Our teacher, Renata Djuric together with Àlex Cerdà, attended the IB Global Conference 2017, held last October in The Hague.
The experience was inspiring and very useful for the improvement of IB teaching, and no doubt, it will be very positive and enriching for Princess Margaret International School’s students.
One of the workshops which Renata participated was MYP Curriculum Development Spotlight and in the field of MYP language acquisition. All the participants were told to draw schematically how they had learned a second/ foreign language.
The workshop instructor, looking at everyone’s drawings, found something striking and different in Renata’s illustration and asked her to share the image with the rest of participants. Renata was surprised about being chosen but she started to explain her learning methodology on the spot.
She started school at the age of 7 and she remembers a very talented teacher really well, but she also emphasizes the fact that she watched all the cartoons and films, at the cinema and on television in original version with subtitles, which made her learn faster and better.
She decided to study English Philology and when she started she learned a lot in terms of literature, and general knowledge and culture, but she did not improve that much in learning English.
In terms of fluency, new vocabulary and greater agility with English, she also insists on the importance of learning from meeting people. Having met native speakers, making good friends from other countries, travelling and finding oneself needing to use English daily and not only at school, not only as a subject but as a tool to communicate and share experiences with other people, has been determining factor in the improvement of her skills in English.
She highlights that her more practical, less theoretical experience has been decisive in the way she learned English as a second language.
Some participants commented that not everybody can afford to travel or live abroad to learn English, but again Renata explained to the audience that it is not always necessary to travel. Reading books and magazines, singing and listening to music and making an effort to watch films in original version with subtitles, avoiding the comfort zone of translated material can be crucial. This way of proceeding made her improve and become bilingual. This methodology has been effective in enhancing the integration of English in her daily duties. In fact, some of the workshop teachers could not tell where she is from.
We want to congratulate Renata and share this experience with you all.