39 online sessions in small groups and 7 LIVE sessions were organized in the framework of the project ‘Selected News in English’ in the period of September – December 2020.
The project aims to provide an international context for 14-17 year old students to improve their English language skills, by reading online news articles and participating in online discussions and follow-up activities with students and teachers from different countries, reflecting on their differences and working fruitfully together as a team united by common values and learning objectives.
Six English language teachers and a target group of students from 5 high schools or one gymnasium from Moldova and an English teacher and 38 students from a high school from Poland participated in these online activities.
The students and teachers joined a closed Facebook group and used the flipped classrooms approach and distance learning opportunities to foster students’ autonomous learning skills by reading articles on different topics, making and posting mind maps and video presentations of the articles in the closed group of the project and offering constructive feedback. Then, they met in online weekly sessions to present the articles and play vocabulary or reading comprehension games with peers from other schools. In this way they managed to support each other and transform the downside of lockdown into interesting online learning experiences. The Moldovan students were especially thrilled to collaborate with peers from Poland during the online sessions as well as receive feedback from different teachers and practice giving feedback to each other.
The project covered 18 topics and offered a choice of 3 news articles on different levels which enabled the students to learn fruitfully in mixed-ability groups. It also allowed the participants to post their videos and mind maps after having attended the online discussions based on the given articles and this created additional opportunities for some learners to master content at their own pace.
The students practiced reading and speaking skills and raised awareness about the national, international and global issues by reading news articles and presenting a brief summary of news published by British and American media resources, educational platforms and blogs.
Our programme managed to diversify the content the students read by recommending articles on topics related to culture, education, health, life style, friendship, environment, science, fashion, sports, dreams and ambitions, etc. It also helped all participants stay current with what is happening globally and locally by exchanging insights about their own experiences.
A total of 115 students from different schools enrolled in the project and namely: M. Eminescu High School from Chisinau, Ion Creanga High School from Balti, Olimp High School from Sîngerei, Frăsînești Gymnasium from Frăsînești, Ungheni, Alexei Mateevici High School from Ungheni, Mihai Sadoveanu High School from Ocnița and Adam Mickiewicz High School from Bydgoszcz, Poland.
On average a total of 75 students attended one of the 5 weekly sessions. Besides that, each student was encouraged to create and post 5 mind maps and 5 video presentations in the closed groups. 16 students have already achieved this goals during the first semester.
Five students have been awarded the Certificate of Active Participation, and namely:
Julia Wojciechowska, Adam Mickiewicz High School, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Marian Nicoleta, at Mihai Sadoveanu High School, Ocnița, Moldova
Pătrănică Ionuț, Mihai Sadoveanu High School, Ocnița, Moldova
Perju Răzvan , Continuing Education Center, Balti, Moldova
Sandra Byrtek, Adam Mickiewicz High School, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Eleven students received the Certificate of Excellence for their outstanding performance in the project and we highly appreciate their commitment to reach all the project objectives and join us as speakers during one of the 7 LIVE sessions which were broadcast on our Facebook page.
The students who have been awarded the Certificate of Excellence are:
Golban Ana, student at Olimp High School, Sîngerei, Moldova
Julia Birzycka, Adam Mickiewicz High School, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Latco Alexandra, at Mihai Sadoveanu High School, Ocnița, Moldova
Laura Urban, Adam Mickiewicz High School, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Maler Alina, Continuing Education Center, Balti, Moldova
Profor Gabriela, Frasinesti Gymnasium, Frasinesti, Ungheni district, Moldova
Şeptelici Irina, Frasinesti Gymnasium, Frasinesti, Ungheni district, Moldova
Stadnitchi Catalina, Continuing Education Center, Balti, Moldova
Stoica Sabina, Frasinesti Gymnasium, Frasinesti, Ungheni district, Moldova
Ursachi Mariuta, Continuing Education Center, Balti, Moldova
Zaharia Tatiana, Mihai Eminescu High School, Chișinău, Moldova
The other students will have the chance to reach this objective starting with February 2021, as the project will continue running its online sessions.
The project is implemented by the association ‘Coninuing Education Center’ but it is the teachers’ constructive feedback and ongoing support that has made a huge difference in encouraging the students to establish a friendly learning environment, overcome challenges and to consistently work towards achieving the learning objectives.
Reliability and long-term commitments are hard to come by in projects like ‘Selected News in English’ which are run on the basis of its participants’ contributions, valuable time investment and shared knowledge and experience. So, we are so grateful to all the teachers who guided the students during the first semester. We are honoured to have worked with you all:
Mrs. Paulina Kaźmierczak-Majdzińska, EL teacher at III Liceum Ogólnokształcące of Adam Mickiewicz in Bydgoszcz, Poland
Mrs. Ala Mihailov, EL teacher, Frasînesti Gymnasium, Ungheni, Moldova
Mrs. Lilia Ion Rusu, EL teacher, Alexei Mateevici High School, Ungheni, Moldova
Mrs. Natalia Ceban, EL teacher, Mihai Sadoveanu High School, Ocnița, Moldova
Mrs. Oxana Petraru, EL teacher, Olimp High School,Sîngerei, Moldova
Mrs. Mariana Beschieru, EL teacher, M. Eminescu High School, Chisinau, Moldova
Mrs. Irina Mutruc, EL teacher, Ion Creanga High School, Balti, Moldova
Mrs. Daniela Murgulet, EL teacher and Project Coordinator, Association ‘Continuing Education Center’, Moldova
Detailed schedule of activities and discussed articles: