It’s always powerful when Fellows team up. That’s what happened in Miskolc, Hungary, when Fellows Colin Vandergraaf (Hungary), Joseph Cole (Turkey), and RELO Assistant Aycan Yaman Esen (Turkey) facilitated workshops as part of Magyar Midyear Methodology Day. This was an outreach event put on as part of the Midyear Conference for English Language Fellows in Europe, which was taking place in Budapest. In an innovative design, the Magyar Midyear Methodology Day was co-facilitated by IATEFL-Hungary and took place in seven different regional cities across the nation. Thirteen Hungarian teachers from Miskolc’s local primary and secondary schools participated in workshops on “Incorporating Drama Activities into the Classroom,” “Advertisements and American Culture: 21st Century Literacy Skills for the Classroom,” and “Overcoming the Ongoing Challenge of Student Motivation.” Hungarian teachers learned how to integrate drama activities to encourage authentic communication, how advertisements and Super Bowl ads offer examples of authentic language that can be used as a tools to develop media literacy skills, and how different strategies can get, keep, and maximize students’ engagement.
Miskolc is in an economically marginalized region of Hungary where IATEFL-Hungary would like to offer programming but rarely has the opportunity to do so. The Methodology Day was the first event of its kind in Miskolc and will hopefully bolster IATEFL-Hungary’s goal of establishing a new chapter in the city. These Fellows need to be commended for using their midyear conference as a chance to spread out away from the big city and share skills and support with teachers who don’t often get a chance to receive it. As one participant told the Fellows as the day wound down, “Thank you very much for these inspiring and interesting workshops! Our over-stressed souls needed this experience!”