The event started with the Director of the Language Center Vjosa Vela and the Deputy Director Elena Spirovska welcoming the speakers and the participants. The Head of the English Department Andrew Goodspeed addressed the audience about the importance of professional development.
“It was an excellent opportunity to promote the values and dedication to excellence of the Language Center and South East European University, our established organizational culture and academic professionalism. Also, it was our pleasure to be the host of over 200 participants from the region. Due to considerable interest and limited number of seats, we had to refuse significant number of applicants. The vast interest in the workshop and the number of participants indicate that the event was a much needed one. We are delighted to have contributed in this direction and we hope that we will have a chance to provide similar workshops in the future.” said Vjosa Vela
Afterwards, our distinguished presenters held their sessions. The first presentation was delivered by Ms. Nadia Theochari, an experienced teacher trainer and ELT consultant for MM Publications, whose presentation “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter,” gave the participants valuable insight and advice on how to motivate, instruct and provide feedback when teaching writing. Mr. Akis Panayi , representing Hamilton House, is a Cambridge teacher trainer and presenter. His presentation “Translation in the classroom: To use or not to use?” focused on the role of translation and the use of L1 in the language classroom.
Dr. Vesna Dimitrieska, educational expert, addressed the latest trends in language education and the status of English language teaching and immersion programs in the United States.
Sophie Aroesty and Kiara Kinsky, Fulbright teachers from SEEU and State University of Tetovo, focused on speaking tasks for different types of language learners in their presentation: “Speak Up: Fun Classroom Activities to help students Practice Speaking English”. Ms. Ardita Zekiri from UNICEF Educational Sector presented the activities related to national web-based platform, which will assist the improvement in the quality of teaching and learning through co-creation and innovation, involving teachers, parents and children.
“On behalf of the SEEU Language Center and SEE University, we thank the presenters for their valuable contribution to our event. We thank the participants for showing such a great interest and enthusiasm. We thank all staff members for their hard work and we express our gratitude to the University management and services for their financial and technical support. Finally, we hope that we will repeat this great experience in our future events.”, said Ms Vela.
According to the review which was published in 2019 by OECD in co-operation with UNICEF, North Macedonia’s teachers need access to high quality professional development opportunities and tools. In addition, the review states that teachers of North Macedonia undertake professional development less than their peers in the region.