Language Teachers‘ Association of Lithuania Have Completed the Project the for High School Graduates and their Teachers

12-17-2021 at 2:12 PM


Covid-19 pandemics and online teaching. For the whole year lasting pandemics and online teaching has been a challenge for students and their teachers, especially for high school graduates, preparing to take State exams. For most of them online teaching/learning has required extra skills, time, and efforts to adapt and transform to a different style of learning.  Very likely, that without additional support, many of the students wouldn’t have been able to prepare for the State exams properly and present themselves at their very best. 

Developing foreign language communication competences to high school graduates preparing for the State examination.  Language Teachers ‘Association of Lithuania (LKPA) prepared an application for the project that aims to help high school graduates to better prepare for the State examination of a foreign language (English, German or French). The project is being implemented by active members of LKPA – expert teachers of foreign languages working in Lithuanian high schools.   The idea and initiative for this project came from language teaching and teacher-training experts of Public Service Language Centre.

Free online consultation sessions to high school graduates. From May to December 2021 LKPA experts were offering free online consultation sessions for high school graduates from all over the country on Zoom platform promoted on Ministry of Education platform, LKPA website, PSLC website  and VIKO website

During these online consultation sessions students ‘communication speaking, listening, reading and writing skills were developed. Over 20 free consultations to high school graduates were held online and viewed by over 15 000 of school graduates, who were not able to take part in virtual consultations. The consultations helped school graduates to better prepare for the State examinations of foreign languages, they learned how to better apply communicational speaking strategies: plan, create and produce and correct their oral presentations in a monologue as well as in a dialogue.  

Teacher training workshops to high school graduates ‘teachers.  Another project activity was practical „hands-on “training to language teachers of high school graduates „Developing and evaluating communication skills in preparation for the foreign language State examination. “Virtual trainings took place online in December 2021 and were offered to LKPA members, foreign language teachers of high school graduates, and afterwards, uploaded on YouTube channel and offered to the review of other teachers throughout the country.

Also, during this project a set of guidelines and tips based on the materials and recommendations provided by the experts was prepared for teachers as an online resource. We hope it will be a useful source to the teachers of languages preparing their students to the General Certificate State examinations. 

Relevance and perspectives of the project. We truly believe that the project activities will remain relevant and up-to-date next year too and are ready to continue organizing free online consultation sessions for high school graduates and practical in-service teacher training workshops to language teachers of high school graduates in the future. At the end of the project, we interviewed project expert-lecturers asking them to reflected on their learners’ expectations and challenges they were facing, and if their and their learners’ expectations were met. Also, the experts provided their recommendations in case the project was continued in the future:

Irena Katauskienė (expert teacher of English language): “the learners’ expectations were to learn more about the speaking part of the National Examination of English language (the assesment criteria of the monologue and the dialogue. The teachers‘ expectations were how to help their students in the learning process, provide objective assessment, how to prepare students to answer the first question, etc. My major challenge was material selection (what to include, what to leave out); The learners’ major challenges were how to do their best in the exam: how to show their strengths and hide their weeknesses of their language competence, how to develop lexical richness of and interactive techniques performing the dialogue. I would like to take part in the project again as I want to share my experience with teachers and students.

Tomas Karačionka (expert teacher of English language): “the learners were expecting to hear some tips for the speaking examination, how to avoid mistakes, how to better present given topics for the monologue and dialogue. The biggest challenge for me was to think what information to include and what to exclude, how to organize time, how to prepare the slides. Since it was a consultation, and the learners were supposed to give questions, the biggest challenge for them, at least for some, was speak out  and give questions. I genuinely hope that the project was really helpful and both teachers and students found answers to the questions and some of the problems they had. I think the project should never end, every year new students take the examination, every year inexperienced teachers come, so yes, the project should continue next year, and I would really like to take part again.“

Gilma Plūkienė (expert teacher of German language): “the students were expecting to receive information on the structure of the National Examination of German language as well as the assessment criteria of its written and speaking parts. It was very important to them to learn the main strategies of how to write a letter, how to make a proper monologue and dialogue.  Some students needed to analyze the format and task structure of the written and speaking parts from the very begining, therefore we were short of time and could not discuss all the details to the depth. After these consultations the students gained more confidence and new what to expect in the exam and what things they need to upgrade. After the consultations a few students contacted me with more questions, asking me to look through their essays with my comments. I would be glad to continue with this project next year too.“ 

Danutė Stankaitienė (expert teacher of French language): “the students were expecting to hear the answers to their questions and clarify things they were not certain about. Most of them had low self confidence and lacked time management skills. In my opinion, ther was too little time to cover a lot of matrerial. I am not certain if this project is needed – the students have plenty of possibilites to learn, they need to use them: schools provide free consultations, they just need to attend them.“

Edita Liutkevičienė (expert teacher of English language): “students joined the consultations according to their needs. They expected their knowledge to be strengthened before the listening and reading part of the exam. There were quite a lot of students in consultations and they  met their expectations. So  if students joined and stayed during the whole  consultation, it means they got what they needed. Challenging thing was self-filming for me as a consultant and for students, too.Students did not want to be filmed and show their faces, so it was strange to provide a consultation to a black screen. Also a challenge was to hear that everything was going to be public on youtube. As there were teachers and students present there in consultations and they participated , I think I encouraged students not to be afraid before exams and teachers to be sure they did their best to help students to prepare students for them. Also a teacher- ” stranger” will always add to students’ knowledge something more and in a different way. The project has shown to be necessary, because a big number of students joined. All additional consultation for motivated students in remote places of Lithuania possible to attend online is good. Practical tasks to complete during consultation are a little bit more complicated, but still if there are students, the teacher-consultant will be able to get the response. It could happen that if asked I would join again.“