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December 2021 - Year 23 - Issue 6

ISSN 1755-9715

The English Access Microscholarship Program, On behalf of the ELTA Board: Jelena Jevtovic

The English Access Microscholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is part of the Office of English Language Program's suite of initiatives. 

U.S. Embassy and English Language Teachers’ Association (ELTA Serbia) provide English language instruction to groups of 25 students, ages 13-15, from economically disadvantaged sectors through after school classes and intensive winter and summer activities. Participants gain English skills that may lead to better jobs, educational prospects, and increased opportunities to participate in future exchanges. The program targets students who have excelled academically and have limited opportunities to study English.

This program gives the teachers the opportunity to be part of a committed and professional team. Teachers learn and share best practices in English teaching and grow professionally. This experience strengthens their opportunities to participate successfully in their community’s socio-economic development and apply for future U.S. educational and exchange programs. In addition, the participants become familiar with many aspects of U.S. culture and thus develop a deeper understanding of current issues in U.S. society. Participants are selected through an open, merit-based competition. Top candidates are interviewed by the Access coordinator.

Access after school instruction lessons are delivered regularly twice a week from 7.30 until 9.00 pm. The enhancement activities are organized every second Saturday, and they take three hours of project-based learning mostly. During the pandemic, the lessons are delivered via the Zoom platform.

The concept of the lessons is not only to develop English speaking skills but also core competencies and 21st-century skills necessary for the students’ future careers. Each lesson is a mixture of different teaching strategies in which the students actively work on their fundamentals.

Summer camps are also a valuable part of the Access Program. Students have the opportunity to apply their existing knowledge, express and exchange opinions, propose creative solutions and strengthen the spirit of healthy competition. Furthermore, they have a chance to experience untraditional types of education and learning such as:

  • outdoor education;
  • wilderness education;
  • hands-on learning;
  • project-based learning;
  • experiential learning;
  • sustainable learning;
  • place-based learning.

The smooth implementation of the activities testifies to the participants’ continuous eagerness to contribute in meaningful ways as much as possible.

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