By Dorotea Blažinić, 5th year of the Faculty of Education in Osijek, module C

When I was a kid, I kept a diary. It was kind of a game for me, and I never took writing
seriously. During one school year, I was writing about anything and everything. I wanted to be a teacher, a lawyer, or an actress. Then I grew up and tried to be a teacher.

Fifteen years later, the second diary was created. My diary as a (future) teacher. So, dear
diary…let’s begin.

Dear diary,
here I am, once again. I’m a little late, I know. A lot has happened over the past few years. One of the biggest news is that I’m becoming a teacher. Just like I wanted when I was younger. I became a teacher a few months ago. Informally, without a degree, but with all my heart and all the knowledge I have gained. I work in two kindergartens. I have four groups of children, a total of 45 of them, my first students. Together, we practice our English while we play, dance, laugh, occasionally weep, fight, and argue. Even though I’ve been doing this job for a while, and it’s a great one, there are still many things I know now that I didn’t know before. I was aware of these issues in theory; I just didn’t anticipate running into them so soon. So, the following is a list of everything I wish I had known earlier:

Not every lesson is going to be perfect.
On some days, I would arrive at work fully prepared with a variety of materials, including cards, cartoons, brand-new games, songs, and dances. I had hoped it would be the perfect lesson, but it just didn’t happen. And it’s nobody’s fault. Sometimes things just turn out that way.

Textbooks are not sacred.
I hid behind textbooks and pre-written lesson plans for the first month of my teaching career. To know what to say when and how to engage my students in an activity, I memorized lesson plans by heart. One day I simply forgot my book at home. I had to improvise the whole lesson. At the end of the lesson, my students hugged me for the first time.

“Teacher, this was the best day ever!”

Of course, I still use the textbook and follow the topics it covers, but I do a lot of things myself. I invent games and songs and gather ideas from the Internet (especially TikTok where there are amazing teachers with great activities and ideas). I am slowly getting to know my students and their interests, so I adapt my activities to that, as well. I’ve stopped hiding.

Don’t allow parents to intimidate you.
After I finished my very first lesson and was ready to leave, a group of five mothers stopped me and began yelling at me. The fact that all the kids were in the same group did not satisfy them, and the classroom where the classes were held was too tiny for them. They also had issues with the program. I tried to clarify that I had nothing to do with the issues mentioned, that all I was here to do was provide lessons, and that they should direct their concerns to the program supervisors. I sobbed the entire way home and felt like I had to give up since this was not the career for me. I was miserable. I didn’t want to give up, though, at the first obstacle. I carried out my duties as efficiently as I could, and I never ran across that group again.

Your salary belongs to you, not to your job.
When I received my first paycheck, I was overjoyed. Though I wanted to go out and buy a new coat, I decided that my pupils required certain supplies that would make my next lectures simpler. I went shopping and purchased crayons, stickers, erasers, and pencils. Nobody expressed gratitude. So, I stopped.

Recently, we were talking about the weather, and the textbook’s assignment called for the kids to color the sun yellow. The problem is that in my group there are eleven students, but I only have one yellow crayon. Of course, we didn’t do that together. I changed the whole activity because of the lack of materials, and the coloring task became the homework task.

Sadly, the classrooms are so unequipped – sometimes I have more students in the classroom than chairs. Despite my best efforts, I am just unable to meet all their needs. Because of this, I focus my lessons on games, dancing, and acting – activities that don’t need a lot of additional resources that I don’t own. I may be selfish, but my salary is mine, not my employer’s salary.

Flashcards are priceless!
To be entirely honest, I used to find flashcards to be really dull when I was a student. Now that I have this experience, I can say that I give them maximum attention while creating activities. With them, I am able to achieve anything! From the most basic exercises, such as just naming words (which was the only time my teachers used flashcards; perhaps this is why I didn’t enjoy them), to a variety of activities, like memory exercises, acting out the words, passing the cards around a ring, the yes/no game, and others. Croatian “kartice pričalice” served as the inspiration for the game that has recently proven to be the most fascinating for us. We play in a way that each kid draws a card while seated in a circle. They come up with a sentence using that word after correctly naming it in English. Although I usually translate the sentences into English, the majority of the sentences are delivered in Croatian. The following student picks the card again, names the word, and uses it in a sentence that relies on the one from the previous student. The students really enjoy this activity since most of the stories we tell don’t make any sense, which makes them entertaining and humorous. This activity allows me as a teacher the chance to assess how well the students have mastered the vocabulary while simultaneously providing me with the chance to further develop the vocabulary via the telling of the story.

Recently, a group of my students used this game to create a hilarious story that goes something like this:

Be yourself!
My students seem to be very curious about me and pay close attention to even the smallest changes I make. As an example, I wore a ring to class a few days ago. The students asked me for the name of my husband after the class. I chuckled and asked them why they believed I was married. You have a ring, they said in response. I told them I don’t have a husband and that the ring belonged to my grandmother. Then they asked me: “How can you be a teacher if you don’t have a husband?”.

I decided to take advantage of their attention and told them the story about my winter holidays. I shared with them my experiences playing board games, decorating the tree, and baking cakes with my mother. When I told them the story of me running with my three-year-old godson, falling, hurting my knee, and ending up in a hospital, they were extremely intrigued. I chose words they were familiar with and demonstrated unfamiliar vocabulary (especially the part with racing and falling).

Even after I told them the story over a month ago, they continue to ask me about my knee in every lesson. They remembered this story the best out of all the ones I told them or had them read from the textbook because it was an experience that had happened to them, it was something personal and interesting to them, and it was also very humorous because it had actually happened to their teacher.

I believe it’s acceptable to occasionally reveal your own life to students and share personal
experiences. We, therefore, encourage them to speak as well, although mostly in Croatian, and I am pleased with their efforts to include as many English words as they can.

You are much more than just a teacher.
The first time they told me they loved me, I didn’t know what to say. I was also confused when they hugged me for the first time. Over time, I understood what it means to be their teacher. The teacher is the one who dances with them, sings, makes funny noises, comforts them when they are sad, scolds them when they are obedient, praises their progress, hugs them when something hurts, and talks when something bothers them. Every day when I open the door, I know that many emotions and love await me. Now I know what to say when they tell me they love me and I already have a box full of their drawings, drawings “for teacher” or “for tičr”.
A teacher is everything and much more than that.

Prepare to have your heart broken.
As wonderful as this job is, there are days when your heart breaks. When you notice that one of your students is sad and later confides in you that their dad no longer lives with them or that their mom is very heartbroken. Such situations leave me speechless. I mostly thank the student for having the confidence to tell me what’s bothering him, and I try to convince him that everything will be fine and that I’m always there if he needs my help.

My heart will likely break the hardest, though, the day my students leave me. Even if there is still a long way to go before that day, I often think about it. We have been so close over the past months that hardly a single day goes by that I don’t mention “those kids of mine.” They were my first after all, therefore they will always have a special place in my heart. We learned together, and I am really appreciative of all the affection they show me. They have no clue how much of an impact they have had on my life or how proud I am whenever they make a simple gesture or express a few words (or sentences) in English.

Dear diary,
this is only the beginning. I’m appreciative of the chance I get to develop my skills with my
amazing pupils. If not for the lectures, my professors, my mentors, and practice, all of this would have been more challenging. Everything I learned was and still is really beneficial to me. Some days are tougher than others, but I am certain of one thing: I chose the right path.

Assessment of the speaking of young learners as a double-edged sword

By Dorotea Blažinčić, 5th year of the Faculty of Education in Osijek, module C

The ability to speak a language is a vital part of language learning. As a result, assessing the
speaking abilities of young learners is a key component of language instruction. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to assessing speaking with young learners, this assessment of speaking can be seen as a double-edged sword. On one hand, assessment can raise the profile of speaking, provide learners with opportunities to engage in meaningful language use, and promote communication and collaboration skills. On the other hand, it can be used to measure achievement and can lead to a focus on form over function, the use of inappropriate assessment tasks, and the promotion of negative attitudes and behaviors. This essay will examine a range of issues related to the assessment of speaking for young learners, drawing on the insights of McKay (2006), Linse and Nunan (2005), Lynn Cameron (2001), Shaaban (2005), and Nation and Newton (2009).

To begin, McKay (2006) emphasizes the importance of assessment for raising the profile of
speaking and providing opportunities for meaningful language use. She argues that assessment should be used to evaluate the impact of teaching on student learning, rather than just to measure achievement. Assessment can help to identify areas where learners are having difficulty, as well as areas in which they excel, and can provide feedback that can be used to inform instruction. Furthermore, assessment can provide learners with opportunities to engage in meaningful language use and can promote communication and collaboration skills.

McKay (2005) also outlines five key principles for assessing the speaking abilities of young
learners. These principles focus on using appropriate tasks and activities, making use of
formative and summative assessments, providing feedback, involving learners in assessment and evaluation, and finally, considering the social, cultural, and linguistic context of the language being assessed. When assessing the speaking abilities of young learners, it is important to use tasks and activities that are appropriate for the age and level of the learners. This means selecting tasks and activities that are not too difficult but will still provide the learners with the opportunity to demonstrate their speaking skills. For example, when assessing the speaking abilities of beginner-level learners, activities such as “describe a picture” or “tell a story” are appropriate, while more advanced learners can be asked to engage in more complex tasks such as “deliver a presentation” or “lead a discussion”. Formative and summative assessments are also important for assessing the speaking abilities of young learners. Formative assessments are ongoing
assessments that occur throughout the learning process and provide feedback on the learner’s progress. Summative assessments, on the other hand, are used at the end of a course or unit of study to measure the learner’s overall performance. Formative assessments are particularly important in assessing the speaking abilities of young learners as they allow teachers to provide ongoing feedback and adjust their teaching as needed. Providing feedback is also an essential part of assessing the speaking abilities of young learners. Feedback should be both positive and constructive and focus on the areas in which the learner can improve. It is important to make sure that the feedback is clear and easy to understand, and that it is given in a supportive and encouraging manner. The involvement of the learners in the assessment and evaluation process is also important. Learners should be encouraged to participate in the assessment and evaluation process by giving their opinion on their performance, as well as providing input into how the assessment should be conducted. This will help to ensure that the assessment is meaningful for the learners and that it is an accurate reflection of their speaking abilities.

However, Linse and Nunan (2005) caution against the use of assessment to measure achievement. They argue that assessment should not be used to simply measure knowledge and skills, but rather to measure how learners are using language to communicate and collaborate. If assessment tasks are used simply to measure achievement, learners may become focused on form and may lose sight of the communicative purposes of language. Furthermore, if assessment tasks are too difficult or complex, learners may become frustrated and demotivated.

Similarly, Lynn Cameron (2001) argues that assessment tasks should be appropriate for the age and language level of learners. She emphasizes the importance of using tasks that are both meaningful and achievable for learners, as this will enable them to engage in meaningful language use. She also argues that assessment tasks should be used to measure a range of language skills, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing, rather than just focusing on one particular skill.

The speaking assessment, as it relates to Shaaban (2005), is designed to be an effective tool for evaluating a student’s language proficiency. It is designed to help teachers to assess a student’s ability to communicate effectively in the target language. This method of assessment allows teachers to evaluate the student’s ability to communicate, as well as their ability to express their ideas concisely and accurately. Through this method of assessment, the teacher can evaluate the student’s ability to understand, comprehend, and express themselves in the language. The assessment is conducted by having the student engage in a conversation with the teacher, or another student, in which they are required to answer questions, give opinions and explain their ideas. The assessment does not focus on grammar or vocabulary, but instead on the student’s ability to effectively communicate. It focuses on the student’s ability to understand the questions, their ability to respond appropriately, their pronunciation, and their ability to express their ideas fluently. The assessment also looks at the student’s ability to provide appropriate examples, and to respond to the questions promptly.

Finally, Nation and Newton (2009) argue that assessment should not be used to create a negative environment in the classroom. that assessment tasks should be used to promote positive attitudes and behaviors, rather than to create a sense of competition or to reward one learner over another. He also emphasizes the importance of providing feedback that is constructive and encouraging, rather than simply focusing on mistakes or deficiencies.

In conclusion, assessing the speaking abilities of young learners is an important part of language instruction. It is iimportant for teachers to be aware of the potential pitfalls of assessment, and to ensure that assessment tasks are appropriate for the age and language level of learners. By following the best practices outlined in this essay, such as using appropriate tasks and activities, making use of formative and summative assessments, providing feedback, involving learners in assessment and evaluation, and considering the social, cultural, and linguistic context of the language being assessed, language teachers can ensure that their assessments of speaking are meaningful and effective.


○ Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge University Press.

○ Linse, C., & Nunan, D. (2005). Practical English language teaching. New York.

○ McKay, P. (2006). Assessing Young Language Learners (Cambridge Language
Assessment). Cambridge University Press.

○ Newton, J. M., & Nation, I. S. P. (2009). Teaching ESL/EFL listening and speaking.
Routledge. 5

○ Shaaban, K. (2001, April). Assessment of young learners. In English teaching forum
(Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 16-23).

It’s me, hi! (Tamara for Englishing)

Hi there! I would like to introduce myself to you. I know that you are not interested, but I don’t care :)) Now, I’m supposed to write my name here, but I know that you will forget it in two minutes so I will not waste my time. For the ones interested in zodiac signs, mine is Leo. That means I am a self-confident and independent individual. I am a student who usually doesn’t do anything during the lessons but gets the highest marks on exams. And that is why I’m here in Osijek doing nothing.

OK, now It’s time to start the boring part of my story. I’m Tamara with a capital T. If you are good at math, then you’ll be lucky to guess my age, that’s 2+2 (22 😊). I come from Uzbekistan where you would die from heat in summer and cold in winter. So the spring and the beginning of autumn is the good time to visit my country. If you don’t believe me, just come and check. I have been in Osijek for 3 weeks and I already feel at home. (I hope my country doesn’t feel jealous because of this sentence). I am here for one semester until summer so I’m in the right place and at the right time. My favourite season is spring and I’m happy to spend this wonderful time of the year here in Osijek. I study simultaneous translation at my home university. If you don’t know what it is, just ask your Google uncle. I speak Uzbek, Kyrgyz, English and Turkish fluently and I’m practicing my German and Croatian. Znam da sam super, danke schön.

If you want to meet me, I am usually in menza eating 😊 I know you, Croatian people, like spending time drinking a cup of cappuccino as I do. Coffee – one love. Despite being short, I’m good at basketball so we can go for a play if you have a ball because I don’t. Now you see what I usually do in my free time so I don’t have to waste my time explaining it. So, yeah, to cut a long story short (people usually say it when they have already talked a lot), I hope you enjoyed reading this and started thinking how cool I am.


A poem by Tamara Halabarec, former module C student

It is indeed I, the glorious leprechaun hunter
To show you how to catch that little man fast like thunder!

Now listen closely to my story
About how to succeed in glory:

A trap is easy to make,
If you understand
That all a leprechaun wants
Is some gold in his hands.

I got a chest and painted a rainbow on top,
Added some clovers to make it more pop
And then…!
I hid quickly!

Now this is important!
Never forget
To keep an eye out on your chest!
If you’re not looking
Or somehow forget
You might not get what you expect!

And there he was! That little man!
Walking around happy with his gold.
It was my moment to strike,
I was full of enthusiasm and hype.

You may not fear the little man
But treat him with respect.
To your surprise, if your acting is correct
Then you’ll get what you expect!

The Englishing team wishes you happy SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!


On February 16, English Day was held for elementary school students at the Faculty of Education in Osijek.

Under the guidance of Ksenija Benčina, senior proofreader, assistant professor Ivana Marinić and Fulbright ETA Grace Penta, teacher studies students – Module C (Ivona Barišić, Anamaria Benić, Dorotea Blažinčić, Ana Čop, Marija Drempetić, Elena Dušak, Ana Marija Greifenstein, Ines Ivanović, Estera Kovač, Mari Kovačević, Dora Markulić, Mia Mihaljević, Nika Patković, Dora Prusina, Jovana Vuković) organized ten workshops in English for 45 3rd and 4th grade students.

Here are the names of the workshops and organizators:

  • GRACE PENTA  – Arts and crafts: Making slime
  • DOROTEA BLAŽINIĆ, INES IVANOVIĆ – Harry Potter: Escape room
  • ESTERA KOVAČ – Spelling bee
  • ANA ČOP – Basic steps of twirling
  • DORA MARKULIĆ – Making snow jars
  • ELENA DUŠAK – Storytime
  • DORA PRUSINA – Singing

Thank you for your response and cooperation English language teachers and students from primary schools Dobriša Cesarić, Mladost, Vladimir Nazor (Čepin), Jagoda Truhelka, August Šenoa and Višnjevac.

ELENA DUŠAK – Storytime
GRACE PENTA  – Arts and crafts: Making slime
DORA MARKULIĆ – Making snow jars
GRACE PENTA  – Arts and crafts: Making slime
ESTERA KOVAČ – Spelling bee
ANA ČOP – Basic steps of twirling
DORA MARKULIĆ – Making snow jars

Dora Markulić


A short story written by Estera Kovač

October 16th

We have reached the end of Zone Y. We’ve found almost nothing. At the next meeting, we have to make our search radius wider. It has been four days since we heard something from Team Beta. I hope their transportation sequence went right.

October 27th

Regina and Jon have returned from their mission today. Jon is wounded and it will be a miracle if he makes it through the night. Somehow it managed to find them even though Regina made enough mud for the beast not to see them for years. Is it evolving?

October 28th

I had that weird feeling in my gut today like someone is watching us. When Rory entered my tent I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. I really thought it had found a way to the base and was here to kill us. But then I saw Rory’s blue eyes. Unlike Rory, the creature has eyes as black as the darkest night.

October 29th

Jon passed away during the night. Regina is broken and David is drunk. Jon was the youngest Saltzman. They already lost their parents in the war. It’s not fair that it took their brother, too. We burned Jon’s body as the law indicates.

October 30th

Jon’s death implanted a seed of fear in us. Even Ares is afraid to bark and howl. We have enough food and supplies for the six of us for two months, but soon someone will have to go and search for more.

October 31st

David got sober and returned to his cooking duties. It was wonderful to finally eat something delicious like his curry. Considering the last two days, everything was normal today. Rory and I went on our regular camp check, Markus discovered a shorter passage to the safe house by the lake, Regina made some cover mud and Thalia trained Ares.

December 1st

The first snow fell today. Ares was very happy. As a husky, why wouldn’t he be? He jumped around all day long and the tension in the camp slowly disappeared. But, in the sunset, Regina started mumbling and she began to show the side effects of the switch. Only the Sikovitz twins, Markus and Thalia, saw someone being switched. Markus took David outside the tent so that he couldn’t see what was coming next and Thalia stabbed Regina through her heart. We burnt her immediately.

December 2nd

David hasn’t left his bed the whole day. Markus is with him. They are such a loving couple. Rory and Ares are keeping me company. Actually, Ares is keeping me company, Rory is just jealous of him.

December 5th

Morning brought us terrifying news. During the night, Ares either ran away or someone took him. That feeling of being watched returned. I’ve had my finger on the trigger all the time. During lunch, we decided that it was time to move to the safe house and request a transportation sequence. It’s only a matter of days before the creature will come.

December 6th

In three days we’ll start moving to the safe house. Tomorrow we’ll decide which route to take. Markus suggested a straight line from the camp to the house. I’m not sure about it. We will have to go through both Zone Y and R, with the creature lurking in the forest.

December 8th

We packed our gear early in the morning. Ares still hasn’t come back. We can’t even hear him howl or bark. There is a little piece of hope in me that he’ll find us so I’ve packed his toys, too. Rory, the closest one of us to a scientist, gathered all of the ingredients for cover mud and made some. He also packed a few things from Regina’s chemistry pack.

December 9th

We decided not to go through the zones but rather under them. (Back in time when there had been other 49 teams, three tunnels had been dug.) With the first sunbeams, we were near the entrance to Tunnel No 3, dug by Team Ro which means it is surrounded and filled with booby traps. I had no time to warn David when he stepped into one of them. The poor guy was sawn in half. Luckily, Markus had already entered the tunnel so he didn’t see what happened. When I told him, he just fainted. Thalia kept him inside while Rory and I burned David’s body, and after that, we all proceeded to the safe house.

December 10th

It’s my birthday today. A nice way to spend it: in complete darkness 4 meters underground. We stumbled upon one more trap. Thalia activated the acid one. Markus couldn’t take it. His twin sister melted right in front of him. He shot himself. At least Rory is still alive and here with me. Though I wish Ares was here, too. I got him for my seventh birthday.

December 11th

We finally reached the safe house. Because of the equipment, it took us two days to cross 30 km. We settled down and checked out the perimeter. Rory was nervous all the time. He finally lay down, put his head in my lap, and is sleeping now.

December 18th

My name is Rory and I found this notebook among Natasha’s stuff. I presume this was her journal. It has been a week since she died. It came out of nowhere and we had no time to defend ourselves. The creature ripped her heart out and vanished. I stood there looking at her corpse soaked in blood. I’m all alone in the house. Food ran out yesterday and I’ve just drunk the last bottle of water. After the war, almost every piece of technology was destroyed so I don’t think anyone is going to read this or find out about us.

But if you find this journal, it means I’m dead. Run away as fast as you can and don’t look back. Beware of it. You won’t see it coming.


A short story written by Jovana Vuković

A. and S. decided to unplug for 24 hours. Initially, it was unimaginable to disconnect; but after some time, S. succeeded in persuading A. and they decided to undertake this. In order for the experiment to work, their phones were left at home and the travel to the cottage up the hill began. Even though the idea was hers, S. could not free herself of a nervous feeling. Her mind agonized her with questions “what if” – what if something bad happened? What if someone got hurt? The organized, meticulous overthinker inside her would regularly prevent her from enjoying. A. on the other hand was utterly opposite – a laidback, easy-going ever-spontaneous lad. At that point, their relationship lasted for four years straight. In spite of the diametrically opposed personalities, A. and S. got along splendidly. After the very first meeting, a special bond was immediately created between them. As they grew together, they learned to balance each other well – he took on some of her composure and efficiency, and she took on some of his casualness and spontaneity. As per usual, A. successfully managed to calm S.’s overthinking mind. At least, for a brief period of time.

“Do you remember the night we met?” he asked while putting his arm around her shoulders, profoundly looking into her eyes. “How could I ever forget your persistence in getting my attention? Your dance moves were hilarious,” she chuckled. “Ha-ha. How about you Miss. I’m- On-My-Phone-Don’t-Interrupt-Me?” “You knew perfectly I was dating back then. Yet, you continued being charming.” “Hey, what could I do? I fell for you at your first eye-roll,” he admitted. “Oh my. I’m still embarrassed…Don’t mention it. But, you know I can’t avoid my downrightness,” she confessed. “You should not be apologizing for that. I love how genuine you are.” “Thanks. Should I compliment you now?” she taunted him. “Ha-ha. That would be nice.” “Hmm, okay. I like your spontaneity. I like how you’re always in for everything. But most importantly, I like how you’re getting fat, so other girls won’t find you attractive,” she continued teasing him. “Next time, please remind me that you can’t compliment others. Regarding the fact that I’m hefty now if you didn’t know me, would you care to go for a cup of coffee with me?” continued A. seriously and persistently. “Look, I’m sorry, but I have a boyfriend,” exclaimed S. confidently. “Oh, babe. Cute, but wrong answer.” “Hey, I won’t cheat on you, not even with you. You set me to fail, but I passed,” she proudly answered. “No, but seriously now. Would you find me attractive now?” demanded A. “You know I could not care less about looks. Not that you’re unattractive, I find you very handsome. But what I like more, is your mind and heart. However, if I had met the Four-Years-Ago-You now, I think I would not fall for you.” “Elaborate…” said A. rather impatiently. “You’ve changed. And so did I. And I like that about us. You’ve grown on so many levels. No, let me stand corrected – we’ve changed each other and we’ve grown,” she stated candidly. “That’s nicely said. Nevertheless, I would date the Four-Years-Ago-You and the Seventy-Four-Year-You,” remarked A. “Do you think you could manage me forever?” she stumped. “That’s what I signed for!” exclaimed A. with enthusiasm. “Well, you have not signed anything yet, so…” noticed S. “Are you insinuating marriage?” “Are you proposing to me?” “Do you want me to?” they bombarded one another with questions. A slightly awkward moment occurred and made both of them reluctant to continue the conversation. She glanced at him and smiled: “Did I ever tell you a story about my grandparents? I always thought of them as a happily married couple, with a very simple, uncomplicated love life. A while ago, grandma confessed to me she had spent her whole life saddened because she always felt that grandpa wasn’t truly hers, but rather someone else’s. Apparently, grandpa had had a relationship before my grandma. She broke his heart and married someone else. Isn’t that devastating?” “It is. It is overwhelming for both of them. So, what do you want to say? What are your concerns?” inquired A. rather worried. S. looked at him and started reluctantly: “How can I put this delicately… We met very young. We’ve been together for four years. We’ve grown together, but what if we haven’t grown enough? What if we start
growing in different directions? What if we’re growing apart right now?” “How could we
tell? How could we know? I understand your concerns, but I’m willing to risk. What about you? Do you want something else? Do you want somebody else?” he asked slightly agitated. “How can you say that? Of course, that is not the case. I’m just scared. How have we come to this?” she asked rather frightened. “And what is ‘this’ at all? I sense the hesitation in you. If I’d ask you to marry me right now, what would you respond?” demanded A. “I don’t know,” she whispered. A. was defeated by these words. He opened the cabin door very calmly, very gently. The lack of his presence filled the room with silence and darkness. S. was left alone and devastated. The instance she said these words, she regretted. “Why would you say something like that?” she asked herself helplessly. She was certain she loved him. The next few hours brought nothing but sadness, sorrow, and worry. A sudden knock on the door. Her heart skipped a beat. There he was. The first few seconds seemed like hours. He stared right into her tearful eyes. He finally smiled.

“Drrrr! Drrrrr! Ring! Ring!” A. started mimicking a phone while bringing his palm to his ear.
S. looked at him bewildered. “What are you waiting for? Pick up,” he said to her enthusiastically. “Hello?” she muttered confused. “I just called to say that I love you. I’ve loved you ever since I met you. I know you’re scared, and so am I. I know you have doubts, and so do I. But, the thing I undoubtedly know is that I love you. And for now, it will suffice. We don’t have to get married now. Or ever. We can figure it out as we go,” A. bared his soul. “Why did you have to say that now? The second you left, I knew I didn’t want to spend another minute without you. I DO want to marry you. I love you.” They both started smiling. He embraced her tenderly, then asked rather tauntingly: “What have I got myself into? How will I manage you for good?” “I heard that men supposedly lose their ability to hear higher-pitched sounds and women eventually lose hearing on the low end. I guess that might help us to neutralize one another,” stated S. “What a great notion, you dork. We really unplugged ourselves today, didn’t we?”

English as a global language

Written by: Jovana Vuković

Communication is one of the most important aspects of human life that enables people to
express their thoughts and feelings, as well as share their opinions, problems, and needs.
People’s urge to communicate and interact led to the development of a global language or
lingua franca, i.e. a common language that enables communication between people from diverse ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds.

A language becomes global when it becomes recognized worldwide. There are two ways in
which this can be done – firstly to be made the official language of a country or to be used for communication in important domains (e.g. government, the educational system, the media) or secondly to be made a priority in a country’s foreign-language teaching (Crystal, 2003). English is the only language that has the status of a global language. According to Statista Research Department (2022), 1.5 billion people worldwide speak English (as native or as second/foreign language speakers).

The influence and importance of the English language can be seen in various domains –
international relations, as well as media (e.g. social media, cinema, pop music, and culture) and education. When it comes to international relations, English plays an important role in
international political gatherings by facilitating language barriers. In terms of media, English is being promoted as the dominant language on various platforms (Youtube, Netflix, Instagram…). The Internet is crucial in intercultural communication, making people use
English on a daily basis. When it comes to education, English as a foreign language has been extensively taught in Croatia at every level of education (kindergarten, primary school,
secondary school, and university).

However, English’s omnipresence also led to negative feelings and concerns. European
languages feel threatened by its influence – there is an abundance of colloquial loan words used by young people, as well as in the advertising industry and journalism. Finding an adequate equivalent in the native language can be hard, so people usually accept the English term. However, the bigger problem appears to be borrowed English words that are adapted and used as a basic part of the vocabulary (e.g. finalno instead of završno) (Pašalić and Marinov, 2008). When it comes to Croatia, various words and expressions from English have become a part of everyday communication (e.g. sorry, cool, by the way…)

English being a global language has undeniably impacted many European languages, including Croatian. However, I think that multilingualism is an advantage, rather than a setback. It enables intercultural communication, teaches people how to be respectful and tolerant toward other cultures while showing the importance of fostering their own national and cultural identity.

Works cited:

Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language. Second edition. New York:
Cambridge University Press.

Pašalić, M. i Marinov, S. (2008). The English language and globalization. Školski
vjesnik, 57 (3. – 4.), 249-258.

Statista Research Department. (2022).

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Dos and don’ts in Uzbekistan

Before my English language practice I class I had never thought about the idea to write some tips for first-time visitors to my country Uzbekistan. It was pretty enjoyable to read some blogs on the internet and realize that we also could look very different to travelers. Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Asia and it is pretty hot there, so make sure that you can stand the heat if you are coming in summer.

First, what you need to do before coming is learn some common Uzbek or maybe Russian phrases. Many people in Uzbekistan do not speak English, so be ready to explain yourself by gestures. Regarding dress-codel, I read some comments from the article about Uzbekistan and made a conclusion that most people consider my country very conservative because it is a Muslim-majority country and you need to cover your shoulders and knees all the time. I would rather say no, it is not true. Younger individuals tend to dress in Western style and
rarely cover their heads unless they are entering a mosque to pray. Feel free to wear the clothes that you feel comfortable in.

If you are invited to an Uzbek home for supper, bring a little non-alcoholic gift for the host. And don’t forget to remove your shoes before entering any house. We never walk into a house with our shoes on, especially if our mother sees it.

The tradition of queuing is not developed in our country. Do not be offended or surprised if someone pushes you or does not let you go first. Since Uzbek culture is based on respect for elders, we always give way to them. In most European countries it is considered rude to give a seat to older people in public transport, they could be abused. In Uzbekistan, older people responsively accept help from the youth. Sometimes they could even be offended if you don’t give them a seat, they might think that you don’t respect them. It is also considered rude if you don’t greet them first.

In Uzbekistan, people drive a little carelessly. There appear to be a lot of screeching wheels, speeding, and sudden braking. Sometimes drivers don’t stop even if you are at the pedestrian crossing and get angry when you interrupt their path. And keep in mind that when the crossing changes from “walk” to “don’t walk,” automobiles will start driving before the signal turns green.

Men don’t usually greet women by shaking hands. It’s not aesthetic. But if a woman gives her hand to greet, you can shake her hand. We don’t usually start a conversation with strangers about the weather or whatever. But you can ask for help without any hesitation. If a stranger starts a conversation with you he/she probably wants to flirt with you. In this situation, you just can ignore them and they will stop. But it can be different in a situation when you are a tourist and especially if you a have different appearance such as blonde hair, blue eyes, and brown skin, anything that seems “exotic”. Uzbek people might even want to take a picture with you. So, yeah you might feel special there. Once you are in Uzbekistan the people may seem very different for you, but you will see that they are kind and hospitable.

Rahmat (Uzb.- thank you) for your reading and I hope it was interesting and maybe useful for you.

Your lovely Uzbek guide -Tamara

The place of pronunciation in a young learner’s classroom:

Integrating pronunciation into the language learning syllabus

An explanatory essay by Jovana Vuković

The place of pronunciation in language teaching has changed over time. The aim for
pronunciation teaching and learning changed from negligence to the urge for native-like
mastery or intelligibility, i.e. having a pronunciation that can be understood with little effort by the interlocutor (Szyszka, 2017). The pronunciation learning aim of a primary school pupil learning English as a foreign language and an adult training to become an English teacher is different, i.e.” individual learners’ pronunciation learning goals vary depending on age, motivation, attitude, and various other factors” (Szyszka, 2017:10). Given the aforementioned factors and limited instructional time, teachers have to be resourceful in finding ways of incorporating pronunciation into the curriculum, i.e. integrating pronunciation with other areas of the curriculum is beneficial and increases learners’ intelligibility.

Between the 1950s and 1960s, dominant pronunciation language approaches included structural language teaching and audiolingualism which relied on drilling and oral language repetition with an emphasis on individual phonemes as well as prosody of grammatical phrases and sentences. Communicative language teaching emerged during the1960s and 1970s with the idea that the function of teaching is to provide realistic opportunities for communication that would lead to an implicit acquisition of language (Pennington & Rogerson-Revell, 2019). From the 1980s to the present moment, the aforementioned CLT approach has been the dominant teaching approach to foreign language pronunciation. The communicative language approach emphasizes learners’ abilities to communicate as a priority (Szyszka, 2017).

Successful communication extensively depends on intelligibility. There are various internal and external factors affecting young learners’ pronunciation acquisition. Internal factors include biological (e.g. age), cognitive (e.g. language aptitude, learning styles, and learning strategies) and psychological factors (e.g. motivation). External factors that influence the process of pronunciation acquisition are related to the external conditions, i.e. “learner’s native language, the amount of exposure to a target language and types of pronunciation instruction“(Szyszka, 2017: 24).

When it comes to pronunciation instruction, the most important role plays the instructor, i.e. the teacher. As it was mentioned before, incorporating pronunciation into other areas of
language learning while teaching young learners is very beneficial. Integrating pronunciation into speaking and listening can be done in various ways – pronunciation can be included in conversational and various interactive tasks (oral presentation, speech-making, debating…). The practice of pronunciation fluency can also be introduced through activities that include performing and acting out, singing songs, and student-to-student dictations (Pennington & Rogerson-Revell, 2019). Various listening activities introduce young learners to different types of registers (e.g. formal, informal) and different varieties of language (e.g. British English, American English…). Pronunciation is also integrated into vocabulary development and grammar instruction (Pennington & Rogerson-Revell, 2019).

Pronunciation can be integrated and taught by using multisensory modes. It can be reinforced by visuals – including charts, diagrams, flashcards, and wall charts (Celce-Murcia, Brinton and Goodwin, 1996). Another type of reinforcement is the auditory one. Apart from the traditional “listen and imitate” or “listen and repeat” pronunciation teaching, very interesting appears to be a memory peg, a device that helps remember how to pronounce a difficult sound (Celce-Murcia, Brinton and Goodwin, 1996). Jazz chants and rap, rhymes, songs, and tongue twisters are also types of auditory reinforcement. Tactile reinforcement consists of household items that help young learners to demonstrate and practice features of the target language – e.g. rubber-band for demonstrating differences in vowel length (Celce-Murcia, Brinton and Goodwin, 1996). Usage of hand signals, poetry in motion, clapping, snapping fingers, and tapping the rhythm are examples of kinesthetic reinforcement (Celce-Murcia, Brinton and Goodwin, 1996).

Integration of pronunciation with other curriculum areas is also represented in the Croatian
context. In the first two grades of primary school, pronunciation is represented by repeating word(s) according to the auditory model, as well as using simple short words while imitating the English phonetic system (outcomes A.1.3; A.1.4; A.2.4; A.2.5.). In the third grade, young learners repeat sentences by imitating the intonation of declarative, interrogative and exclamatory sentences (outcomes A.3.4; A.3.5.). In the fourth grade, young learners read while using appropriate rhythm, intonation, and accent, as well as notice sentences with different intonation, recognize the communicative value of intonation and pronounce simple sentences using the appropriate intonation (outcomes A.4.2; A.4.3.) (Subject curriculum English as a Foreign Language, 2019).

Živić and Gal (2007) presented all pronunciation activities in two of the English first-grade
textbooks and teacher’s books (Dip in 1 and Building Blocks 1) in Croatia. There are no
activities that drill pronunciation only, i.e. the pronunciation is integrated with other language skills. When it comes to the activities used for revision, they consist of pupils’ repetition after the model, e.g. Mirror and echo, Chinese whispers, Varied speaking/singing… Activities with flashcards mainly consist of pronouncing the words while playing, e.g. Memory game, What’s missing? , What’s this? , Run for the card, Touch the card, and say the word, Make a circle…Dialogues and role-playing as well as TPR activities are represented. The aforementioned activities unite all four language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and later writing in a playful and age-appropriate way while being motivating and enjoyable to young learners.

Integrating pronunciation with other areas of the curriculum emphasizes its wider significance, i.e. if young learners realize the impact of pronunciation on communication, in terms of fluency, accuracy, and intelligibility, they are more likely to be motivated to improve (Pennington & Rogerson-Revell, 2019). Language teachers should conduct age-appropriate activities that unite pronunciation with listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as use multisensory modes. To conclude, integrating pronunciation with other areas of the curriculum is beneficial and increases learners’ intelligibility.


Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Goodwin, J. M. (1996). Teaching pronunciation. A reference for teachers of English to speakers of other languages. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gal, K. i Živić, I. (2007). Poučavanje izgovora engleskoga jezika s učenicima 1. razreda osnovne škole. Život i škola, LIII (17), 81-86.

Pennington, M.C. & Rogerson-Revell, P. (2019). English pronunciation teaching and research: contemporary perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Subject curriculum English as a Foreign Language. (2019). Ministry of Science and Education.

Szyszka, M. (2017). Pronunciation learning strategies and language anxiety: in search of an interplay. Cham: Springer.