Dear HLT Readers,
I hope you are all doing well and I strongly believe that we will soon overcome the coronavirus crisis. United we stand…divided we fall.
As for Pilgrims news there is a moving Message from Lizzie Wojtkowska-Wright, Pilgrims and Message from Till Gins, OISE with the news that Chaz Pugliese has been appointed Director of Education at Pilgrims. You may know him from Pilgrims teacher training courses, sessions delivered all over the world, books published with various publishers, his guitar playing at ELT conferences and events, and articles published in HLT - in this issue The Rights of the Learner, The Rights of the Teacher. Chaz promised to write about current Pilgrims developments and his vision for the future in the June issue; to paraphrase not about Love in the Time of Cholera but on Teacher Training in the Times of Pandemic and Brexit.
All the best to you Chaz in your new role. I am sure you are the right person to lead us through these hard times.
As for the April issue… It is a special issue hosted by Poland so it is very close to my heart. Roughly 16 years ago I took over HLT and since then there has not been a Polish issue; the last and only one was twenty years ago (http://old.hltmag.co.uk/dec99/index.htm). The 1999 issue was hosted by English Unlimited, Gdańsk, Poland, and to be precise by Małgorzata (Małgosia) Szwaj, a dear colleague and friend of mine. Małgosia has contributed an article to this issue Silver Learners - Teaching 50+. Elements of the Learning Process in this way spanning the two Polish issues, 20 years apart.
This issue maps out the Polish ELT scene, the first player being IATEFL Poland started in March 1991. The idea of setting up an IATEFL Poland branch was born during IATEFL UK Conference in Exeter. Alan Maley, the then IATEFL UK Chair, inspired two delegates from Poland: Ania Gwardyś and Ela Jarosz. Ever since IATEFL Poland has been a success story. To find out more read 28th International IATEFL Poland Conference: Extracts from the Post-conference E-bulletin and IATEFL Poland's National Speaking Contest: Runner-up - Amelia Kędziora, Poland.
Also note most of the articles in this issue come from the IATEFL loop and the authors are IATEFL presenters. I was amazed by the positive response when I contacted them with an invitation to contribute to the April issue. The subjects of their articles include teaching different age groups, SEN, teaching one-to-one, positivity, and many many other. There are also a lot of fantastic ideas for lessons in 21st Century Skills and Lesson Ideas.
PASE is another player on the EFL scene in Poland. The following authors connected to PASE have contributed to this issue: Barbara Skrok, Dagmara Łata, Bożena Janiszewska, Magdalena Kaźmierkiewicz, Magdalena Rowecka, Anna Grabowska, and Joanna Skrzelinska. A big thank you to Anna Grabowska who has harvested all the PASE articles.
Some of the PASE and IATEFL events are regularly ‘manned’ or ‘womanned’ by DOS whose figureheads are Grzegorz Śpiewak (in this issue Foreign Language Less Foreign for the Big and Small, and Marta Rosińska. Alicja Gałązka is a frequent guest and presenter at DOSs events (Positive Education and Well-being in the ELT Classroom) as well as IATEFL and PASE.
There are a number of Polish FB groups I am part of and which inspire me: CLIL Polska, Erasmus+ KA1 Mobilność Szkolnej Kadry Edukacyjnej, and Nauczyciele angielskiego. Great support teams and buzz groups. But the one that I am most fond of is High Impact Teachers! - a group for all the teachers, materials writers and educators (started by Marta Rosińska and Grzegorz Śpiewak). There everyone can share their reflections and ideas concerning: planning lessons with common sense and with learners at their heart, using the latest trends in a thought-out way, bringing research in education and motivation into the classroom, and enriching the repertoire of teaching strategies to aim for high impact teaching (samples in Golden Classics, Food for Thought, and To the Editor).
The Polish ELT scene includes some fantastic competitions (‘A Day in the Life of …’: An International Competition and Spotlight on English Sopot 2020: Ist English Language Competition for Secondary Schools: A 21st century Competition with Linguistic Mediation at Heart, as well as projects like Face To Face With the World: Education That Changes the World.
Some of the articles come from Polish teachers scattered all over the world. They have contributed: Glocalization of Toruń Gingerbread Cookies - Elżbieta (Ela) Zielińska based in Japan, and Care Global. Teach Local!: 12 Months of Social Issues - ELT Calendar of Special Days - Margarita Kosior based in Greece.
Some contributors to this issue are friends of Poland - teachers and trainers who are or were based in Poland: An A-Z Guide to Quizzes: A Memorable Way to Learn by Peter Whiley, The Map is Not the Territory by Robert A. Buckmaster , and My Greatest Golden Mistakes as a Teacher Trainer - My Golden Lessons by Sezgi Yalın.
I will end this editorial by mentioning the two articles that will NOT be published in this issue: IATEFL Manchester 2020: Pre-Conference Event (PCE) LitSIG and Global Issues SIG and C Group Presenters at IATEFL 2020. IATEFL Manchester has been cancelled, like so many other ELT events, and so these two texts are irrelevant. This event like many other events will be greatly missed. Till we meet again…
Enjoy this jam packed April issue of HLT.
And look after yourselves
Stay healthy and well