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School-in-Focus: Pegasus English Language School

12.3.2018

Tell us a little about your school.

Pegasus English Language School, located in Tetovo, Macedonia, is a private language school providing language instruction to approximately 400 young learners of EFL (aged 6-19). Pegasus ELS specialises in promoting the English language and culture by employing contemporary methodology and modern technology in the classroom. The school works with a team of qualified teachers trained to CELTA/ESOL standards.

The aim of Pegasus ELS is to become a multimedia centre for the informal education of adults and young learners whose main focus is on using a communicative approach to realise the educational goals of the curricula of EFL language courses. The school offers innovative approaches to learning English as a foreign language through the use of CBI (Content-Based Instruction) and introduces participants to the cultural features of the English speaking world. Pegasus ELS provides interactive language classes for adults and young learners in order to promote and enrich their understanding of the English language, so as to enhance their general communication skills and further their academic and professional development.

Why do you want to be a HundrED School?

Pegasus ELS is an institution promoting creative approaches in the informal education of adults and young learners. Its aims are to research new models and approaches that will enable us to reach our goal: developing the participants’ language and communicative skills. Thus, Pegasus ELS is an institution dedicated to fostering new ideas that will bring us closer to this objective.

We believe that through HundrED our school can both share its innovative approaches with the global community and gain new knowledge from exciting innovations being shared by other educational institutions from all around the world. Being a part of HundrED means that innovations are available to anyone interested in implementing them within their own educational environments, given the resources and the skills required.

What innovative things are happening in your school?

Pegasus ELS promotes an innovative approach to teaching students of EFL how to develop quality content in English and enhance their digital skills by combining EFL and ICT instruction in a synchronous approach. Digital Literacy for EFL Students is a course designed specifically for learners of English as a foreign or second language at Intermediate (B1-B2) level, in which an ICT and an EFL teacher work together, enabling young learners to improve their linguistic competence through the use of digital technology.

The course comprises of five modules: Blogging, Web Design, Filmmaking and Video Editing, Presentation Skills, and Social Media. The course offers a step-by-step process in facilitating students' production of content for digital outputs focusing particularly on social networking and creating online communities in which they can share and exchange ideas. This course is a unique opportunity for teachers of EFL and ICT to combine their knowledge in order to help learners increase their visibility in an ever-changing digital world.

Digital Literacy for EFL Students was a finalist in the category of Local Innovation at the ELTons 2017 Innovation Awards, organised by the British Council in partnership with the University of Cambridge (Cambridge English Language Assessment).

This year, inspired by the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, we would like to extend the scope of Digital Literacy for EFL Students by introducing our students to content relating to European cultural heritage. This new content will provide a broader cultural, social and educational perspective which enables young learners to become familiar with the cultural heritage of Europe and beyond. This will be achieved by developing digital content which relates to themes that they are interested in, within the scope of European cultural heritage.

What kind of innovations are you looking for?

I believe that the only way the world can progress is through curiosity. However, if education - by combining approaches and enabling flexible implementation of innovative technologies - does not succeed in capturing the imagination of the next generation and satisfying their curiosity, then we may lose the battle against rapidly developing technology. A lack of proper engagement between the next generation and new technology might create an ethos that drives technology in the wrong direction, and along with it the future of humanity.

In other words, technology has always followed human needs and desires, which, if cultivated through knowledge and virtue, can produce magnificent outputs such as the arts and sciences that emerged from the Renaissance. On the other hand, history has shown that in some cases where there is a scarcity of educational development or a lack of enlightenment per se, human needs and desires can abuse technology and instead of using it for its own benefits, they can turn it into weapons of mass destruction.

That is why education needs to be transformative. This can only be done by sharing our knowledge with the world for free, by striving to stimulate and encourage the best in humanity, and by satisfying our fundamental urge - our curiosity - which drives our willingness to learn something new.

"Transformative learning theory says that the process of "perspective transformation" has three dimensions: psychological (changes in understanding of the self), convictional (revision of belief systems), and behavioural (changes in lifestyle). Transformative learning is the expansion of consciousness through the transformation of basic worldview and specific capacities of the self; transformative learning is facilitated through consciously directed processes such as appreciatively accessing and receiving the symbolic contents of the unconscious and critically analysing underlying premises." (Wikipedia)

I believe that innovative education should be able to address these three dimensions successfully and bring a sound future for generations to come!

Change Yourself! Change Your Beliefs! Change the World!

Three HundrED innovations you love and why?

1. Universe Awareness - At Pegasus ELS we teach English through CBI, which means we introduce specific content in English which creates the conditions for students to learn the language in a meaningful setting. One of the topics that we cover with our 8th-9th graders is Science (Astronomy, Quantum Physics, Biology and Medicine, Scientific Discoveries and Inventions, etc.). I believe this innovation is an excellent way for students to connect globally and increase their curiosity for the universe in order to open up new perspectives and raise awareness about the grand scale of the cosmos, with the main focus on life as its most delicate construct. This instils ethical values among young learners and inspires exploration, which I believe is a vital human virtue to pass on to the next generation.

2. Forest Schools - I am a huge fan of nature camps for young learners and I am in love with the great outdoors. I am an explorer myself and I have learnt a lot from nature. I’m a highlander whose native lands are the rocky peaks above the mossy grasslands and the lavish silvan mountain ranges that span beyond eyes' reach. Our school organises field trips to beautiful natural locations where learning seems to be a natural process. I believe all schools should be situated as close to a natural surrounding as possible, enabling constant exploration of the environment.

3. Positive Education - This innovation is completely aligned to my perspective on what the role of education should be. In the age of consumerism, in which entertainment drives technological advancement due to the urge for instant gratification, we need projects like this to drive positive education. This kind of approach should be instituted on a global scale by "reintegrating what the great philosophers of the past knew - the wisdom that has become lost, to some extent, in modern education systems. What was once thought of as 'being good' is now being confirmed by science which is what makes it so exciting.”

 


Shared by Perica Sardzoski, the Co-Founder of Pegasus English Language School, located in Tetovo, Macedonia. He is also the Director of Studies at Pegasus ELS, as well as a Teacher Trainer and an Education Program Developer.

More about the school:  http://pegasusels.com/?lang=en