Slovakia Articles

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1.How we implement CLIL

The CLIL approach became a vision of the Business Academy in Nitra some years ago. We spent much time searching for ways of its implementation. It seemed to be impossible due to missing foreign language skills of teachers. We took a chance that has been offered by the Erasmus+ programme. Grants allow us to organize internal English courses for VET teachers, the other teachers can attend courses lead by our language teachers as well. These are supplemented with fantastic foreign structured courses focused on methodology, innovations, etc.

Developing English skills brings new challenges and the number of teachers implementing CLIL is rising. Not all of them are fluent English speakers. This is not necessary. Our teachers can adapt implementation to their competences. There is no special methodology and we are really flexible. Some teachers can lecture economic topics in English, the others can use studying materials in English but discuss them in native language. There is also a group of teachers who just provide students with a list of useful vocabulary or prepare some activities in collaboration with professional English teachers. This is evidence that we can succeed if we want and look for ways ho to do it rather than search for reasons why not.

  1. How the project helps my institution during the  Covid times. 

The CLIL in VET project was in its best period just when the pandemic situation hit our partnership. Even though we were able to complete the intellectual output, it became difficult to go ahead and communicate with each other. On the other hand, distance learning and students studying at their PCs is a great challenge to implement unusual activities. As we have been trying to follow our curriculum as much as possible, we have empowered training companies and support students to participate in international trade shows, produce electronic materials and make business with friends abroad. It is a reminder of travelling times and students enjoy it .

  1. How my institution implements training companies

Training companies have been a part of our school curriculum for lots of years. They have been popular among students as they allow them to be creative and active in lessons. Work in a training company is offered as an optional  subject and students can decide if they choose it or not. The project coordinator came across the idea that connecting training companies with learning foreign languages might be useful and interesting at the same time. This also helps us improve the quality of VET and completes the profile of graduates. The CLIL in VET project is an excellent tool to do this. Cooperation of training companies from different countries is highly motivating, students have a feeling that things they do have real sense and will be useful in their professional life and future carreer. They  can experience international business, improve Business English vocabulary, learn about traditions or ethical rules in international context. The idea helps teachers join practical learning with the world of work. Our project partners have shown us that training companies can also work like real companies, producing profit of loss. This is what we started practising in September 2020 and we believe more and more students will be interested in developing their entrepreneurial skills.