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The 1st International and the 5th National Conference ELTAM Days 2019 for English Language Teaching Professionals was held at the Faculty of Philology in Niksic on June 21-22, 2019. It gathered 179 language teaching professionals from all levels and different institutions: 113 Montenegrin participants, 11 international participants, 18 international speakers and 17 guests.
The participants of the conference were welcomed by Ms Dragana Radoman, President of the English Language Teachers’ Association of Montenegro ELTAM, Ms Tatjana Jovovic, Dean of the Faculty of Philology, Niksic, H.E. Judy Rising Reinke, the U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro and Mr Marko Vukasinovic, Head of the Department for International Cooperation and European Integration at the Ministry of Education Montenegro.
Conference participants enjoyed and learned from remarkable plenary speakers. Ms Jen MacArthur, Regional English Language Officer, talked about the importance of being visually literate, understanding pictures and how they affect us. She pointed out that it is necessary to help our students to develop skills to see, describe, analyze, and interpret information – both with words and through images. Mr Vaughan Jones from Pearson discussed about Motivation, Memory and Meaning – ‘the 3 Ms’. His session explored ways in which topics, texts and tasks can reflect these priorities and help teachers to create the optimum classroom conditions for learning to take place. Ms Zuzana Tomas from Eastern Michigan University talked about what it means to empower learners and educators in the context of day-to-day EFL pedagogy. Participants also had the opportunity to find out more about the United States Peace Corps which will be establishing a presence in Montenegro beginning in January, 2020.
Apart from plenary sessions, teachers had the possibility to choose between numerous workshops, presentations and demo classes. There were 23 workshops, 12 presentations and 7 demo classes.
During the conference participants also were able to share their thoughts and ideas during informal gatherings. There was organized quest night for all participants, while international participants went sightseeing on the second day.
Teachers were highly satisfied with the content and quality of the conference, the registration process, its organization and workshops. The general impression of teachers who completed the evaluation sheets is that they plan to attend this conference next year and they pointed out that they would recommend this conference to other teachers.