Friday, November 2, 2018 was a significant day for Vidzeme region teachers from Valka, Strenči, Valmiera, Smiltene (Latvia) and Valga Municipality teachers (Estonia) as there was a fantastic opportunity for the teachers of English to take part in a joint seminar organized by Pearson Latvia, Pearson Estonia and LATE in Valka Janis Cimze Gymnasium.
Pearson Estonia representative Ursula Erik dealt with the 21st century teaching skills based on the course book “Wider World”. The title of the session was called “It’s All about Communication: Authenticity in the Language Classroom”. We tried to distinguish between the spoken practice and communication and investigate ways in which we can bring them closer together. We looked at what the important elements of communication are in terms of linguistic and communicative competencies and shared some activities and ideas to take away and try out in class with your teenage students.
Pearson Latvia representative Iveta Vītola in her session “A Competence Based Approach to Teaching and Learning English” looked at the language learning materials that engage students, increasing their confidence and equipping students with knowledge and skills required to succeed in their education and in their lives in general via the latest books by Pearson publishing house. It was exciting to do the group works and get acquainted with the colleagues from the neighbouring country and share common teaching ideas. There was a bookstall prepared by Pearson, Estonia.
After the seminar the educational board of Valga Municipality added a surprise to the programme of the day with one more lecture led by Louis John Wierenga MA (Political Science) Junior Research Fellow in Comparative Politics, University of Tartu. Mr Louis John Wierenga was very interested in cooperation with the Latvian teachers alongside with the Estonians. It was interesting to listen to the native English speaker comparing the Canadian – Estonian cultures.
The Valga Municipality educational board representative Lay Ivi expressed a wish to continue our co-operation and collaboration in the future with paying a visit to the schools in Valga, there was an offer for Latvian students to participate in Valga Municipality English Language Olympiad in spring.