2020 Elections to the Executive Committee

NOMINATIONS to serve on the SCELT Executive Committee ARE OPEN! Read the EC job descriptions.  DEADLINE: 30 November 2019

Elections to the Executive Committee (EC) of the Slovak Chamber of English Language Teachers are held every 3 years.

The EC consists of 5 members, one of whom is chosen by the others to be Chair. The responsibilities of the every-day running of the Chamber are divided among the members of the EC based on their strengths and weaknesses, and mutual agreement.

EC job descriptions are not set forth in detail in our constitution. However, after 6 years, these are most of the tasks that need to be covered and we have attempted to divide them up reasonably and logically so that each role is feasible to be managed by a SCELT member who is a full-time teacher. Candidates can run for their preferred position.

Positions on the EC are unpaid and strictly volunteer. The official Articles of the Chamber can be found here (in Slovak) for SCELT members.

Nominations are for EC candidates for the 2020-2023 term are open to all SCELT members until 30 November 2019. All candidates need to provide the following information, sent to scet.ska@gmail.com:

  1. SCELT member since what year
  2. Current teaching/job position
  3. Background/Bio
  4. Previous experience in SCELT or any other volunteer organisation
  5. Why you’re a part of the Chamber
  6. What you’d like to see for the Chamber
  7. The EC position your interested in
  8. A profile picture to share with members

Voting will take place the last week of January 2020. Members will be notified how and when to vote. Those not able to attend the General Meeting will be able to vote online.

The new EC will be come into effect 1 February 2020.



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Candidates for the Executive Committee 2020

VOTING for the SCELT Executive Committee is OPEN! Cast your ballot NOW! Read the EC job descriptionsFind out more about these elections.

The following members of the Chamber (listed alphabetically) have been nominated to stand for election to the Executive Committee of the Slovak Chamber of English Teachers for 2020-2023:

Klaudia Bednárová (founding member, since 2013)klau_21

Current teaching/job position: principal of The Bridge English Language Centre

Background/Bio: Klaudia graduated from the Faculty of Education, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Department of English Language and Literature – Education. In 2009 she founded a private language school the Bridge – English Language Centre. She is one of the founding members of the Slovak Chamber of English teachers and the Slovak Association of Language Schools. She was chairwoman of the latter from 2011 to 2016.

Klaudia is passionate about teacher training, she established and runs projects such as Eltforum.sk and the Bridge re-boot camp for teachers. Her passion and professional interest is in effective learning strategies, which she understands as a broad and complex topic. Klaudia believes that there is no ultimately correct answer, but it is eclectic and holistic approach that can help us to be more effective teachers and learners.

Previous experience

  • Greenpeace: volunteer
  • Greenpeace: volunteer coordinator (paid job)
  • Greenpeace: education and volunteer campaigner for CEE (paid job)
  • ELTforum: coordinator of the project since 2010 (volunteer)
  • Slovak Association of language schools: 7 years chair (volunteer)
  • Slovak Chamber of English teachers: 2013: founding member and active volunteer 2012-2014

Why you’re a part of the Chamber: The reason for investing my energy and time to establishing SCELT was my belief in importance of a professional association of teachers as such. I believe we need it to provide us – English teachers with professional support and guidance, to be our professional voice.

What you’d like to see for the Chamber: I’d like to see the Chamber for the active organization providing us with professional support, guidance. I want it to be a heard voice of our profession. I’d like to work more on active involvement of pre-service and in-service teachers in terms of continual development, professional skill sharing and cooperation on the regional level. I’ve got more than 5 years of experience of building up networks in CEE region and more than 20 years’ experience in teaching, which I will utilize for the benefit of SCELT.

Nominee for: Chair


Hana Bolchová (member since 2019)IMG-0549

Position/Employment/Institution: Teacher of lower secondary (English and Music) / Základná škola Milana Hodžu, Bratislava

Background: I studied teaching English and Music at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. I have always wanted to become a singer, an actress, or a teacher. My dream came true. As a teacher I can be all in one. The opportunities to share all of the above with young learners, lower and upper secondary, up to adults, have brought great experience into my work and life. I believe that time spent on exploring the language is worth it. At my work I am a master of improvisation. I love creating songs and chants, writing poems and short pieces of literature with my pupils. I have a heart for volunteering in English summer camps for teenagers where my organisational skills are of great contribution. I am good at giving presentations and I believe that the Chamber can benefit from my skills.

What I’d like to see for the Chamber: My vision for the Chamber is to continue creating a community of teachers willing to support each other, to motivate teachers to become a part of this community and give them an opportunity to step up, be creative and share. I would love to arrange various types of events to keep teachers on the track.

Nominee for: whatever is needed


Ilona Šostroneková (member since 2013)profilepict

Current teaching/job position: volunteer teacher for lower-primary home-schooled children in Liptovsky Mikulas, and online freelance teacher/tutor

Ilona graduated from the Faculty of Education, Masaryk University in Brno in 2001. When then taught English at primary school in Brno, Czech Republic, and at the Defence Language Institute (under the Ministry of Defence) in Brno, Vyskov, and Prague, where she was also headteacher and STANAG 6001 English course examiner of military personnel. In 2009, she moved to Slovakia and continued as a freelance English language teacher, working with an online language school as a tutor and a teacher trainer.

Previous experience:

  • Membership Secretary since joining SCELT in 2015
  • Member of conference organising committee 2015 to 2019
  • Organised, hosted, and taught several regional workshops
  • Represented SCELT at sister conferences in Poland, Slovenia, Czechia, Hungary, and the UK.
  • Maternity center in Trencin and LM (volunteer)

Why you’re part of the Chamber: After having moved to Slovakia, I wanted to continue working as a teacher of English, and when I learned about SKA – Slovenska komora anglictinarov – I felt that the Chamber was able to offer me a certain kind of a shelter, opening new horizons for me in my own personal development, and be an institution thanks to which I would be able to meet ELT experts, other teachers and teacher trainers, make new contacts and get the opportunity to cooperate closer with other colleagues and learn from them. In return, I wanted to help the Chamber keep going, and hoped in my own contribution either as a help when volunteering at its events as well as becoming an active member and co-organize regional events where ELT experts, teachers, leaders, teacher trainers could meet and share ideas and support one another. That is the main aim of the Chamber as I feel it. In addition, however, at the top valuable benefits  has been the opportunity to make new friends, and the joy when we happen to meet again, and I feel I do now have many ELT friends around Slovakia, which I am grateful for.

What I would like to see for the Chamber: an institution as a networking platform for its members to continuously grow, cooperate with each other, and as schools. It is the way to support one other and move forward together. The Chamber offers opportunities for the ELT professionals to meet and share. By learning about, attending and organizing events not only at the international level, but regionally as well, we all can reach the same goal. The Chamber serves the purpose of being an open gate for its members to attend diverse ELT events as well as progress themselves by delivering workshops, talks, or seminars to other colleagues, both at home and abroad.

Nominee for: Deputy Chair


Marta Šuriková (member since 2019)

Position/Employment/Institution: Current Owner/Number Cruncher at Eloqua, s.r.o., Trenčín

Background: I graduated with a degree in management and economy studies in Zlín and have worked since in various positions in finance and accounting. I have an extensive background in NGO work with 15 years of experience as a core member in a local community centre. I have had a chance to work on local and international projects both as an back office support and as a member of more hands-on staff. I have been involved in a language school since 2015 as an owner, an admin support and an accountant. I am a conscientious team member and enjoy things running as smoothly as possible.

What I’d like to see for the Chamber: I’d like to see the back-office processes in the Chamber being as painless as possible so the team can focus on the core mission: to run an organization providing networking and development opportunities.

Nominee for: Treasurer

Peter Šurik (member since 2016)

Position/Employment/Institution: Teacher/Teacher trainer at Eloqua, s.r.o., Trenčín

Background: I have been teaching Business and Legal English, ESP and exam preparation since 2008 with background in interpreting and translation from UMB. Apart from running a small language school since 2014, I have been involved in a local NGO for over 15 years managing and participating in volunteer projects both in Slovakia and abroad. I don’t excel at networking, but I make it up by being fairly organised and decisive. I enjoy most aspects of teaching and I am particularly interested in how technology is going to change how we learn.

Why I’m a part of the Chamber: Teaching at a private school may be a solitary experience. I’ve benefited greatly from being able to network with people who have similar experience and problems. Having the opportunity to grow and contribute to the growth of others is changing both the profession and the perception of it. I enjoy being part of that change.

What I’d like to see for the Chamber: I’d like the Chamber to continue providing opportunities in networking and further development while growing its members’ base, and, eventually, become an integral part of English teaching profession in Slovakia.

Nominee for: Membership Secretary


Natalia Zaleska (member since 2019)

Position/Employment/Institution: Teacher (Business and Legal English)/Translator at Eloqua, s.r.o., Trenčín

Background: I studied law at Law Faculty at Trnavska univerzita v Trnave, after which I worked as a junior lawyer in the law office in Trencin for 7 years. While practicing law I started to teach business English. I have been teaching for more than 2 years while translating legal texts, mainly contracts, for almost 8 years. I specialize in Legal English. In general, my background is in law. I am able to deal with all the paperwork connected to legal issues. Dealing with legal issues also includes responsibility and capability of meeting deadlines. I also love working with social media. I am an admin and assistant of 2 social media accounts already. When speaking about organizing conference, I am basically able to do everything what is needed without any excuses.

Why I’m a part of the Chamber: Making new contacts, gaining new information, learning something useful applicable to my students or to myself, improving myself, sharing teaching experience with others, exchange opinions within the community

What I’d like to see for the Chamber: The Chamber should be a place, where you can find support for your ideas, help if you need, share teaching experience, deepen your knowledge, etc. To improve the quality of English teachers, create living community willing to participate and help each other.

Nominee for: Secretary and Correspondence Director (including social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram)

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2019 Spring Fling: What a day it was!

On Saturday, March 16, 2019, SCELT held its first one-day spring conference with Dorothy Zemach. Despite it being the Saturday after maturita week and the day of the 1st-round of elections for the Slovak presidency, around 50 colleagues from in and around Bratislava (and even from Hungary and Austria!) gathered to learn, to share their expertise, to network, and to simply have a good time together.

Thank you to the US Embassy Bratislava and the Regional English Language Office Belgrade for making this event possible.relo

us embassy flag

Interactive plenary with author, publisher, and teacher trainer Dorothy Zemach
The Chocolate Factory: Learning is the desired outcome, not just fun or entertainment.



Barry O’Donohoe (Narnia Primary School, Bratislava)
Tech tools for the classroom

Lisa Hundley (Gymnasium der Diözese, Eisenstadt, Austria) & Faith Hundtoft (English Teaching Assistant, Gymnasium Kurzwiese and HTBLA/Higher Technical College Eisenstadt, Austria) 
Pique your (P)interest

Linda Steyne (Freelancer)
What’s up with this year’s maturita?

Ľuboš Masaryk (Gymnázium Ladislava Sáru, Bratislava)
Discovery grammar learning

Mark Andrews (SOL Devon, UK, & Budapest)
Working with BREXIT in the English Language Classroom

Martin Jelinek (Brighthouse, Kosice)
Redefining Teaching Learning

Natalie Lackovic (Gymnazium Jan Holleho)
Bilingual science can be fun with CLIL!


Friends and Networking

Raffle & Closing (Thanks to Macmillan SR, Friendship, and SEVT for the great prizes!)

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Spring Fling 2019

Tentative Programme – Saturday, 16 March 2019

Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/AodsVUjSW7R160jw1

Dorothy Zemach: I’m an author, editor, teacher, and teacher trainer in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). I taught English, French, and Japanese for over 20 years in Asia, Africa, and the US. My MA in TESL is from the School for International Training in Vermont. I currently write and edit English language teaching materials and textbooks, and conduct teacher training workshops. My areas of specialty and interest include teaching writing, teaching reading, business English, academic English, testing, and humor. I’m a frequent plenary speaker at international conferences, and a regular blogger for Teacher Talk at Azar Grammar. http://www.dorothyzemach.com/

Barry O’Donohoe: I moved from Ireland to Slovakia in January 2013. I have been working at CZŠ Narnia, Bratislava for the past six years. During my teaching time in Slovakia, I have taught English, Science and I.T to prvý and druhý stupen students. barry.odonohoe@narniaba.sk
Faith Hundtoft is an English Teaching Assistant at the Gymnasium Kurzwiese and HTBLA/Higher Technical College Eisenstadt in Eisenstadt, Austria. She has been teaching part-time in schools in the state of Burgenland since October 2017, functioning as an English language resource and an American cultural representative. Raised in Los Angeles, Faith holds a BA in Linguistics and German Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She will move back to the United States after the 2018/2019 school year and pursue a career in translation. In her free time, she enjoys watching cooking shows and drawing.
Linda Steyne has lived and taught in Bratislava for 28 years. She’s taught at all levels of the state school system and worked on a variety of projects for MPC, ŠPÚ, and NÚCEM. She’s the current and founding chair of SCELT. lsteyne@gmail.com
Lisa Hundley is a full-time English teacher at the Gymnasium der Diözese in Eisenstadt, Austria. Additionally, she has taught Business English courses at the bachelor’s and master’s level at the Fachhochschule Burgenland/University of Applied Sciences in Eisenstadt. For more than twenty years, her career has taken her to classrooms and English departments in the United States, Austria, Slovakia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her current location in Europe has allowed her to continue growing with our vibrant regional community of educators via conferences, workshops, and social events. Born and raised in Washington State, U.S.A., Lisa holds a BA in German from Washington State University as well as an MA in TESL and an MA in German/Applied Linguistics from Penn State University. lisa.hundley@bildung.gv.at
Ľuboš Masaryk: I am a secondary school English teacher and a doctoral student at the Faculty of Education, Masaryk University in Brno. I have been teaching English for about 8 years, both private and state schools. In my dissertation I focus on approaches to the teaching of grammar.  lubos.masaryk@gmail.com


Mark Andrews has been working in Eastern and Central Europe for over 30 years now as a teacher trainer in ELT. He worked for the British Council as an ELT consultant for 12 years in Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary and co-ordinated the IATEFL-Hungary Culture and Literature Special Interest Group for 5 years. He is a big supporter of teacher associations in this region. He is training director at SOL and teaches on summer schools in Devon, Serbia and Slovakia. maarkandrews@gmail.com
Martin Jelinek: Graduate of Georgetown University, Washington D.C., in Sociology and Human Resources, and University of Presov, in Linguistics, Slovakia. Martin has a vast portfolio of international training and consulting knowledge, which he gained through devising and leading trainings and development projects for managers and their teams across Europe, The Baltic States and the Middle East. Martin specializes in input language analysis, public speaking, communication protocol and presentation skills specifically in English and across cultures. After his return from Honduras in 2010, where he was in charge of the newly open English Department at the Laureate International Universities, UNITEC, he has been active as an Oral Examiner for Cambridge, and has been selected as one of 100 teacher trainers worldwide with Macmillan Education, UK. Martin regularly delivers talks, webinars and workshops for teachers and language coaches of English internationally. office@brighthouse.sk
Natalie Lackovic: Natalie, born and raised in a multilingual family, surrounded by Australian and Slovak nature and a great lover of languages. For the last decade she has been teaching science (biology) and English in grammar and vocational schools and loves working with teenagers and motivating young learners. lackovic.natalie@gmail.com
Peter Barrer teaches at the Department and British and American Studies at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava. Born and educated in New Zealand and Australia, Peter has lived in Slovakia since 2009. Asides from teaching courses on the history, societies, and cultures of the English-speaking world, he also translates from Slovak into English. peterbarrer@gmail.com
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IATEFL Hungary 2018

by Juraj Streďanský

The annual IATEFL Hungary conference in Budapest, held 5-7 October 2018, was a weekend to remember. To see that bunch of motivated, enthusiastic, kind and helpful professionals at work was an experience in itself, let alone the content of the presentations.


It was a two-and-a-half-day ride where, once it got in motion, jumping off the roller-coaster was a challenge, despite the beautiful sunny weather behind the windows. With 8 sessions at a time, the event did’t leave much to wish for – it covered everything from presentations on results of scientific studies, given by the researchers themselves, to sessions on CLIL, from gaming as a learning tool to ESP, from communication and community-building in classroom to theory and practice of Gothicism.

20181006_140551Let me elaborate on my personal highlights.

Danny Singh – An achieved English teacher and team-building coach based in Rome – gave us an insight into his method combining laughter yoga, interpreting from gibberish, and a few other hard-to-briefly-describe kinesthetic activities. Certainly, a creative approach to the matter which reminded me of the importance of movement while experiencing a new language, making the learning process feel much closer to real life.


Andy Cowle – a Black Cat Publishing trainer – reintroduced reading as a learning tool for the young generation of the 21st century. Takeaways & surprising facts: youngsters still do read, maybe even more than they ever have; there has probably never been as much written (and therefore read) communication in the history of mankind as there is today. The only challenge poses our ability to show the kids and teens that book-reading is fun, exciting and certainly not a forgotten pass-time of their grandmas, and thus using their reading habits to our advantage.

Peter Sokolowski – a Merriam-Webster (the American Standard dictionary) representative – gave a talk on something about the importance of which we tend to forget – lexicography. With today´s use of online dictionaries of all sorts – and a great tool they are, indeed – the identity of the publisher and the labour hidden behind the lists of (hundreds and hundreds of) thousands of vocabulary items becomes close to invisible. We were reminded of the beauty and the smell of books, though not of fiction, which contain everything what our beloved English consists of. … And I had the chance to meet one of the authors of my favourite dictionary in person – simply exciting!


A weekend well spent, time greatly invested… Seeds of wisdom, new contacts, and motivating activities were planted, and I have been harvesting the fruits ever since.

I would not miss the next year’s event for the world!


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A Poem: The Red Life Belt

At our last conference, SKA2017: UKF Nitra, we held a poetry contestEach participant may submit one original poem […] directly related to either the theme of the conference or something specific learned at the conference.

The theme of last September’s conference was ‘Lifelines & Life Skills’. The lifeline theme, with a dark red life belt, ran throughout most of the conference materials and was also on the conference bag.

We had numerous entries, but one stood out.

The Red Life Belt by Jana Zrníková

Your swimming begins to slow down.
The banks are steep, it seems you’ll drown.
The darkness drags you down,
Into the deep.
You doubt you’ll see another dawn.
Your limbs heavy, your voice is wan:
“I don’t have the strength.”
You weep.

Open your eyes, lest water kill.
Look! Do you know rescue? You will.
Someone throws a red life belt.
Hold tight.
Open your eyes, take a deep breath.
Now you’re safe, no drowning, no death.
Just light.

Then someone asks you: “Want to fly?”
You’d love to, you want to try.
Towards the sky, you slowly rise,
Not sure if you can trust your eyes.
For nevermore is the world a muddle.
And those dark waters are only a puddle.


What were you thinking when you wrote the poem? Where did it come from? 

I was thinking mainly about the teachers. Many of them are burned out. However, there was no one who would have thrown them a ‘life belt’. Your article [ed. note: SKA Chair Lynda Steyne’s welcome in the conference booklet] was a great inspiration for me:

“This year’s theme ‘Lifelines & Life Skills’ was born out of a trip to IATEFL 2017 Glasgow. While there, I noticed the life belts on posts along the river, ready in case anyone fell in. It made me think of our own Vážsky Canal in which several people drown every year because there is no way up of its steep concrete walls. There are no life belts or even stairs. And I thought that that’s how it often feels for us, teachers: we’re in over our heads, the challenges are overwhelming, there’s no way out, and we feel like we’re drowning. There is no one to throw us that life belt.  Life is much the same for our students once they leave our classrooms.

“So, this year, we wanted to focus on finding good life belts and developing real life skills. We have teacher trainers from all over Slovakia and Europe who have come to share their survival strategies – to help us out of that deep water so neither we nor our students drown.

“When we leave here, it is our hope that each of us will take at least one ‘life belt’ that we can share with an overwhelmed colleague and one life skill to help our students be ready for the real world outside out classrooms. We share because the more we help each other, the farther both we, as teachers and human beings, and our students will be able to go.”

I realized that it’s not only teachers who feel this way but also people of other professions and what’s more – even students! We have all experienced such moments in our lives. We all sometimes feel like we’re walking in the darkness (or swimming in dark waters) without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But then someone touches our shoulder from behind and shows us that the light was always there, and we were just looking in the wrong direction.  So, my wish for everyone who got lost in the darkness was to find that light – to find something that would brighten their days, to find their sun, to find, and more importantly, to accept the help without feeling ashamed.

Jana Zrníková is in completing her Masters in Teaching English Language and Literature at the Department of Language Pedagogy and Intercultural Studies at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia. She comes from the village of Ľubochňa and spent a few months in Dublin. Since graduating from Milan Hodža Bilingual Grammar School in Sučany, she has taught EFL at the Private Bilingual Grammar School in Ružomberok. As a translator, she’s worked for several companies, as well as working on English-Slovak and Slovak-English translations in Hong Kong and Austria. Her fields of interest are primarily in multisensory approaches in teaching, teaching through emotions, and psychology. Her focus is in finding ways to make English language learning more effective and enjoyable for learners. She hopes to continue her research as a doctoral student. Jana is also a great fan of historical fiction and fantasy books, and hopes to publish her own stories in the future.

Editor’s note: Thank you, Jana!

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Useful tips on how to build rapport when you’re not John Keating from Dead Poets Society

Excellent insights for all of us!

Cecilia Nobre ELT Blog


“ Consciously, we teach what we know; unconsciously, we teach who we are.” Hamacheck (1999, p.209)

I recently watched a video on social media that blew my mind and got me thinking of how important establishing rapport with our students is. You might have seen the video of a teacher in the US who uses a personalized greeting with each student before they get in the classroom ( if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s here).

I would have loved to be one of his students. He truly shows he cares about his pupils.

He goes on and says “we pride ourselves on high expectations and in meaningful relationships.It’s more than a handshake, it’s about impacting the student in the most positive way.

Never underrate the values of relationships, with anyone.

So what can a gesture like that teach us? Do we have to teach a morning routine…

View original post 1,362 more words

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SKA 2017 UKF Nitra

We’ll be in Nitra this September. What about you?

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