Croatian Association of Teachers of English

Zagorje Branch Meeting Report

Second HUPE Zagorje Branch meeting was held at Secondary school Bedekovčina on December 11th, 2017. The meeting was attended by 15 teachers. The two workshops held at the meeting were:

  1. Pearson: Conrad Kellet: How to maintain motivation for Learning for Students of B1 and above levels
  2. Irena Pavlović,: Controversy in the Classroom

In the first part of the meeting, the Zagorje Branch president welcomed the participants and introduced the speakers.

It was a great honour to host Conrad Kellet, an experienced teacher and teacher trainer from the UK, who actively teaches across all age ranges in Croatia. For this occasion he prepared an interesting workshop with various activities and methods for motivating teenage learners. The workshop included creative writing activity, writing dialogues using Shakespeare’s language, writing a conversation in alphabetical order and many other activities that teachers can use in the classroom to increase students’ motivation.

Our dear colleague, Irena Pavlović, has made a workshop on dealing with controversial topics in the classroom. The attendees worked in groups and tried different activities which included musical chairs, world cafè, four corners. The attendees discussed the benefits and drawbacks of dealing with such topics in the classroom.

After the presentations, there was a Christmas prize draw for all participants.

If you wish to join HUPE Zagorje, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Split Branch meeting report

Second HUPE Split Branch meeting was held on December 1st, 2017 at Info zona Split. The agenda included:

  1. HUPE Split Branch work programme for the academic year 2017-18
  2. Roundtable Discussion: Challenges of Teaching English as a Second Language
  3. Team building

In the first part of the meeting the branch president informed the attendees about the dates and content of the workshops and activities planned for the current school year.

The roundtable focused on common and specific challenges on the different levels of education and types of educational institutions in the public and private sector: elementary schools, secondary schools (general education high- schools / vocational schools) and language schools. After a short introduction by Miranda Barac, Branka Šegvić and Vanja Fazinić, fifteen teachers actively took part in the discussion. The purpose of this meeting was to identify problems our teacher colleagues face in their everyday work in order to gain the wider picture and increase mutual understanding, to share information, experience and ways to deal with these challenges.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach or situation when teaching English to students of varying ages and language proficiency level, all participants agreed that one of the greatest challenges in ESL teaching are mixed ability classes. Formal education programmes and teacher trainings do not sufficiently prepare teachers for a room full of students who can range from the gifted, to students whose achievements are below the grade due to learning difficulties. Teachers lack the knowledge of strategies to use in the classroom for a wide range of ability and to meet the needs of students with special educational needs.

In secondary vocational schools a considerable number of students with learning difficulties is one of the major problems. Some of the participants shared their experiences of visiting partnership schools in other countries. As an example of a good European practice, the secondary vocational school Oriani Mazzini, from Milan, Italy was mentioned, where students with special needs, who are placed in general-education classrooms, receive a support of special education teachers.

The participants agreed that the level to which special need students are able to master general education content can to a great extent depend on the appropriate support they receive. We concluded that non-disabled students also benefit in mixed-ability classrooms by forming positive relation and learning how to accept the variety of people. We agreed to share materials for teaching SENs students.

The attendees discussed the ways to motivate our students to learn English in order to improve their language proficiency and prepare them for the state school – leaving exam, i.e. the Matura exam.

We exchanged views on teaching English to the new generation of students who acquire language due to the extensive engagement with digital media in their everyday lives. These students are usually above-level speakers and listeners. They can not only understand complex topics, but they are also able to speak fluently and denote finer meaning. The growing presence of media in our general lives and the new generation of students have set before teachers requirements for continuous training and enhancement of professional skills necessary for creating an environment which stimulates creativity and learning. We shared tips and strategies for teaching mixed ability classes.

The meeting ended with a team building activity designed to teach participants to solve problems in a group and communicate effectively.

Vanja Fazinić, HUPE Split

The second HUPE Karlovac Branch meeting report

It has been a great pleasure to host a colleague from Finland, Mr. Jyrki Vesa Tapio Tonder, as a presenter at HUPE - Karlovac second meeting on 16 October 2017 in Vocational Industry and trade School, Karlovac.
 
Vesa Tonder kindly accepted my invitation to hold a presentation on Finnish education system, reform and the School of the future for Croatian Association of Teachers of English - Branch Karlovac.
 
The presentation has given us a better insight not only into the structure of the Finnish education but also the values of the Finnish society and reasons why it has been regarded as the most successful in the world.
"I am very proud that in Finland we are never satisfied and that we are hungry for always better and better solutions in education!", said Vesa Tonder. 
 
Youtube video "Cilj sretna i znatiželjna djeca-prilog Trend TV 17.10.2017. : 
 
Dubravka Lapčić
HUPE Karlovac Branch president

The first HUPE Varaždin Branch report

The first meeting of HUPE Varaždin Branch in the school year 2017/2018 was held at Srednja škola Ludbreg on Friday, 13 October 2017 at 5 pm.
Our dear colleagues, Stela Pavetić and Irena Žiger, prepared interesting workshops for the attendees.
Stela Pavetić is an experienced elementary-school teacher and presenter. For this occasion she prepared a workshop "Quiz your brains out (ICT in EFL)". An interesting presentation was followed by an interactive activity for the participants. We were introduced to several quizzes and encouraged to use modern technology as an integral part of the language learning process.
Interactive quizzes in our classrooms make learning English more exciting and increase students' motivation.
Irena Žiger, the founder of "Žiger" foreign languages school, experienced teacher of English and Russian language and accredited EAQUALS inspector, guided us through EPG (European Profiling Grid). EPG is an internationally recognized tool for assessing language teacher competencies divided in six stages of professional experience. The teachers were asked to share their ideas on selected grid categories and use the EPG as a valuable self-assessment tool.
The meeting ended at 7.30 pm.
Dear fellow English teachers, if you'd like to join us, don't hesitate to contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
We're looking forward to our next meeting in December.

Ivana Pomahač
HUPE Varaždin

The first HUPE Karlovac Branch meeting

HUPE – Branch Karlovac ran its first meeting in the school year 2017/2018 on Saturday, 30 September 2017 at 10 30 a.m. in Industry and Trade Vocational School, Domobranska 2, Karlovac. The meeting was attended by ten teachers.

The presenter, doctor of science Ljiljana Pintarić Mlinar, an assistant professor working in two Departments at Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences in Zagreb - Department of Inclusive Education and Rehabilitation and Department of Visual Impairments had a short introductory talk on the topic and ran a 90 min workshop English language teacher in interaction with children with special educational needs.

Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences is the only higher education institution in the Republic of Croatia that creates and offers well established university-level programmes in speech-language pathology, educational rehabilitation and social pedagogy in addition to developing and advancing high-quality research as well as clinical best practices in these areas.

Ljiljana Pintarić Mlinar’s main interest has been for more than 20 years research of processes of bio-psycho-social rehabilitation of children with intellectual difficulties and functioning of their families, i.e. creation of individually tailored strategies necessary in encouraging the development of these children.

However, her recent interests are very much focused toward transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary insights in supporting children’s and youth development from social context: family, school and teachers, peers interactions as well as global perspective influence to values in curriculum planning, changes, etc...

The workshop introduced some latest research conclusions and trends in teaching students with special needs. As introduction to the workshop, teachers saw a short video on early language learning sensitive periodsYoung children citizens of the world” and had a brief overview of legislative framework in Croatian Education System, a little bit of statistics related to children with special needs as well as clinical best practices in the areas of speech-language pathology, educational rehabilitation and social pedagogy.

In the main part of the workshop different issues such as cognitive preparation for work, creativity in presenting curriculum for children with special needs, relationship pupil with special needs/teacher, emotional feedback – likes and fears, children’s needs, examples of teaching strategies and rationale for improving learning outcomes were tackled.

The second issue on the agenda was the election of the Branch president. Dubravka Lapčić was elected the president in the new term.

Dubravka Lapčić,
HUPE-Branch Karlovac President

 

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