Presenting the Lower Secondary Workshop Facilitators

Teaching lower secondary can be a challenge. It seems it’s an age group (11-15) we either enjoy immensely or the one we avoid at all costs. This year, we’ve got several workshops on helping this age group grow in their cultural communicative competence as well as improve their English. We hope you find something you can practically use in your classes this year.

Igor André received his MA in Political Science at Comenius University in cropped-image-31.jpgBratislava in 2009. He has worked in education since then, as an assistant to igorMP in the National Council of the Slovak Republic (2010-2011) and coordinator for education at the Government Office of Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities (2011-2013). In February 2013, he left the civil service to co-found eduRoma, an NGO start-up which targeting the elimination of segregation of Roma pupils and the implementation of inclusive education. In July 2014, he joined Teach for Slovakia and taught English and Maths at Základná škola s materskou školou (primary and pre-school) in Nalepkovo.;

Dr Susan Barfield (Professor Emeritus at Montana State University-Billings) received a Ph.D. in Education (Multicultural/Bilingual/ESL) from sue bGeorge Mason University. She has been a Fulbright Scholar twice, the last one where she taught English at the University of Prešov (the former with the Ministry of Education in Chile).  She has co-authored three books in Slovakia, two tri-lingual children’s books and a Teachers’ Manual on how to use the books in the classroom.  She has presented in over eight countries, taught as a Faculty Scholar at the Middleburg Center for Transatlantic Studies in The Netherlands, and has contracted with three U.S. Embassies and three Fulbright Offices around the world.  She has received numerous awards, including Faculty Achievement and Professor Emeritus Awards.  Last year she started a non-profit organization, Project International Pride, whose mission is “respect for and tolerance of other cultures”.;;

Teaching and experiencing Roma culture (B1 Lower Secondary; All teachers) Friday 2.45-3.30pm

In this workshop, Igor (a Teach for Slovakia teacher) will talk about his two-year English teaching experience at a Roma school, including how he used the tri-lingual (Slovak, English, Romani) book “Children of the Sun” in his classroom and the after-school program. Sue will present the background of the book, including implementation strategies.  Each participant will receive a CD of the book which is narrated in three languages by the authors.

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Šárka Dohnalová is a teacher trainer. She has trained teachers and has given seminars to both teachers sharka 1and EFL learners in other European countries, e.g.  Great Britain or Austria, and through Pilgrims Teacher Training College and Masaryk University she has trained teachers from many countries not only from Europe. Her main focus is on drama as multisensory and holistic learning in real life situations.;

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Lucie Podroužková is a Masaryk University (Brno) graduate. She started her teaching career in Opava, CZ, then she moved to the Faculty of Education at Masaryk where she has been teaching mainly literature but also didactics dealing with teaching English-language literature, particularly using storytelling and drama.;

Shakespeare in the classroom (B1 Lower Secondary; All teachers) Friday 3.40-4.25pm

This year’s anniversary of the great dramatist and poet, whoever he was, brings attention to his work once again. The question is how to use it in the classroom to make it understandable and meaningful to today’s students or even those with SEN (specific educational needs). This seminar will go through a prepared structured lesson plan with communicative activities that will guide you and your learners through one of Shakespeare’s plays.

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Judit Kovács: “I have been researching EFL to Young Learners and CLIL to Young Learners as well as teacher training for these fields. I am based at the Faculty of Primary Education, ELTE, Budapest (now retired but still professionally active in many ways). I gained my MA degree at ELTE Budapest, and my MEd in TESOL to Young Learners in Leeds, U. K. My PhD dissertation was in the above field in Applied Linguistics, and later I was made professor in Pedagogy. In these fields, I have published extensively, both in Hungary and beyond. Over the past few decades, I have been guest lecturer at various universities, including in the U.K. and have been part of an EU project in Slovakia, University of Mateja Bela, Banska Bystrica (2013-2015) where I taught at different levels of education, and managed to meet primary school children, MA students, in-service teachers and PhD students.”

Éva Trentinné Benkő is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest . She holds an MEd in TESOL (from the University of Leeds) and a doctoral degree (from the Faculty of Education and Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University). She wrote her PhD dissertation on teacher education and teacherly competences that support early CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). She teaches English Methodology, English Children’s Literature and the Theory and Practice of Bilingual Education among other courses to future teachers of young learners. She has 10 years of experience as a primary school language teacher. She is the co-author of Magicland and Magic Friends (EFL coursebooks for primary students) and the World at Their Feet: Children’s Early Competence in Two Languages Through Education.

judit and evaFocus on the Content: A natural context for EFL YLs (A1-A2 Lower secondary; Teachers with some experience/Teacher trainers) Friday 4.40-5.25pm

In this workshop, we will present various tasks activities across the primary curriculum, such as Maths, Science, Art, etc., with the aim of offering ways how cognitive, social, and emotional skills might foster language acquisition in the young learners’ classroom.


evka langeEva Lange: “I am a teacher who loves teaching English. Over the past 10 years, I have taught all age groups, my youngest student being 2 years old and my oldest 67. I have also done teacher training at the Faculty of Arts as well as MPC (methodology centre) in Presov. I have degrees in special pedagogy (specializing in teaching kids with learning disabilities) and speech therapy, as well as few English certificates and diplomas. I am still studying and doing everything I can to be the best teacher for my students. Teaching English is my passion and it’s my desire to pass that passion for English on to my students.”

Using literature creatively (A2 Lower Secondary; Teachers with some experience) Saturday 10.15-11am

This workshop will deal with using the worlds of Robinson Crusoe, Pocahontas and Gulliver, and interesting activities about them, to help our students not just understand the language and be interested in the literature but also to discover hidden meanings and the diversity of cultures in them. We’ll learn how to creatively use these stories, from creating unusual introductions of the authors to coming up with adapted versions (something students love doing!).


Tijana Nesic Ristic: “Being a teacher for more than 25 years I have explored various methods working with students age 3 to seniors, individuals and groups. In 2003 I started my own English language studio. Majority of my students are teenagers and young adults preparing for Cambridge English exams (usually B2-C2) but there are also primary and preschool students doing courses with stress on the CLIL approach.
“Teacher training presents a relatively new chapter in my career, which has been tremendously encouraged and supported by ELTA of Serbia.
“I passionately believe that a teacher has a moral duty not only to teach his/her subject but to try to be a role model in an attempt to ignite curiosity and thirst for never-ending learning in (young) students as well as to be brave enough to tackle a variety of issues and raise awareness.”;;

Borders are insignificant if we can surpass our limits (B1 Lower Secondary; New and all teachers) Saturday 2.25-3.10pm

No matter how many countries’ borders you cross, you find people struggling to live a normal life, raise their children, provide them with a better start for the future; defying prejudices, racial or gender stereotypes, poverty, and even war. Laughter, suffering, ups and downs… numerous grey areas in between are woven into our life patterns.
Applying critical thinking, together with language activities, can make our students aware of issues to be addressed, initiate a lifelong interest for the world around us, and help our students not only acquire language skills in a meaningful way. It can also allow them to become responsible members of their communities.





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