204754406012805_8761454440567589363_nof which was the need to refer more to European values in the project outcomes. The report noted that the quality of cooperation between the three associations was positive an efficient and concluded that the project would have a substantial positive impact.

The meeting continued with an update from the previous meeting in Vilnius, noting new activities that had been implemented by each association from the practice of one of the other associations. We also discussed ideas for sharing expertise on management and administration and drew up a list of good practices that we could share and include in the guidelines.12249776_10204754405852801_3830843862227798782_n This included the idea of compiling an archive of document templates that were used by each association and might be useful for other associations.

Next came an evaluation of the five-day CLIL course that was held in Lithuania from 29 June to 3 July, 2015. Each association gave a brief summary from the feedback from the participants from their country. The benefits and points which could be improved were focused on and the overall conclusion was that the course had been extremely successful, particularly in allowing teachers to work together and learn from each other. It was decided that a report would be written with the aim of identifying the keys to success of an international course.

The first part of the job shadowing activities were also evaluated and the arrangements for the next job shadowing in Palma were discussed. Finally, the preparation for the next transnational meeting in Lithuania and the preparations for the dissemination conference in Palma at the end of the project were also discussed. Communication of the activities and outcomes of the project was also loBudapest meeting 15 10 25oked at, as well as the details of the publication of the “CITA Guidelines” to be published during the final conference. A timeline revision of the CITA Workplan was made.

The last points to be covered in the meeting were an update on the last minute preparations for the English Teacher Profile course, which was being held concurrently with the meeting in Budapest, and an evaluation of the needs analysis questionnaires which had been administered earlier by each association (CLIL Teachers Questionnaire and the Novice Teachers Questionnaire), looking at the overall trends from each questionnaire.

CLIL COURSE IN VILNIUS 30th JUNE -3rd JULY 2015

In the morning of June the 30th the CLIL course started. Ten teachers from the three associations belonging to different educational levels were presented the course programme by the presidents of each association (Eglè, Loreta and Carmen). Then the teachers took part in a well-organised icebreaking session in order to get to know each other. Teachers had brought some items from their own countries to make the introduction much more exciting. Some highlights of the course included discussion on current issues about teaching subjects through English in an environment of mutual cooperation and the types of language associated to this type of methodology, followed by a lively session on how to activate thinking skills.

Day two started with a productive session on the role of scaffolding in CLIL and how to develop strategies to improve teachers’ tasks.

These activities were completed with the development of a common template to design some agreed useful stages in lesson planning.

All the teachers’ performances met the approval of the groups.

The remaining sessions were devoted to preparing a project in groups of three. For this purpose, students were given a set of guidelines. The rest of the day and also day 3 were dedicated to the development of the project and to the presentation of each individual project. Methodology included peer-teaching observation; this activity proved to be enriching and profitable.

The last part of the course included an engaging open discussion on evaluation and feedback.

A more detailed timetable including teachers’ names can be found in these pages.

 SOCIAL PROGRAMME

As part of the social programme there was a cultural food sharing where the participants displayed different kinds of food from their countries of origin and were challenged to taste them all.

Apart from other cultural exchange activities, all the teachers took part in a sightseeing round tour of Vilnius at night and were impressed by the enticing city, its distinctive quality and the variety of choices for going out and about.

In the evening on the last day everyone enjoyed a farewell party. The snapshots included offer better proof than our words and give evidence of the pleasant and lively atmosphere that prevailed over the whole evening.

Congratulations to the organisers, teachers and guest teams!

THIRD CITA MEETING IN VILNIUS 28th JUNE -1st JULY 2015

AGENDA

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.

SOCIAL 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.

CITA CLIL COURSE

CITA_CLIL Course_Day 2 010

Cooperation in Teaching Associations (CITA) organised a 4-day workshop on CLIL teaching in the Lithuania University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius on June 29 to July 3, 2015. Lithuania (LAKMA) was organising and leading the course, but members of the other two associations, APABAL from Mallorca and IATEFL-Hungary, CITA_CLIL Course_Day 2 077were also involved in the teaching of the course. The course was designed to give members of our associations – 10 CLIL teachers from all levels of education selected from each country – an overview of up-to-date CLIL methodology with an emphasis on practical techniques delivered by experts in the field. Another important aim was for the participants to learn from each other by working together, and the outcome of the course was a CLIL lesson created and given by groups made up of teachers from each country while the other teachers became the ‘pupilsCITA_CLIL Course_Day 2 102’ for each lesson. The lessons were extremely enjoyable and the whole course was a huge success both socially and professionally, a fact reflected in the very positive feedback given by the participants.