miercuri, 2 septembrie 2015

Retrospective on Round Table Discussion within the SOCAP project- by Bajko Beata

I’ve never been a volunteer until now. Firstly because I didn’t have the opportunity to take part in programs which (also) involve volunteer work and secondly because I tought volunteering is a very responsible task, which requires extra preparation and competency. There were times when I wilingly wanted to help somebody, however I didn’t have the financial background to offer a donation. I tought in these cases voluntary work would be an alternative to offer help.

However in the last months I changed my opinion about volunteering, thanks to a round table discussion organised within the SOCAP project. During this event I met youth who already undertook voluntary work in the past. They shared their experiences and also information about the activities they participated in.

During the round table we also discussed about the benefits of being a volunteer. Most of the youth who already participated in voluntary work said they did it because:

-          They had the opportunity to meet new people and to build contacts which can be useful in the future;
-          They experimented new things, discovered the way to achieve their own goals and their strenghts;
-          They learnt how to behave responsively;
-          They were satisfied for being able to help others;

-          Sometimes voluntary work counted in universities or was considered an advantage on the market of employment;
The round table discussion also offered us information about the process of becoming volunteers. The experimented volunteers recommended us to decide from the very beginning about what we would like to do. They adviced us to choose activities which we would do with pleasure in our free time as well.

The first thing I learned about volunteering is that besided the civic benefits it also contributes to personal development. Volunteers can try out new work areas, can acquisit new knowledge and strengthen their existing competences. The feedback they receive during volunteering positively influences personality and character. The participants also stated, that it was a great experience to work in teams and that they had the opportunity to enlarge their network. 

The round table moderator also informed us about the activities from our community in which we can get involved as volunteers. I realised, that if we want to be volunteers and activily involve in the communities life there are many opportunities from which we can choose.

So the second thing that I have learned is that I can volunteer in whatever I am good at. After this event I have a strong desire to become a volunteer in a program designed for the protection of animals. I love dogs since I was a child and since I am the happy owner of a dog I also understand, that taking care of an animal is a great responsability. So because I like to take care of animals I think becoming a volunteer in this field would make our community better.

Article created by Bajko Beata, SOCAP participant
25th of August 2015

luni, 3 februarie 2014

EDI Cert TEFL – a new dimension in language teaching

I had the opportunity to train within the first EDI Cert TEFL Teacher Training Course ever held in Romania and I can tell you, the challenge and the professional satisfaction were immense. My co-trainer, Maria Keeley and I find that the theoretical input and practical knowledge that the programme offers truly encourages excellence in language teaching.

We would like to introduce you into our discovery and experience, through offering you a few insights about the programme.

My name is Bogdan Stefan and I am a teacher of English at Simone Educational Center, Craiova. I was very happy to join Gyongyi and Maria in their first EDI CertTEFL training programme. It was an amazing course for teachers  and the input-sessions were interactive. I came back to school as a student and I did my best to learn to from the best. The programme was a great opportunity for us to grow professionally, even though we had a lot of assignments to write and many tasks to perform. I would do the programme again any minutes as it helped my professional growth greatly. I would advise everybody to go for the course!!!!” (trainee comment)

We can say that the degree of challenge of the programme can easily be under-estimated by trainees, whether part-, or full-time.  You need to be very organised and have a great sense of time-management in order to fit into the deadlines given for completing each Portfolio task that you are assessed on. This programme needs your full attention and devotion; otherwise you cannot reach your full potential.

To be able to participate as a trainer in the first CertTEFL course for Romania was a great honour. It was and is a great achievement for me as a person to be able to guide, help and pass on some of my knowledge to future TEFL teachers. As it was the first teacher training course and a first of doing this type of work I was very nervous and excited about it. My expectations were high for the students and they really achieved these and beyond. They made me proud in how hard they worked and how much effort they put into the course. The course overall was wonderful to follow through the various topics and see teaching from many different angles. By the end of the course I was wishing it would continue as it was very difficult to let the students leave and be on their own, but the knowledge that they are great teachers and they will be my first group will stay with me and I will cherish it. The TEFL is a great opportunity for any teacher to expand their knowledge and horizons of the teaching world and I am very grateful that I can be part of this.” (Maria Keeley, EDI CertTEFL Teacher Trainer)

But let’s have a closer look at the programme and at what it offers …..

What is the EDI CertTEFL Teacher Training Course?
The EDI CertTEFL is a Level 5 (Cambridge CELTA equivalent), highly practical teacher training course designed to provide you with the initial skills needed for teaching English to adult speakers of other languages. The EDI CertTEFL English teaching qualification is valid and accepted worldwide.

Who is the programme addressed to?
The EDI Cert TEFL Teacher Training Course is particularly suitable for you if:
·         you have little or no experience of teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) but may be thinking of a career as an EFL teacher
·         you are passionate about the English language and culture and wish to become a qualified EFL teacher
·         you wish to boost your professional portfolio with an internationally recognised teaching qualification
·         you already are an English language teacher who is passionate about your profession and wish to further improve your teaching skills
·         you already are an English language teacher who need an internationally recognised teaching qualification to teach abroad

What will the course include?
The EDI Cert TEFL curriculum consists of 6 units, delivered and assessed in 120 contact hours:

Unit 1: Teaching and learning in an EFL context
Unit 2: Developing teaching skills and managing the learning environment
Unit 3: Teaching language
Unit 4: Teaching language skills
Unit 5: Planning and evaluation
Unit 6: Assessment of learners

How will the course be assessed?
Your assessment during the course is continuous and integrated, taking into account teaching skills, written assignments and professionalism.  Each of the 6 assessed units contributes to your overall grade. Within the teaching practice component of the programme you are requested to observe a min. of 4 hours and to teach a min. of 6 hours. You will be given feedback by the trainers on your teaching and opportunities to discuss your progress individually.

Achievement of the EDI CertTEFL will confirm that you:
·         have a good understanding of the essential aspects of the EFL teacher’s role
·         can organise and manage effective learning
·         have developed professionally through on-going reflection and evaluation

What are your entry requirements?
No previous teaching experience is necessary. But, if you are a non-native English speaker, you must be able to demonstrate a C2-level (proficient) level of English.

What are the benefits of the Part-Time and Full-Time courses?
The advantages of the part-time training programme are that the contact hours are shared across 5 intensive training weekends, rather than a one month full-time commitment. This format allows you to carry on with your normal day-to-day activities with minimum disruption. The course is also supplemented by our online learning platform (Bridge:Online) that includes additional training and reference materials. Bridge:Online can also be used to submit your assignments for grading and communicate with your Mentor.

The full-time training programme is most suitable if you can take a month off work or from your studies. The main advantages of this type of programme are that you can fully concentrate on your teacher development without any other distracting factors. You will spend a whole month within the language institute hosting the training programme, thus you will be able to familiarise with the insights of how a language centre operates. Some say that the full-time experience offers more efficiency in preparing as a teacher, however, if you can manage your time efficiently, the part-time programme can be just as successful.

Who will your trainers be?
Your trainers are highly experienced in the field of teaching English as a Foreign Language as well as teacher development and have acquired relevant Cambridge DELTA, TESOL or Cert.Ed. qualifications.

When can you join the next course?
After the success of the first course, we have decided to continue with another course between 21 February and 30 June 2014. The course will be a part-time training programme that will take place on the following weekends: 21-23 February, 21-23 March, 11-13 April, 9-11 May and 6-8 June 2014.

You can find out more about this opportunity on our webpage at www.blsh.ro  or by contacting us at info@blsh.ro.

Gyongyvér Pillich-Wright 
Director of Studies at Bridge Language Study House 


joi, 23 ianuarie 2014

Cum se măsoară nivelele de cunoştinţe într-o limbă străină

De-a  lungul experientei noastre în organizarea cursurilor de limbi străine pentru adulţi ne-am confruntat de multe ori cu situatii în care cei care doreau să participe la cursuri nu ştiau aproxima nivelul la care sunt sau  credeau ca dupa un curs de 30 de ore la nivel începător pot trece la un nivel intermediar :). Nu este chiar atât de uşor ...

Aici ne vine în ajutor Cadrul Comun European de Referinţă, care a fost creat ca un instrument de evaluare a competenţelor lingvistice pe baza unor abilităţi şi anume ce poate să facă un utilizator într-o limbă străină. Acest cadru a fost creat de Consiliul Europei pentru a uniformiza standardele de măsurare a nivelelor de cunoştinţe într-o limbă străină pe tot teritoriul Europei şi nu numai. Deci dacă cineva a terminat cu succes un curs de germană la nivel A2  la centrul nostru de exemplu, poate să reia cursul în Germania de la nivelul B1 deoarece nivelele sunt standardizate. 

Cum funcţionează acesta?

Cadrul Comun European are ca referinţă 6 nivele standard:
A1 ( nivel începător ) – nivel obţinut după aprox 90  - 100 de ore ghidate
A2 (nivel elementar) – nivel obţinut după aprox 180  - 200 de ore ghidate
B1 (nivel intermediar) - nivel obţinut după aprox 350  - 450 de ore ghidate
B2 (nivel post-intermediar) - nivel obţinut după aprox 450  - 600 de ore ghidate
C1 (nivel avansat) – nivel obţinut după aprox 700-800 de ore ghidate
C2 (nivel profesionist) - nivel obţinut după aprox 900-1200 de ore ghidate

Acest număr de ore diferă bineînţeles de la persoană la persoană şi depinde de foarte mulţi factori gen vârstă, experienţă anterioară, abilităti, etc , însă, în principiu, trecerea de la un nivel la altul (de exemplu de la o la A1 sau de la A1 la A2, sau de la A2 la B1) necesită în medie cam 90 de ore minim.   

La Bridge Language Study House puteţi parcurge un astfel de nivel în 3 module pentru că fiecare modul are 30 de ore, iar la alte centre îl puteţi parcurge în 2 module dacă acestea au 45 de ore fiecare, insă numărul standard de ore alocate pentru trecerea de la un nivel la altul este acelasi fie că este în Cluj Napoca, Bucureşti, România, Franţa, Marea Britanie sau alte ţări europene.
De aceea nu fiţi speriaţi sau dezamăgiţi de numărul mare de ore necesare însuşirii unei limbi străine deoarece aceste nivele şi timpul necesar parcurgerii acestora sunt recomandate şi testate atât de profesori experimentaţi de limbi străine cât şi de diferiţi utilizatori. 

Vom reveni pe viitor cu mai multe despre descrierea acestor nivele standard şi cum puteţi să vă autoevaluaţi însă până atunci vă invităm să vă testaţi cunoştinţele pentru a putea alege cursul care vi se potriveşte cel mai bine! 

Echipa Bridge Language Study House