2nd Conference on Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education in Belgrade

As announced at ELTA’s 12th Conference, the British Council is organising the Second Conference on Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education. The conference,  consisting of plenaries and workshops, will be held on 14 June 2014 in Sava Centre in Belgrade. David Crabtree, Sally Farley, and Phil Dexter will share the UK experiences and offer practical advice and solutions to teachers in Serbia. While waiting for the application process to open on 2 June, you  can familiarize yourself with the (preliminary) agenda and the presenters’ bios.

The good news for all those unable to attend is that livestream will be available in English, Serbian and Serbian sign language. And maybe all teachers will benefit eventually from the  pre-conference roundtable discussions on 13 June organised for policy makers, relevant international organisations and institutions, as well as headteachers and principals.

Come to ELTA Conference! (2-in-1)

Just a quick note:

In case you really needed an extra reason to come to Belgrade for the twelfth ELTA Serbia Conference,

Registration Open: 12th ELTA Conference

please be informed that the very weekend of the conference you may get additional good vibes should you decide to join the eleventh Museum Night 

Noć muzeja

  • or enjoy another On High Heels concert by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,

  • or indulge in one of the many plays ….

and I better stop here lest the quick note become a regular full-length post.

So, why not come to the 12th ELTA Serbia Conference “BACK TO THE FUTURE”?

Reflective teaching & “Сазнали на семинару, применили у пракси 2013”

Once you are done with your classes and administration, you might want to use your precious time to extend your reflective teaching practice: to pour your thoughts on the CPD events you attended and showcase your own classroom cooking based on the tips and recipes provided at the seminars accredited by the Serbian MoE. And there may be a further incentive: call for submissions by ZUOV ‘Сазнали на семинару, применили у пракси 2013(~ Learnt at a seminar, put into practice 2013).

To view the top forty entries in 2012 click here; and the twenty-three entries for 2011 are awaiting you here.

The deadline is 31 August 2013.

Even if you do not wish to send in your work, putting your thoughts on paper, or whatever device you prefer, might give you the right boost and direction for the next year and maybe even assist you in better planning your further CPD, or – if you cannot let go of Grumpy Cat, Statler & Waldorf – what kind of seminars you actually want to steer away from and why.

(S)he who dares to teach

Early Bird Extended!

The 11th ELTA Serbia IATEFL 2013 Conference 

 “He who dares to teach must never cease to learn” will take place in Belgrade on 10-11 May 2013.

Just a friendly reminder that the early bird registration deadline (April 12) is nigh.

Those who are still uncertain whether to attend this great event  might be interested in the provisional conference programme, which has just been made available

Good news: ‘Withholding the image’ accredited by ME

Just a short FYI:

The seminar Withholding the Image has become an accredited CPD event: teachers may get one accredited point!

The discontent and malcontent may argue that it is rather strange and shameful that attending a quality event such as this would lead to merely one single accredited point. But I beg to differ: the glass is half full: the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development has finally started to give the green light to accreditation of CPD events outside the Catalogue organized by well-established  organisations, including professional organisations and publishers. Mighty glad I am!

Withholding the Image is comprised of three workshops run by Jamie Keddie. The event is organised by YALS and the British Council.

‘Withholding the image’ with Jamie Keddie in Belgrade

It is thanks to YALS (the Association of Language Schools of Serbia) and the British Council that (at least some) teachers of English in Serbia will have the opportunity to attend Withholding the Image, a seminar by Jamie Keddie.

Jamie Keddie is a European-based teacher, teacher trainer, writer and presenter. He is the founder of Lessonstream, the site that was formerly known as TEFLclips, winner of a British Council ELTons award. His publications include Images in the Resource Books for Teachers series published by Oxford University Press. Jamie is an associate trainer at NILE (Norwich Institute for Language Education) in the UK and a training partner with Macenta Academy in Istanbul.”

The event will take place at Guarnerius in Belgrade on 23 March 2013.

Universal Children’s Day

Today, on 20 November, we observe Universal Children’s Day.

I like the fact that today it is a universal day, not an international day, not a world day. It’s universal.

This year  the Convention on the Rights of the Child turned 22. These rights include:

    • the right to develop to the fullest;
    • the right for protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation;
    • the right to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

There can be no rights without responsibility. And we teachers, no matter how tied our hands are, are responsible for both the education and the well-being of our students.  No ‘coasting schools’, no turning a blind eye to bullying, no indifference, no complacency. (And, of course, we would like our students and their parents to act responsibly themselves.)

What could we do to mark this day?

  • With our young learners, a simple exercise on dreaming up a bright and colourful future (I want …. )

  • Enjoy a playful afternoon outdoors or indoors with your own children and your friends’ children.

Go antiquing: coursebooks from the last century

It might be true that some grammar books never go out of style, like Murphy’s “English Grammar in Use”.  This is not valid for coursebooks.   Today a coursebook may become outdated in less than five years, not so much for changes in grammar and functional exponents, but because new words emerge and often replace the old ones, because shallow celebrities shelf life has shrunk, because of the constant changes in visual designing and  ever-increasing technical possibilities.

I just love some of the new coursebooks, especially the online modules, but I would never dispose of my old coursebooks. Now and then I even try to get hold of some oldie, even though I would never use it in class.


Because they also tell us a story about bygone times. Sometimes askew.

Teaching English in the Eastern Bloc must have been a funny business occasionally. Here are just three bits and pieces, selected randomly:

This one is taken from “Engleski jezik” for seventh  graders, published by Veselin Maslesa in Bosnia and Herzegovina (then a federal republic of Yugoslavia) in 1983.

The following excerpt is from “Modern English 3 for teacher students”, published by Volk und Wissen Volkseigener Verlag in Berlin in 1980.

And this rather surprising one is from “Galaxy-X” published by Tankönyvkiadó in Budapest in 1986.


Wondering what are your perky or unusual finds from auld coursebooks?

Clear you calendar for 8 & 9 November

Get or make some free time from 13.30-17.00 (aka 12.30-16.00 UK Time) and join Lindsay Clandfield, Ceri Jones, Vaughan Jones, Malcolm Mann, Pete Sharma, and Dave Spencer brought to you online by Macmillan.   

The first ever Macmillan Online Conference is designed to bring you all your continuing professional development needs across two afternoons of online seminars – all within the comfort of your own home!

And, it’s all FREE!