The aim of Oxford Oktatási Központ is to improve continuously and be able to adapt to new professional and language challenges in order to make our language teaching successful and efficient.
As a consequence, we applied for an Erasmus+ grant at Tempus with the title: “Efficient language teaching on general and professional fields, based on the requirements and needs of the EU.” We successfully won the grant, making development possible for our language school as an institution and for our teachers as individuals. We have disseminated our experience and good practices in our language school, at professional organizations and on websites, and we are still sharing them.
As we work in the field of adult education, we can enhance with our high quality and efficient language teaching not only keeping workplaces but also getting new ones, provided we can mediate the required general or professional language knowledge and we can help keeping it.
Now, at the end of the “mobilities” we can say that we could gain new, practical and time-tested methodological knowledge that we build in our teaching continuously, aiming at a more enjoyable and more effective language learning and teaching. Our language teachers’ language knowledge was also brushed up and refreshened in the native speaking environment, and they also gained new drive and motivation for teaching as it can be seen from their daily and personal reports. Our use of new technical equipment also improved to a great extent, we look up to the native trainers of the courses as big examples. We continuously expand, update and modernize our collection of methodology tools, through the new experience of our teachers’. We are aiming at providing more competitive, more efficient language teaching that meet the EU requirements at a high level combining the new experience and knowledge of our language teachers. So, we will help improve the general language level of the Hungarian population and also help students working in multinational environment make their work more effective.
We would like to share with you now our valuable experience. Altogether six of our teachers took part in the mobility programme, all of them with MA qualifications. Two of them are also examiners. They all regularly take part in training courses and it is really important for them to improve and to provide inspiring, effective teaching. Three of our teachers were in England, one was in Malta, one in Austria and one in Germany. All of them observed a different aspect of language teaching, with different elements of methodology, content and tools. We learned from our colleague returning from ActiLingua Language School in Austria how to make our language lessons more interesting and lively using tasks of a new type, stepping over the physical boundaries of the school – going out to town and solving the practical exercises that they got from the school – or even using material from other subjects. We have gained a very valuable report about warm-up games (that are equally important in both adult and children’s groups for ice-breaking, forming group cohesion and releasing tension) and other ideas. Choosing the appropriate course book is also important, bearing in mind the students’ point of view. The role of music during the lessons was emphasized, too, combined with the development of other skills. Combining other professional fields, such as yoga and PE with language teaching could be effective and motivating for students as well.
Based on the experiences in Margate (Leo Languages language school) we met the well-functioning system and integrated education of a primary school in England, and got answers to the question why it is important for a language teacher today to do lifelong learning and to be up-to-date. Besides, we learned a lot from the fact that the returning colleagues compared other countries’ teaching methods to ours, based on their experience in an international group.
After the training course at DID, Germany, we got encouraged to take part on our own lessons as students, observers and critics, too. As a result, we will recognise more easily which tasks we should do some changes about, as there are no wrong tasks, but some tasks could be not well prepared or contain mistakes. At ETI Malta, the native teacher showed us a completely new aspect of teaching grammar, which is also worth considering. We could see how important it is to encourage the use of the language at students with higher level of English, too. Finally, we got useful ideas and thoughts from Bell, Cambridge, about how to keep our self-development sustainable through our internal monitoring and teacher training system which should provide momentum and motivation.