Impressions

Impressions

What are people saying about our courses?

Mateja Tušek

1. What does the PBA BASIC COURSE give you that you haven't got in other courses?

The PBA BASIC COURSE gives me a special personal touch. It's not hard to understand and believe when one sees how much experience and time has been put into developing the course and wrapping it up to be given to teachers who simply want a bit more. That kind of more that cannot be found in a form of a coursebook. Mija first explains the theoretical background that's reinforced with lots of small step tips and suggestions for activities that are simple enough to stay fun forever.

I would say Mija's course is like a mountain. It's so high you couldn't climb it in a month even though you've been preparing for it for several years of teaching in public school. With her help, the climb is easy. And once you're on top of it … the view from its peak is simply spectacular😊

2. Teachers are sometimes reluctant to use online courses. What made you take this one and what are the benefits of it?

I am a mother of five. My time capacities are therefore very reduced. Teachers don't always have the energy and time, or we simply aren't in a good mood to learn with all our hearts and brains attached. Online PBA BASIC COURSE enables individual time management. For me, that's the biggest advantage. Yes, and you can peek at special clips over and over again - until you get it 😉 and then finally use it in your classroom.

3. You have an option to return to the course whenever you want because you have lifetime access to it. Have you ever gone back to it and why was it useful?

Yes, I've returned to the course. Especially when I was preparing my own materials, storytelling steps, or social games. I wanted to be sure I'd make it right. Every single time, I once again found out that when everything is done with one major aim — motivating children to communicate and focusing on following a certain routine — you cannot do it in the wrong way.

4. What knowledge that you have learnt in the course have you used in your classroom practice? Have you noticed any difference in both, your teaching confidence and children's responses?

The main thing I've learned is The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone (K.S.) 😊 … and that picture books are great for teaching! Stories and pictures make a beautiful context for teaching and learning communication skills. The activities prepare the teacher to climb that high mountain. A classroom routine is very important; it makes children feel safe and capable of learning. Language learning is supposed to be fun; it should feel like a game. The feeling, when children play a game or read the pictures in a book using words they really do understand, is so heart-warming; I can't explain it. You have to experience it. In the classroom, we are all more relaxed and confident - me and my students.

5. How did the parents and the school accept the change in your teaching?

Young learners (7 and 8 years old) in our school started English lessons seven years ago. I was — and still am — the only English teacher for young learners. I started the new era with them. Before that time, our village school was struggling with bad results on NPZ (National Examination Tests for grades 6 and 9). At the beginning of my English teaching career, I attended Mija's Game is a serious business course that gave me lots of ideas I was — and still am — using with my classes. Our principal was sooooo excited about the new approach and the enthusiasm the students have shown that she even invited teachers from other schools to have a look. Parents are also very pleased with their children's progress, with their ability to communicate and with their relaxed approach towards learning a foreign language. To top it all, the results in the National Examination Tests are getting better every year.

I love teaching by using all of the PBA strategies — it's a WIN-WIN situation for all involved in a teaching-learning process.

If I go back to the PBA BASIC COURSE… Because of all above mentioned, it was a natural way to decide on taking the C00lSch00l's PBA LITERACY COURSE. It offers a deeper look into the importance of teaching children how to communicate.

Not pushing children to learn words by heart but teaching them how to use them was the major challenge and change in my teaching approach in the last year.

In addition, I personally feel students enjoy immensely - due to the fact that I follow the PBA - the songs and plays we sometimes prepare for our school performances; with costumes, prompts, songs and all the caboodle that goes with it.

Children's enthusiasm is soooo contagious that it passes on to their parents, too. There've been lots of occasions where parents have been explaining their wish to have been taught a foreign language in a way their children are learning with me. Learning feels like a game. As it should.

Mateja Tušek is a wife and mother of five. She is a Slovene primary teacher (it'll be almost 16 years in 2022) who was also educating herself on early language teaching in the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana. She's been teaching English to six (up to ten) year-olds for the last seven years. She presents different teaching and learning ideas on her blog The Little English Pantry. It is meant for her students to use, but anyone can sneak a peek and find something useful for themselves. She loves to spend her rare but very precious "time left-overs" singing and writing texts for all sorts of home town events.



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