Croatian Association of Teachers of English

RIJEKA BRANCH MEETING REPORT

The second HUPE Rijeka Branch meeting was held at Gradska knjižnica Rijeka, ogranak Trsat – American Corner in Rijeka on January 27th, 2018. Forty-six members attended the meeting.

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

The agenda included three workshops:

  1. Damira Mršić (OUP): Special Educational Needs – Classroom: Management & Practical Teaching Strategies
  2. Dunja Frković:Teaching human anatomy from kindergarten to medical high
  3. Maja Jakus: CELTA and teaching English abroad

The first workshop was held by Damira Mršić, the representative of our long–term associate Oxford University Press. She talked about managing classes with SEN students. The participants discovered more about specific difficulties SEN students might have (dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, autism). They also got the chance to see the world from SEN students' perspective and they were given practical advice and activities they can use while teaching SEN students in their everyday classes.

Dunja Frković, the teacher in Medical High School in Rijeka, talked about various ways of teaching human anatomy on different levels of learning. The ultimate objective to learn numerous body parts can be achieved through different areas and various both traditional and advanced methods and activities. In this workshop, Dunja presented our body as an easily accessible source of ideas. She offered abundance of inventive materials to facilitate learning process.

If you have always dreamed of going abroad and teaching English, you should learn everything there is to know about CELTA. Maja Jakus, the teacher in Primary School Centar in Rijeka, told us where and how you can get it, how it helped her in the past and how it has improved her teaching.

Thank you all for coming and hope to see you at our next meeting in March!

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

Nataša Žarkov
HUPE Rijeka

SPLIT BRANCH MEETING REPORT

The third HUPE Split Branch meeting was held at Osnovna škola don Lovre Katića in Solin on January 19th, 2018. Nineteen members attended the Friday evening meeting. The agenda included two workshops:

  1. Oxford University Press, Lana Kralj: Insight into inquiry based learning
  2. Vanja Fazinić : Making flashcards and quizzes with the Cram app

It was a great pleasure to host Lana Kralj, the representative of our long–term associate Oxford University Press. Lana activated our curiosity, demonstrating how to create a fun and engaging classroom. She offered the specific examples and practical activities tailored to spark student curiosity and teach them how to become experts in answering their own questions. In a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere the participants gained an insight into benefits of inquiry based approach and how it supports development of student transversal skills- critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

In the second workshop the participants were introduced to Cram- an interactive digital tool for creating, studying, and sharing flashcards. In this hands-on workshop the teachers learnt how to:

- create an account with Cram.com
- navigate a large library of flashcards created by other users
- create their own stack of cards and share it with students.

The participants explored how to asses students’ knowledge via memorisation activities, games or a test, using Cram as a tool of formative assessment.

Thank you all for coming and hope to see you at our next meeting in February!

Vanja Fazinić, HUPE Split

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
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