English Day

On February 6, the second consecutive English Day was held at the Faculty of Education in Osijek for 3rd and 4th grade elementary school students under the leadership of Dr. sc. Ksenije Benčine, senior proofreader and assistant professor. Ph.D. Ivan Marinić. Our versatile and creative teachers from the Department of English and German Studies (assistant Ivana Moritz, Ph.D., Mirna Erk, Ph.D., professional associate Željka Starčević, assistant Sara Ćavar) and teacher study students – Module C (Ema Čmelak, Elena Dušak, Ena Horvat, Estera Kovač, Dunja Kreidl, Sara Lukić, Ankica Marić, Dora Markulić, Ana-Marija Menčik, Lorena Tomac, Erika Toth, Ranka Vujaklija) organized nine workshops in English for 49 students. Erasmus students from Turkey (Hasan Deringol, Sukran Kaya, Aleyna Polat) also joined the workshops. We would like to thank the English language teachers and students from elementary schools Dobriša Cesarić, Mladost, Vladimir Nazor (Čepin), Jagoda Truhelka, August Šenoa, Vijenac and Višnjevac for their response and cooperation.

Merhaba! (Hello!)

Hello everyone! For the great start of the year 2024 we have an amazing report of our Erasmus+ student – Hasan from Turkey. Let’s see what Hasan has to say and what are his impressions of our city Osijek.

Hi everyone, this is your Turcin (Turkish) friend. This is my first time writing for this blog. You will read a little bit about me and a little bit about my experience in Osijek. I am Hasan, and I am studying English Language and Literature, so I am a student at the Faculty of Humanities. I live in the famous tourist destination Antalya, I am sure some of you have visited it.

I have been in Osijek for 5 months and actually, it is going pretty well. Croatia is a Balkan country, so for me, traditions are similar. When you come here, you may experience a culture shock, but no worries. People here smile all the time, and they are doing their best to help you, even if they cannot speak English. A large part of the population does, but, like in other countries, some do not. The professors at my Faculty and the Faculty of Education are making sure that we feel welcomed and have enough time to explore around. All Erasmus students should take Croatian courses. The credit for the course is high, and you will also need it in your daily life. The locals are very happy when you can speak 2-3 words, so it is the best way to get used to daily life in Osijek. There are lots of events for students as well.  Erasmus students organize cultural nights and speed-friending events to get to know each other better.

Let me tell you a few things about the city. The first thing I noticed about Osijek was how calm it was. No car honking, no random yelling on the streets, and no stray animals barking at night. But this doesn’t mean that there is no fun or partying just because it is calm. Most of the nightlife is located in Tvrđa. Next to the river Drava you can relax and get some fresh air, and I also like the pedestrian bridge with LED lights during the night. I used to wake up at 5:00 AM, prepare my coffee, and watch the sunrise on the bridge. Tourists should also try the local beer, Osječko, which I tattooed on my leg. Enjoy your time here, and be kind to this lovely city.

Hasan, we are glad that you are having great time at our Faculty and Osijek in general and we wish you all the best!

An early December encounter

Written by Elena Dušak,, 4 th year of the Faculty of Education in Osijek

Inspired by the Nobel prize winner Jon Fosse, known for writing in stream-of-consciousness style.

December hasn’t shown its teeth yet, the trees have yet to let go of the memory of
autumn, I thought how silly it was to hold onto dead things like that, then I thought
about my apartment which was just a ten-minute walk from the city square, and how I
left my favorite lipstick on the table while rushing out, yet the trees aren’t in any rush
and I wished I could plant my roots right there in the middle of the sidewalk and let my
living, breathing body immortalize itself, unable to move, standing still in a place of such
hurry, serene, I got carried away by this passing thought but then I remembered how I
would hate to miss Nancy’s party tonight, she promised to introduce me to her work
colleague and I now more than ever regretted leaving my lipstick alone in my apartment,
luck wasn’t on my side, whatever the inanimate objects do while we get lost in our own
little routines, do they fear the day they will no longer be useful or wanted, or do just
humans have silly thoughts like that, I used to have a lot of silly thoughts, that was of
course before my therapist suggested writing them down on paper, now I just have a lot
silly words taking up space which once was a tree, I really wished then that I could
become an inanimate object, especially when my eyes caught sight of him, right on my
side of the sidewalk, of course sides aren’t assigned and there is really no rule to them,
but I hated seeing him there, in my path, then I thought of my lipstick again and how I
hadn’t looked at myself before going out, our eyes locked first and then came the
awkward smirk, we said our hellos and I wondered if the coffee I drank in the morning
stained my teeth, my fingernails, which were laid comfortably in the pockets of my coat
started digging into my skin and there was nothing that I wanted more at that moment
than to become an inanimate object, he altered his shoulder bag and asked how I was, of
course I would never tell him how I really was, but the question was a formality
anyways, automatic, rehearsed, and I wanted to scream and trash and choke those
words back into him, turn into his shoulder bag and be carried away, thoughtlessly, fine
I replied, what about you, how is your newborn, and this of course was a formality, I
didn’t really want to hear anything about his new life or if he was doing well, did I leave my stove on, I hope my apartment catches on fire so I can once again be warm instead of
being constantly cold and aching, but then my lipstick would melt and I really like that
color, I didn’t hear his answer, my ears were buzzing and my head felt light, I looked
down at his shoes and wished I had been a shoelace, the right one, because he takes
special care when tying it, the left one is always a bit sloppy and this thought instilled me
with a great sadness, I got carried away with this notion and he shook my shoulder
slightly, a great wave of electricity flew through me and I thought of trees and how they
must have felt when being touched by thousands of strangers, all mere blink in their
lifetime, I wrote this off as shock but we would both know this wasn’t true, I’m sorry I’m
going to be late, it almost sounded like a chant, a prayer, begging to be answered, to
what doesn’t really matter, and without waiting for an answer my feet finally found
ground and I begin walking, I’m glad I was not a tree.

A morning encounter

Written by Karla Nađ, 4 th year of the Faculty of Education in Osijek

Inspired by the Nobel prize winner Jon Fosse, known for writing in stream-of-consciousness style.

Rain, another rainy morning, another day filled with sadness, what a waste of a day, why
even bother waking up, oh well, I should get out of the bed now or I’ll be late for work,
work, another way to waste my day, but money, yes money, you can do so much with it
and nothing without it, money, I hope I have some change to buy a breakfast, my tummy
is rumbling, so annoying, I should probably feed my cat before I leave, where is that
furry ball anyway, oh well, I guess she’s not hungry, I can’t blame her, even I wouldn’t
like to eat mystery meat from a can, oh well, enjoy your day, see you after work, this
hallway looks so cold, even this doorknob is cold, oh God, when will my suffering end,
birds are singing, so mesmerizing and peaceful, without any worry in the world, so
beautifully altered, oh no, not you, another trouble coming my way, I guess luck is not
on my side today, I hope he doesn’t notice me, well, well, isn’t this my beloved friend, oh
no, well hello, how are you this serene and awfully exquisite morning, tired but keep on
going, but that’s life I guess, oh boy, there’s no stopping him now, once he starts talking
he won’t stop, what is making you tired my friend, barely spilling those words knowing I
will regret them, oh you know, work, kids and stuff, I’m so glad I ran into you, we should
catch up sometimes, haven’t seen you in ages, yes, I hope it stays that way, yes of course,
that would be really lovely, great, I have some plans this weekend but I can make some
arrangements for my good old friend, no need, I can’t this weekend, I have some
unscheduled work to do, with my cat, oh okay, I have to go now, I’ll keep in touch, so
great to see you, it really made my day, you too, finally he’s gone, and I’m late for work,


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).


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.

http://culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/pdf/research/books/nation_branding/English_As_A_Global_Language_-_David_Crystal.pdf: English as a global language

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

https://hrcak.srce.hr/82631: English as a global language

Statista Research Department. (2022).

https://www.statista.com/statistics/266808/the-most-spoken-languages-worldwide/: English as a global language

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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