SKA Winter Webinar with Lýdia Machová: Letting our students do the learning…because they love it!

When: 3-4pm (CET), Saturday, 30 January, 2016
Where: online, hosted by Webinars Guru (link provided after registration)
Who for: those teaching teens and adults, as well as teachers looking for ideas to improve their own language skills.
Fee: none
Recording: available to registered participants and SKA members only

Host: Lynda Steyne

Letting our students do the learning…because they love it!

Lydia will share her experience as lydiaa language mentor in which this last year she taught 100 students at a Slovak university and managed to get them to work on their English for half an hour every working day for two months. There was no pressure, just the right motivation. Her students did activities in English which they truly enjoyed, especially listening and expanding vocabulary, but also reading, speaking, writing and learning grammar.

Some student feedback:

Thank for making us realize that learning English can turn into a pleasant freetime activity 🙂

It was a great experience and it has already born fruit. I’m going to use the strategy for learning Italian too.

Thank you so much for your lessons, they really helped me improve my English!

And yet, Lydia spent only about five minutes a week to make that happen.  Join the webinar on Saturday 30th January at 3 p.m. (CET) to find out how she did it.

What you will learn:

  • how to motivate your students to do something about their English outside your lessons – for free and without being forced to do so
  • three specific resources which you can share with your students and which they may start using that very minute
  • how to invest less time and energy into your lessons and achieve more in the end

The webinar is free of charge and open to both members and non-members of SKA. Pre-registration is required and the recording will be made available to those who have registered and SKA members only. We are unable to offer a certificate of attendance at the present time.

_MG_1850Lýdia Machová is an interpreter (Slovak, English, German, and Polish) and foreign language mentor who has taught in a variety of settings. More than anything else, however, she’s a passionate language learner (currently working on her 8th) and active in the polyglot community. Her focus is the LEARNING process, rather than the teaching process, as she seeks to apply her experience as a LEARNER to her teaching and mentoring of others who want to learn a foreign language.


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Stanovisko SKA k aktivitám Slovenskej iniciatívy učiteľov

Slovenská komora angličtinárov (SKA) strikevyjadruje podporu aktivitám Iniciatívy slovenských učiteľov (ISU), ktorých cieľom je ozdravenie a skvalitnenie slovenského školstva a zlepšenie spoločenského postavenia učiteľov. Ako nezávislá, dobrovoľnícka, nezisková profesijná asociácia, ktorá združuje učiteľov a učiteľky vyučujúce angličtinu ako cudzí jazyk, a tiež odborníkov pracujúcich v oblasti metodiky výučby angličtiny, sa snažíme prispievať k skvalitneniu výučby anglického jazyka na Slovensku okrem iného aj organizovaním podujatí zameraných na ďalšie vzdelávanie učiteľov.

Vzhľadom na množstvo prekážok, ktorým aj my v tejto činnosti čelíme, bezvýhradne podporujeme žiadosť ISU o zmenu zákona o kontinuálnom vzdelávaní učiteľov. Nazdávame sa, že učitelia samotní najlepšie vedia, aké sú ich potreby, a preto by im malo byť umožnené vzdelávať sa v oblastiach, ktoré prispejú k ich profesijnému rastu a budú na úžitok aj ich žiakom a študentom.

Hoci nepovažujeme navýšenie miezd pedagogických zamestnancov za všeliek na všetky neduhy slovenského školstva, sme presvedčení, že ide o nevyhnutný krok k zatraktívneniu učiteľského povolania a pritiahnutiu talentovaných mladých ľudí za katedry.

Aj učitelia si zaslúžia dôstojné podmienky na život a na prácu, preto plne podporujeme Iniciatívu slovenských učiteľov aj v štrajkovej pohotovosti a štrajku a vyzývame Vládu Slovenskej republiky, aby ďalej nepoškodzovala reputáciu učiteľov nepodloženými obvineniami z politického prisluhovačstva a namiesto toho sa vecne a zodpovedne zaoberala ich požiadavkami a prijala konkrétne opatrenia vedúce k ich naplneniu a celkovému ozdraveniu systému školstva na Slovensku.

v Bratislave, 22. január 2016

Lynda M. Steyne, PhD. – predsedníčka (Pedagogická fakulta, Trnavská univerzita)
Mgr. Lucia Otrísalová, PhD. – podpredsedníčka (Filozofická fakulta, Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave)
Mgr. Ilona Šostroneková – tajomníčka (učiteľka anglického jazyka, Family English, Trenčín)

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Fall Tour with Barb Hoskins Sakamoto

Beginning Monday, 28 September, to Friday, 2 October 2015, SKA will be hosting Barb Hoskins Sakamoto (iTDi) on a 5-day workshop tour that will take her to Košice , Vranov nad Topl’ou, Poprad and Banska Bystrica. We’re still working on venues but registration will be here:

Barb will be doing Sakamoto after tourhands-on 3-hour workshops.

Barb’s practical workshop will be for those of us teaching young learners (5- to 12-year-olds) on ‘
Creative teaching for 21st century learners
‘. She’ll be sharing about teaching techniques to help our learners become strong English users and also critical and creative thinkers. By making every moment of class time count, we can help our students succeed – on exams and in future jobs. We can build both the traditional four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and the 21st century 4Cs (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking) in every class.
We have to charge for the workshops just to meet costs:
SKA Members – 5 EUR
University students – 2 EUR
Non-SKA Members – 10 EUR

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto earned her secondary English teaching certificate and her
MA TESOL degree in the USA, and has taught English and ESL in the US, and EFL in Japan. An EFL teacher and teacher trainer since 1985, she has conducted workshops throughout Asia, the USA and Latin America. She has experience teaching for all ages in many different environments; schools and universities for 30 years. Barbara is co-author of one of the world’s best-selling textbook series for children learning English, Let’s Go.  You can often find Barbara online working with teachers around the world as one of the Directors for International Teacher Development Institute ( on her award-winning blog, Teaching Village, or on her new blog, Teaching Children English. (Barb’s participation in the conference is being covered by a US Small Grant from the US Embassy in Bratislava.)



us embassy flagamerican corner kezs vranov nad toplou

poprad language school


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Launching a Practical ELT Journal: ELTI

If you’re not able to get to our annual conference, we’ve got a solution for you: the English Language Teaching Ideas Journal. It’ll come out a few months have the conference, but what we’ve put together for you ‘live’ will be on paper for you to use. We’re pretty excited about this new venture with the Department of Language Pedagogy and Cultural Studies in Nitra!

Learning together, Teaching together

In cooperation with the Department of Language Pedagogy and Intercultural Studies of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra (Slovakia), Slovenská komora angličtinárov/the Slovak Chamber of English Teachers (SKA) is pleased to announce the launch of a new annual English language teaching journal. ‘English Language Teaching Ideas’ (ELTI) will be an annual online publication of practical articles (by our conference speakers and others) published for our members.

SKA invites you to submit an article for the first issue of ELTI. The klis
publication is going to be peer-reviewed and published electronically, with an ISBN. The first issue will be kindly edited by our colleagues at our partner institution – the Department of Language Pedagogy and Intercultural Studies at the Faculty of Education (KLIS), Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra.

The purpose of the publication is to record and compile practical ideas which have worked well in your English language classes and bring them to your colleagues…

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Under the Auspices…

If you haven’t heard the news yet, we’ve got a friend in high places! And we’re grateful for his support. Even if it’s just moral support, it’s better than none 🙂

Learning together, Teaching together

We are pleased to announce that our first prejav3_cconference will be taking place under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska. We are grateful for his support!


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Getting them to read!

Interview by Marja Juhola

In this age of computer games, YouTube and non-stop internet, getting children to sit down and pick up a book or a magazine to read can be a struggle. One private language centre in Malacky, Slovakia, decided to try and put together a project to get their YLs reading. We (SKA) spoke to Andrea Chabrečková (AC), the school owner and director, to find out more.

SKA: What was the aim of the project?

AC: This was just an experiment. Firstly, we wanted to show kids that reading could be fun, interesting and challenging. We also wanted to boost children’s self-confidence and we did! From a language learning point of view, reading is an excellent way to consolidate new language as well as to learn new vocabulary.

SKA: So tell us how you went about it.

AC: First we chose a selection of language learning magazines aimed at young learners (Friendship, Hello!, Hello Kids!, Hurra!). Children were encouraged to order 3 issues of the magazine that suited their age and level best. Each week over a 4-week period 2 questions for each magazine were published (FB, school noticeboard), and the children were encouraged by their teachers to answer them. Teachers could help but not give them the correct answers. Answers were put in a box provided for this purpose. In order to win a prize at the end of the 4 weeks, they needed to have answered all 8 questions.

10155965_1133048560044762_499626239588902916_nSKA: What did parents say about having to pay for the magazines?

AC: Most were happy to do it. As an extra incentive, we also offered a “prize” for the parents: the winning children received a discount for a course next semester. This helped to motivate the adults too!

SKA: How would you evaluate the project?

AC:  It was a great success! It created a positive competitive atmosphere at school with 10171115_1132924360057182_5555829486358692270_n99% of our children participating. There was always a lot of excitement in the corridor when new questions were published. I believe we achieved our main aim: to get students enthusiastic about reading and to show them that they are able to read and understand a foreign language. Using material that was up-to-date and relevant certainly made it more interesting for them.

SKA: What advice would you give to schools/teachers who might want to try something similar?

AC: I would definitely recommend it. It is important to have the support of teachers and parents. We need to teach children by example: if we are enthusiastic about reading, children will follow!

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Summer learning opportunities

Want to know what webinars and online courses are available this summer? Vicky Papageorgiou has put them all in one place!


Summer is ahead and soon most of us will find some time to relax and spend time with the family. It is also a great opportunity for professional development, with all this free time in our hands, if we want to learn something new or to deepen our knowledge in a subject, acquire some new skills.

MOOCs and webinars are available in abundance and they are generally free or for a small amount of money if you are asking for a certificate. I have compiled a list for June, July and August that I think you might find helpful. I am sure there are a few more out there, so feel free to let me know and I will update the list.

In the end of the list, I am also including some self-paced MOOCs which, in other words, do not start at a fixed date but you can jump…

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