Next the participants listened to the inauguration lecture “Keynote Address on Alternative Assessment”, given by the American expert in education methodology Kate Thomas Mulvey, presently English Language Fellow at the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. In her address Kate Mulvey presented unconventional ways of assessing students’ progress in learning English.
During the three-day, intensive series of workshops and training the participants could learn how to use ICT technologies and games during the English classes, they also discussed the most effective ways of preparing students to school-leaving exams in a foreign language, shared their experiences and ideas about developing the students’ skills of problem solving, project work, making teaching grammar more interesting, ways of coping with difficult behavior at class and working with students with special needs.
Additionally, the English teachers had an opportunity to acquaint themselves with educational materials of English-language publishing houses such as: Cambridge University Press, Express Publishing/Egis, Macmillan Polska, Oxford University Press and Pearson. The meeting also an opportunity to present the teachers the offer of NGOs and support programs under which the schools may apply for additional funds for educational initiatives.
Held annually for 12 years, the “English Teaching Market” educational meetings are the opportunity to develop teachers’ skills and improve their competences in English teaching methodology. They also help to integrate and establish cooperation of teachers from small towns and rural areas. This year the event was attended by over 400 participants and a total number of English teachers who had participated in such meetings so far is almost 6500. The event was organized by the Nidzica Development Foundation “NIDA” as part of the “English Teaching” Program of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. The partner of the meeting was the European Fund for the Development of Polish Villages, and the media partner was TVP Olsztyn.
The “English Teaching” program was launched in 2000. The main aim of this program is to support activities that improve the quality of English teaching to children and teenagers in small towns and rural areas as well as promote English language among students, their parents and local communities. At the same time, the program contributes to the professional development of English language teachers working in small localities. The offer of the program includes methodological training, participation in a small grant competition and individual consultancy. So far more than 49,000 students and approx. 3,000 teachers have directly participated in the projects financed within the grant competitions. Indirectly they have engaged over 130,000 parents and other members of local communities.