Anna Białkowska, nauczyciel języka angielskiego w Zespole Szkół w Gromniku; projekt “Ponadnarodowa mobilność kadry edukacji szkolnej;” kurs „Language, Methodology and Culture” oferowany przez English Language Centre w Brighton, UK; 29.07-09.08.2019 This school year, I had the great pleasure and opportunity of participating in an educational exchange programme managed by the Foundation for the Development of the Education System (FRSE). Thanks to many programmes and projects organised by FRSE, Zespół Szkół w Gromniku, where I am a teacher of English, received financial support which enabled me to spend 2 weeks (between 29 July and 9 August 2019) at the English Language Centre in Brighton, UK. The project conducted at our school “Ponadnarodowa mobilność kadry edukacji szkolnej” was led by Mrs. Patrycja Kubicz and Mrs. Aneta Styrkowiec. Among the many benefits resulting from taking part in that project, me and Mrs. Kubicz had the opportunity to enroll into the Language, Methodology and Culture course, offered by ELC Brighton. I can’t stress this enough how informative, enriching and simply unforgettable the whole experience was. We arrived on Sunday 28th July and discovered that Brighton is located on a very hilly area. We learnt it the hard way as we had to drag our 20+ kg luggage for quite a long distance… We were accommodated at 248 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 5AE, at the ELC student house. The lodgings were comfortable and well-equipped, set in a quiet neighbourhood. The ELC school in Brighton is located at 33 Palmeira Mansions BN3 2GB, which meant that it took 30 minutes on foot to get to school. At first it seemed far away but after our first walk we haven’t used public transport even once! It was much more interesting to go on foot and admire the neighbourhood, architecture and also to explore different routes from our house to school, to the city centre or to anywhere we wanted to go. Brighton and Hove have flawlessly working public transport with double-deckers coming and going every 10 minutes but it was really much more fun (and healthy) to walk. The ELC in Brighton has been based at 33 Palmeira Mansions since it was founded in 1962. Palmeira Mansions, on Palmeira Square, were built between 1883-4. Designed by the architect J H Lanchester and the builder Jebez Reynolds Jr, these large Victorian properties have four storeys with an attic and basement. Number 33 is unique in terms of its wonderful interior design; the building is furnished  with elaborate fire places, some with stunning over-mantles, carved mahogany doors, a variety of lincrusta wallpapers, exquisite stained glass windows, decorative Moorish style ceiling, parquet floors, marble staircase, floors and paneling… and yes, we had our classes there. Every day we had a chance to admire the incredible design of that historic building – apart from the first day, when we got lost several times trying to get to the right classroom using one of the three different stairways. Surprisingly however, despite the fact that the building was actually a monument, it was fully equipped with state-of-the art technology and teaching aids, e.g. in our regular classroom we had a modern interactive whiteboard. As the school is located in the city centre, it is surrounded by many cafes, restaurants, bakeries, shops and pubs. But for our lunch break we usually didn’t go to cafes or restaurants – we crossed the street and the Palmeira Square and ate our lunch… by the sea, as this beautiful building is located only 500 meters from the beach! The surroundings were wonderful, the school well-furnished and the teaching staff were professional, friendly and extremely helpful. The teacher who led the LMC course, Rolf Donald (BA (Hons), MA Tesol, DTEFLA Teacher), was one of the most competent, experienced and enthusiastic educators I have ever met. Taking part in his classes was sheer pleasure. Rolf was always well-prepared, punctual and it was obvious that he loves his job. The course he prepared was very informative, interesting and professional. Every day our classes started at 9 a.m. We had a half an hour break at 10.30 and then a lunch break at 12.30. We finished at 3 p.m. Our international group consisted of 8 people – there were 3 teachers from Poland (me, Patrycja and Magda), a teacher from Hungary (Clare), a teacher from the Czech Republic (David), a teacher from Colombia (Jhon), a teacher from Spain (Carmela), and a teacher from Germany (Eva). I think that were an active and well-matched group. All members were friendly and had interesting backgrounds. Mostly, they were English teachers with a wide range of experiences. Our first day started with the whole group welcome presentation, followed by introductions. Then, Rolf presented the course overview and we did some warmers, fillers and team building tasks. Next day we started with a discussion about our beliefs about language learning and teaching. We learnt key terminology related to recent trends in ELT (English Language Teaching). The afternoon session focused on Intercultural Communication and how Britain is seen from abroad. We also had to prepare a cultural briefing about our countries as homework. Next session was devoted to English in the media – Journalese and the grammar of news (the use of puns in headlines). We read actual newspapers – ranging from Red tops to more serious titles – analyzed the language and the content. We also looked at online tools that are helpful in researching, learning and teaching vocabulary (English vocab profile, Ozdic, etc.) and at activities from the resource book Lexicalised Grammar. The afternoon class was devoted to the local culture and history of east Sussex and Brighton through the paintings of Eric Ravilious and John Constable and using BBC’s “A Portrait of Britain.” Next session discussed classroom management and catering for different learners. Then, we focused on teaching listening skills. In the afternoon, we were looking at social communication aimed at culture and politeness, followed by an introduction to Evidence-based teaching. The last session of the week was devoted to songs, poems, and drama and how to use them effectively in ELT. The class finished a bit earlier as most of us wanted to go sightseeing around Brighton or go on one of the weekend excursions. The second part of the course was equally instructive and interesting. It started with a discussion of key issues in Britain today. Then, we looked at various effective ways for teaching grammar. The afternoon session took place in the computer room as we used different EdTech tools and websites. Next day, we focused on Project-based learning which was followed by an introduction into multi-modal literacy and curation tools. The afternoon session was devoted to Learner Generated Visuals. Next session focused on culture – how the British see themselves and on popular culture today. After lunch we worked on teaching Speaking skills which could be practiced with the use of drama and improvisation in the classroom. On the last but one day, the morning session was spent on our SPRE projects (Situation, Puzzle, Response, Evaluation). The projects were usually presented as hand drawn A3 posters which explained a lesson plan, an activity, a micro-teaching demonstration, a scheme of work, or steps of a teaching strategy. We had time for preparation and peer presentation. The afternoon session was devoted to British humor and explained what makes the British laugh. On the last day of the course most groups presented their SPRE projects in the conference room. After that, we watched a wrapping up presentation and received our certificates. After lunch, we participated in the last class focusing on Teacher Development in the 21st century. Apart from learning we tried to do as much sightseeing as possible. We devoted our evening and weekends to exploring Brighton and Hove. We visited Brighton Pier, went to the beach as frequently as possible, we visited the Royal Pavilion and Museum, and explored at least half of the city on foot. We enjoyed British cuisine and couldn’t resist the urge for shopping. We also went outside Brighton – we visited our friends in Portsmouth, another beautiful port city. We arrived at the historic dockyard, walked across the promenade and went sightseeing through the Old Town. We got back to Brighton just in time for the last day of the Pride Parade celebrating LGBTQ communities. We went on a day trip to the Seven Sisters National Park. We walked on and under the magnificent white cliffs – this trip was one of the highlights of the whole stay and the views I saw there I will never forget. At our last weekend we couldn’t miss a trip to London as it is only 50 minutes away by train. We took a guided tour which covered the most famous spots (Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye). After an exciting day, we spent our last night at Dyke Road. We left Brighton on the 11th August 2019 regretting that our stay has been so short. As mentioned before, the whole course was extremely engaging and skillfully prepared. I believe I made a ton of progress both linguistically and professionally and I’m convinced that every foreign language teacher should take part in such a course at least once. I hope that in the future I will be lucky enough to participate in a different course offered by the ELC. W tym roku szkolnym miałam przyjemność i okazję uczestniczyć w programie wymiany zarządzanym przez Fundację Rozwoju Systemu Edukacji (FRSE). Dzięki wielu programom i projektom organizowanym przez FRSE, Zespół Szkół w Gromniku otrzymał dofinansowanie, dzięki któremu mogłam spędzić 2 tygodnie (między 29.07 a 09.08. 2019) w szkole językowej English Language Center w Brighton, UK. Projekt o nazwie “Ponadnarodowa mobilność kadry edukacji szkolnej,” zarządzany przez Panią Patrycję Kubicz i Panią Anetę Styrkowiec umożliwił nam wzięcie udziału w kursie poświęconym metodologii nauczania języka angielskiego i kulturze brytyjskiej (Language, Methodology and Culture). Niełatwo wyrazić jak bardzo pouczający, wzbogacający i niezapomniany był dla mnie pobyt za granicą i udział w kursie. Do Brighton przyleciałyśmy w niedzielę, 28.07 i odkryłyśmy, że miasto położone jest na górzystym terenie. Dało się to szczególnie odczuć kiedy musiałyśmy ciągać za sobą ponad 20 kg walizki podczas niekrótkiego spaceru do naszego akademika, który znajdował się przy 248 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 5AE. Akademik zarządzany był również przez szkołę ELC i znajdował się w domu mieszkalnym przerobionym na kwatery studenckie. Budynek był wygodny i dobrze wyposażony, umiejscowiony w spokojnej okolicy. Szkoła ELC znajdowała się przy 33 Palmeira Mansions BN3 2GB, co oznaczało 30 minutowy spacer. Na pierwszy rzut oka trasa wydawała się długa, ale okazało się, że ani raz nie skorzystałyśmy z publicznego transportu! Chodzenie pieszo było dużo bardziej interesujące niż jazda autobusem i umożliwiało nam podziwianie okolicy, architektury oraz sprawiło, że poznałyśmy różne trasy prowadzące od akademia do szkoły, do centrum miasta, lub gdziekolwiek gdzie chciałyśmy dotrzeć. Brighton and Hove mają świetnie działający transport publiczny – autobusy piętrowe odjeżdżają co 10 minut, ale piesze spacery wydawały nam się dużo bardziej przyjemne (i zdrowsze). Szkoła ELC w Brighton ulokowana jest przy 33 Palmeira Mansions od chwili powstania w 1962. Rezydencje Palmeira, na Placu Palmeira, zostały zbudowane między 1883-4. Zaprojektowane przez architekta J H Lanchestera i budowniczego Jebez Reynolds Jr, te duże wiktoriańskie budynki składają się z czterech pięter, razem z poddaszem i piwnicami. Numer 33 jest unikalny ze względu na niesamowity wystrój wnętrz. W budynku znajdują się wyszukane kominki, niektóre ze wspaniałymi gzymsami, rzeźbione mahoniowe drzwi, tłoczone tapety z płaskorzeźbami, piękne witraże okienne, zdobione sufity w mauretańskim stylu, parkiety, marmurowe schody, podłogi i boazerie… tak, właśnie w takim budynku odbywały się nasze zajęcia. Codziennie mieliśmy okazję podziwiać niesamowity wystrój tego dziewiętnastowiecznego budynku – może za wyjątkiem pierwszego dnia, kiedy kilkakrotnie zgubiliśmy się na jednej z trzech różnych klatek schodowych. Mimo tego, że szkoła znajdowała się w zabytkowym budynku, całe wyposażenie było zaskakująco nowoczesne. W klasach znajdowały się innowacyjne sprzęty i pomoce dydaktyczne; nasza regularna klasa wyposażona była w nową tablicę interaktywną. Szkoła znajduję się w centrum miasta – otaczają ją kawiarnie, restauracje, piekarnie, sklepy i puby. Jednak mimo to, nie chodziłyśmy … Czytaj dalej Brighton