“Let us get to know each other through BOOKS” eTwinning Project

 

On European Day of Languages, September 26th 2016, a brand new project about books was launched between a teacher from Bulgaria – Slavka Stoycheva, and Alena Ščuková from Czech Republic, to which we gladly adhered on the day.

The launching event was held with a Skype conference with the two teams from Bulgaria- from Asenovgrad and Blagoevgrad – and the students form “Gheorghe Asachi” High School. Since then, lots of activities dedicated to books, previously planned in the Twinspace agenda, have been done.

On December 2, 2016, we all took part in a worldwide event dedicated to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616. We read his poems, analyzed his most famous quotes, watched actors speaking about his influence on language, theatre and humanity in general. UK’s British Council provided wonderful resources for the day, so we enjoyed and shared the event on Twitter and Facebook, and found out that many young people celebrated it on the same day with us.

In January 2017, we created the eTwinning Library in our classroom, inviting students who love reading to donate books they liked most, and take home books from the club’s library to read and bring back.

In February, we skyped with Mr. Rob Ford, principal of Wyedean School from UK, and discussed books to be read by leaders, be it country/school/community leaders,etc. Mr.Ford recommended a list of good books that leaders can get inspired from. We took as reference Barack Obama’s list of books recommended to young people.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/transcript-president-obama-on-what-books-mean-to-him.html?action=click&contentCollection=Books&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

Also in February we skyped with the principal from Wyedean HS in UK, talking about English authors that are famous for speaking about love, some of them hiding the historical reality of the times they lived in (e.g. Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”). Well, good to know.

In general, the collaboration between the two schools has already several years of history, this being mentioned in a UK Parliament Report on Secondary Education in September 2016.

In March we interviewed librarians. Each team provided a video, for the production of which students spent time and had fun in the process. The students from “Gheorghe Asachi” HS interviewed both the school librarian, Veronica Ciobanu,  and also the chief of the relations department and the National Library, Raisa Melnic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yeNH9Xs57k

Last week, the eTwinning Book Lovers’ Club had a guest – the author of  “The Golden Book of Bessarabia and Republic of Moldova”, Mr.Denis Rosca, who told lots of interesting things about people who made a difference in the world, and whose origins are from our country: Nobel Prize and Oscar winners, military and political leaders,etc. The students were very impressed!

https://www.facebook.com/carteadeaur/

Yesterday, May 10th, we had another special guest – Mr. Octavian Țîcu – historian, boxing champion who represented Moldova at the summer Olympic Games in 1996, writer and ex-Minister of Youth and Sport. He presented two of his books “Variations of a Name” – about the famous footballer Nicolae Simatoc, who was born in Moldova, and got to play in Ripensia Timisoara,CAO Oradea, Inter Milano and FC Barcelona , and his second book –  “Spassk-99”, a book about those people who were deported in Kazakhstan during the Soviet times. We were delighted to discover a huge list of all the names of Romanian people (from Bessarabia and Romania) who got there. This book was a result of hard work and a lot of investigation and research.  Besides the two books, we discussed Moldova’s situation nowadays, the meaning of 9th of May to citizens of our country, the oscillation of Moldovan leaders, as well as many simple citizens, between East and West; Mr.Țîcu explained the Holocaust as a phenomenon and how Jews were treated in our country in the previous century. An amazing history lesson about the 20th century and our days,too.

Furthermore, Mr. Țîcu donated the two books presented to Gheorghe Asachi’s “Tamara Andriuta” School Library. Now all students and teachers in “Gheorghe Asachi” HS can read his books.

octavian ticu autograf spassk 99

Lots of wonderful things happened in this eTwinning project during the school year. Lots of books and their films discussed, lots of impressions, and, most important – a myriad of books read!

I personally express my thanks to all the partners and guests of our eTwinning odyssey through the world of books. So humble,yet so important…

Nothing can light up the darkness better than seeing young people interested in reading. As long as we have them read various authors, there is hope in this World!

“Education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the World.” (Nelson Mandela)

 

Tatiana Popa,

English teacher in “Gheorghe Asachi” HS, eTwinning Ambassador

European Day of Languages

EDL-banner-COE2012-EN

Every year, September 26th is the day all schools across Europe celebrate the European Day of Languages. Traditionally, students and teachers tend to speak as many languages as they can, organize various interesting events in order to show how lucky we all are to be part of this vast family, called “Europe”. Thus, in the school I teach –  we had the 5th edition of this “European Day of Languages” yesterday- it was a huge event on national level, with guests from many regions of Moldova, both teachers and students. It was a big concert for the guests, as well as for staff and students from our school. When the concert was over, the guests were invited to several workshops organized by the Foreign Languages Department: one in English and several in French. I was one of the three moderators in the English workshop we had.

The topic chosen for the workshop this year was “English as an international language”. As it tackles all aspects of life, our students chose which field they desired to prove that English had/still has an influence to. Respectively, our students spoke about English in:

  • education
  • science
  • medicine
  • IT
  • books
  • movie industry
  • news world
  • business
  • travelling
  • food.

Our students brought amazing pieces of information in front of the audience gathered, showing wonderful presentations, interesting videos created by them, promoting eTwinning as a collaboration platform for schools in Europe and being just proud of speaking this global language and being citizens of the World.

Apart from the guests from Moldova, we also had virtual guests from Great Britain – the principal and several students from the Wyedean High School in Bristol. We had a video conference via Skype, our students having the possibility to talk to native speakers of English,to ask and answer questions, to hear a wonderful British accent and simply enjoy the experience.

All in all, both teachers and students had a memorable experience on the European Day of Languages. All loved speaking English and saw the real necessity of learning this language spoken worldwide – “the lingua franca of the modern era”.

“He – who doesn’t know foreign languages – knows nothing about his own.” (Wolfgang von Goethe)

CURSURILE ONLINE – ALTERNATIVĂ PENTRU DEZVOLTAREA PROFESIONALĂ CONTINUĂ

SchoolsOnline

A fi Profesor – presupune posedarea unui bagaj vast de cunoștințe – nu doar cele care țin implicit de specializarea aleasă, ci și de celelalte domenii profesionale și ale vieții. Aceasta ține de faptul că profesorul, în cadrul orelor sale, atinge o gamă de teme, subiecte, în cadrul cărora ar trebui să demonstreze elevilor săi că deține astfel de cunoștințe. Într-un cuvînt – profesorul este student – pe toată durata vieții sale.

Și dacă veni vorba de formare continuă, cu toții știm că la dispoziția noastră – a profesorilor – mereu se pun la dispoziție diverse opțiuni de formare. Important e pe care dintre ele le vom alege. Astfel, fiecare optează pentru ceea ce îl interesează sau de ce are nevoie în sala de clasă.

În această ordine de idei, profesorul sec. XXI trebuie să dezvolte la elevii săi competențele sec. XXI, cum ar fi: gîndire critică, creativitate, spirit de antreprenoriat, deprinderi TIC (digitale), posedarea limbilor străine. Ca să poată face acest lucru, ar trebui el singur să le posede mai întîi. Din acest motiv, eu personal sunt adeptul cursurilor online. Avantajele acestora sunt multe, dar unul primordial ar fi faptul că profesorul nu e obligat să meargă undeva ca să participe la ele,ci de acasă, savurînd o ceașcă cu ceai și confortul propriei canapele.

Astfel, există o mulțime de site-uri ce oferă cursuri online pentru profesori și nu numai:

  • iteach.ro – site românesc ce oferă o varietate de cursuri online în limba română, la diverse obiecte în parte, precum și generalizate pentru profesorii de toate obiectele. Profesorii din Republica Moldova tot pot participa și ei (înregistrîndu-se ca profesori de București – o zic din propria experiență), iar certificatele indică numărul de ore la distanță. (durata unui curs: de la cîteva săptămîni la cîteva luni)
  • coursera.com – o gamă foarte vastă de cursuri din toate domeniile, oferite de universități de prestigiu din toată lumea. E necesară cunoșterea limbii engleze, desigur.(durata unui curs: 5-8 săptămîni și mai mult)
  • etwinning.net – platformă de colaborare între școlile din Europa, care oferă și diverse cursuri online (așa-numitele Learning Events), cu durata de 10 zile. De asemenea, se organizează uneori și webinare (seminare online), cu durata de 45-60 minute, ce tratează o anumită temă, iar participanții dau întrebări și primesc răspunsuri de la moderator în timp real. Pe lîngă acestea, mai există și grupurile eTwinning, moderate de profesori experți, în care membrii împărtășesc experiențe și practici bune, precum și organizează diverse evenimente online, cum ar fi petreceri online, neconferințe Webinare cu experti la diverse teme,etc.
  • etrc.md – Centrul de Resurse pentru Profesori de Limba Engleză – oferă cursuri online pe platformă Moodle, cu durata de 5 săptămîni, la care patricipanții învață multe chestii utile în predarea limbii engleze, cum ar fi: unelte Web 2.0 pentru predarea vocabularului, evaluare, brainstorming, interacțiune, etc.
  • schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org – Schools Online ofera cursuri de limbă engleză pentru profesori în scop de colaborare internațională, cetățenie globală, conștientizare globală și interculturală,etc. Sunt o sursă foarte bună în special pentru profesorii de limbă engleză și cei care predau în engleză. (Durata medie a cursurilor: 4-6 săptămîni)
  • futurelearn.com – oferă o gamă foarte vastă de cursuri, începînd de la politică, teatru, istorie, matematică, și sfîrșind cu cultură, dependența de droguri, psihologie și jurnalism. Durata lor variază în medie la 5-8 săptămîni, și oferă și certificate cu confirmare contra plată, la fel ca și Coursera – adică existe certificate ce atestă frecventarea cursului simple,precum și certificate contra plată, cu un cod de confirmare, care ar permite unui potențial angajator să îl verifice online, primind informații direct de la universitatea care a oferit cursul.

În concluzie, aș spune din propria experiență, precum că aceste site-uri sunt niște surse foarte prețioase de dezvoltare personală. Accesul la ele este gratuit și este foarte ușor de lucrat pe platformele care le oferă.  Pe lîngă faptul că înveți chestii tare interesante pentru sine, ca să simți că nu stai pe loc în odiseea cunoașterii, învățarea alături de alte zeci de mii de studenți de pe tot globul iți permite să te autoevaluezi și să vezi unde ți-e locul în comparație cu alți profesori. Astfel, pe lîngă un nou certificat în palmares, te alegi și cu îmbunătățirea imaginii propriei persoane atunci cînd te uiți în oglindă dimineața. Ori așa, ori invers, oricum avem de cîștigat.

“Explore English Language and Culture” online course on FutureLearn

Recently- more exactly on February 2nd – I have joined a new course for those wanting to learn about the English language and culture on FutureLearn (www.futurelearn.com) – offered by the British Council. The course’s title is “Explore the English language and culture”- a wonderful course, uniting together more than 10000 people.

Every week we explore a certain topic, beginning from English being an international language, British music and following with the countryside on the British Isles, as well as the next to come. Naturally, we tackle grammar topics also: passives, relative pronouns and the lot. We watch videos, do quizzes, post on the forums and enjoy the  time spent on the platform.

I recommend this course, as well as many others on FutureLearn to all those who want to enrich their vocabulary and become more fluent in using English as a means of communication. The time dedicated is worth it!

futurelearn

Online course from English Teaching Resource Centre

As teachers are lifelong learners, the English Teaching Resource Centre in Chisinau started recently an online course for English teachers from all regions of Moldova, entitled “Reaching out English teachers in the regions of Moldova”. It is a very interesting learning event, as it tackles the most up-to-date topics in teaching – the use of media and web tools in the classroom.

Every week the teachers have assignments to submit, readings to do, and also Google Hangouts to take part in. A pleasure! Besides the fact that we have amazing instructors, we can interact and work collaboratively together, doing tasks online, writing on forums, creating beautiful things and sharing opinions. The topics discussed are teacher-student social media interaction, psychological effects of using social media in the classroom, lesson plans and online resources for creating them, assessment and online testing. We learn to use a myriad of web 2.0 tools and get confidence in doing that.

To conclude, I would like to say that we – the teachers attending the course – should be thankful to the organizers for the possibilities they give us to take care of our continuous professional development in the fast-changing world. A wonderful start for new dimensions of learning and teaching! Blogging included! 🙂

ETRC hangout1