UNPLUGGED

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?”


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.


References:

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.

https://books.google.hr/books?id=twC-H4a8VcYC&printsec=frontcover&hl=hr#v=onepage&q&f=false: The place of pronunciation in a young learner’s classroom:

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

https://hrcak.srce.hr/20877: The place of pronunciation in a young learner’s classroom:

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

https://books.google.hr/books?id=1VptDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=hr&source=gbs_ViewAPI&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false: The place of pronunciation in a young learner’s classroom:

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

https://skolazazivot.hr/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EJ_SSS_kurikulum2.pdf: The place of pronunciation in a young learner’s classroom:

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

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

Students from Spain at our Faculty

The students from the Centro Educativo Arangoya in Bilbao, Spain were guests at our Faculty from January 16 to 20. The Student Council welcomed them and organized a quiz hosted by Module C students Ilijana Marić and Karla Nađ. This little get-together was an opportunity to share their experience and learn about student life in Spain and Croatia.

We would like to thank our students and our guests for organizing this get-together

Englishing e-mail information

Dear readers,

we are proud to announce that from now the Englishing blog has its own e-mail adress and official YouTube channel.

You can contact us via e-mail at: englishingfoozos@gmail.com

Or you can watch our videos on
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGmMS3GwFIY1Ud-ZlO8AJVA

Sincerely,

your Englishing team

Tokyo, Japan

Written by Ines Ivanović

Located at the head of the Tokyo Bay on the Pacific coast of central Honshu, lies the metropolis and the capital city of Japan, Tokyo. During the day, modern yet majestic buildings stand proudly, showing their beauty to the tourists who come from all over the world, and during the night the same proud-looking buildings become neon-colored beacons lighting up the nightlife of this spectacular city.

Just a few blocks away you can find the exact opposite of this high-paced urban lifestyle and enjoy the cultural sights and the tranquility of some of the world’s most fascinating, historical places such as The Imperial Palace, or one of the many old and breathtaking shires. These cultural beauties await any interested tourist who come wanting to find out more about the rich history of the once poor fishing village known as Edo, now known as one of the most powerful yet stunning cities in the world decorated by its new and improved name.

The city is a perfect blend of both cultural and modern, people of all ages can surely lose themselves in the large, scary, yet equally gorgeous streets of Ginza, Tokyo’s biggest shopping district. Walking down this stunning street surrounded by the loud voices of Tokyo’s numerous citizens, we can smell the unique and intriguing scents coming from many different stalls offering some of the most famous Tokyo’s street food such as Takoyaki (fried octopus balls), Taiyaki (a fish-shaped cake filled with delicious red-bean paste) and many others that are just waiting to be discovered.

And fear not nature lovers, those who are lucky enough to visit Tokyo in the month of March, more specifically around the 14th of March, are going to have the opportunity to attend the event called Cherry Viewing, one of the most breathtaking sights one can ever have the pleasure of experiencing. Sitting down on the luxuriously green grass beneath one of the magnificent cherry trees, enjoying the taste of local cuisine accompanied by your closest friends surrounded by the fresh breeze, the smell of the upcoming spring and the striking mix of red and white colored petals flying around you is unquestionably one of the best sights one can encounter.  

Thank you

Written by Ines Ivanović

A state of mutual trust and support between two or more people is the definition of friendship. Throughout our lives, we experience good, exciting, warm types of friendship full of support and comfort one may need. But for one to learn how to appreciate the value of true friendship he has to experience bad, mean and cold types of friendships. Losing a friend or two or even more is a hard and painful thing to happen but is normal and necessary for our personal growth. And the hardest ones to swallow are the ones lost due to immaturity. 

She was my friend for 11 years. She was like a sister to me and I was the same to her. There are days I miss her, very much so. I miss all the sleepovers, the walks, the parties and above all the way I could tell her everything and be understood. The day it happened started like any other, I suppose I half expected our friendship to come to an end, but nothing could prepare me for how painful it was once it did.

The buildup was slow, excruciatingly so. It started with something trivial as it always does, I can’t even recall what it was. School? Boys? The numerous responsibilities? I guess all of this became more important than the one dear to us. And when it reached the boiling point both of us were far too stubborn, prideful and immature. Due to something as vague as pride we lost the most beautiful thing we had – each other.

I always say and will continue to say – she wasn’t good for me! But, I also wasn’t good for her. Our friendship was something remarkable and right but happened at the wrong time.

From her I learned how to be a good friend, I learned how to help and how to receive help. She showed me how to be a friend! Furthermore, she taught me pain. The kind of pain I never want to go through again and will spend my entire life avoiding it.

Now, I have new friends, friends I love so much! Some of my new friendships are even better than the one I had with her. I learned from my story, changed and improved. So thank you! Thank you for making me a better person, and know that I will never stop wondering what would have been if.

Love

Written by Dora Markulić

There is an emotion that is out of this world

It is greater than happiness, and sadness, and hatred, and pain.

It’s covered under our coats, around our hearts furled,

Love, love, love – that is its name.

Soon it will come in form

Of a baby boy laid in a manger.

That mighty man would later calm the storm

And save us from every danger.

Love is given to us from Heaven

That with the help of it we can get back to that place.

We managed to lose the Garden of Eden

But now we have the chance to reach the Sky with God’s grace.

Let’s not be stingy, let’s not only look at ourselves

Let’s show that we care for every being around us.

Prizes wait for us on the shelves

Of Heaven, as we wait to be saved by the Cross.

INTERVIEW WITH PAUL BRADBURY

On December 6, 2022, Mr. Paul Bradbury held a seminar at our faculty called How travelling the world and experiencing cultures helps build a media career in Croatia. Mr. Bradbury comes from the UK and has lived in Croatia for 30 years. Through various media (books, podcasts, blogs, etc.) he comments on the way of life in Croatia and our culture in an interesting way. It was great to hear how someone from abroad looks at our country, it was about insights that can open the eyes of young people to the good things that life in Croatia offers, as well as the business opportunities that arise from it. He also presented his book called Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners. Afterwards, he asked how many students of our faculty wanted to emigrate after the graduation and how many planned to stay. He caught up with three students after the seminar to find out their thoughts. The Englishing team also had a nice conversation with Mr. Bradbury, which you can read here:

1)How did your family and friends react to your move to Croatia?

  • They were very angry with me. Back in 2002, when I was working in Somalia and Rwanda, they thought I was moving to a war zone, so buying a house on Hvar for them was “me liking to be in a war zone“, but then when I photographed it, they were surprised how beautiful it was. That summer I went to live in Japan, I was working in Hiroshima as a teacher and I gave my house to my friends for free, it was a full week and then three of them bought houses on the island (Hvar) and said: ”This place is amazing, Paul!” (laugh)

2)You said that you had come to Croatia because of the 30-second commercial. If you hadn’t seen that advertisement, would you have ever considered the possibility of coming here?

  • No, no. It was completely by a chance. Most of my life is like it.

A lucky coincidence!

  • Yes!

3)What is the most beautiful place you have ever been to in Croatia?

  • Hmm…Probably the view from our terrace in Jelsa (Hvar). We lived on the top (of the building) and the view from was just amazing. I think Hvar is obviously very beautiful but I…I really, really, really like Korčula as well – that is a really beautiful island. And I love just getting out there in the hills…You got really different kinds of places here and it only depends on what you are into.

4)What is the biggest flaw in our country?

  • You are all the champions of complaining. Honestly, I have never complained the way the Cro can. You do it in the café and you never turn all that complaining into a change – you are just happy to get it off your chest…So yeah, when you have lunch, you also have a good coffee and complain, then you feel great. I find it a little bit strange.

5)What are the most underrated things in Croatia?

  • I think that the most underrated thing in Croatia is Slavonia. I think it is a fantastic region. Also, I think the East of your country is really underrated, like Vučedol (war museum). I was blown away by Dalj and the Milutin Milanković museum there, which gets only 3,000 visitors in a year, considering that he is one of the world’s most famous scientists…It is incredible inside that museum. I think Baranja is sensational. I also noticed that Croatians don’t appreciate the lifestyle they have, they think that everything is better in the West, but you really need to stop and look at what kinds of treasures you have here and start to recognise and appreciate them.

6)You’ve visited Slavonia, you lived in Dalmatia…What are the differences and which of them do you like more?

  • I live in Zagreb now, I lived 13 years in Jelsa, 5 years in Varaždin and now one and a half years in Zagreb…I think Dalmatia is more beautiful but in my opinion, people in Slavonia are 10 times better; the hospitality here is so much better and the work. I think you guys know how to have fun and if you gave me the chance of going out with a bunch of Slavonians or Dalmatians, I would take Slavonians every single time. (laugh)

7)What is your next big project?

  • We will start a new portal dedicated to returnees and then I am looking to become a 53-year-old Youtuber, a little bit sad, isn’t it? (laugh) So I’m starting a channel called ‘Paul Bradbury – Croatian and Balkan expert’. I am going to mix videos of my experiences here, my take on destinations, opinions on certain things…And then start to do some sponsored articles with entrepreneurs to promote their businesses. Also something with Croatian and Balkans in terms of geography and mindset. We are going to start with people that Croatian media love. There could be actually a good video of the 25 most common mistakes Croats do when speaking English. (laugh) That can be a really good way to check on our English, without people judging us, so people could watch a video and say: ”Oh, I didn’t know that.”

8)Speaking of languages, my first question is what was the first word you learned in Croatian?

  • Punomoć.

9)And how difficult was it to learn our language?

  • I still do not speak it fluently; it wasn’t hard to learn because I spoke Russian before so I’m already over that pain for another language. My biggest problem here was the dialect because I learned all of my Croatian in a café, I thought it was Croatian, and then when I got to Zagreb I realized it wasn’t. (laugh)

10)Is there one thing you would change about your travels?

  • You know… what I would like to do, if I travelled again and I will, – I would like to roll back time and take technology because on my last big trip in 2001 and the one in 1998 there was no Google, there was no Tripadvisor, no booking.com, social media, email… It was just like you have a guidebook and then you go and travel with that and the part of the experience was funny in a good place and a bad place so the stories were about good places and bad places, but now you check all the ratings that are available and open… Everything is summarized so people don’t actually have the experience anymore. They take photographs, put them on social media, so they don’t actually remember the experience, ‘photograph’ the experience. I didn’t take my camera when I went to South Africa, but I can remember every day there, but in the past 10 years I can’t remember anything because it’s all on Facebook.

11)What is your favourite Croatian dish?

  • Well…If I needed to eat one dish for the rest of my life, that would be sarma. (Englishing team cheering)

The Englishing team wishes you all the best in your future. We hope you are going to stay in Croatia as long as possible. Thank you.

  • You are welcome.

Photo by Luka Šangulin (https://scontent.fzag3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t39.30808-6/317659560_608548221072090_3376106880595443581_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=BMjTsM3R5NgAX_2ye2h&_nc_ht=scontent.fzag3-1.fna&oh=00_AfDDEUxT1-RSp4bAHoSJWKnqnVLD7nM3zkjfEgm_ec9l7w&oe=63A1E9FD)

Check out our talk with Mr. Paul Bradbury:

Estera Kovač

Dora Markulić

INTERVIEW WITH GRACE PENTA

Dunja Kreidl, our module C student from the second year of the Faculty of Education,  did a very interesting interview with Grace Penta, 24-year-old English teaching assistant at our faculty.

1)Can you tell us something about yourself?

  • I am the older sister in my family. I really like to sail. I like to play other sports as well but sailing is my favorite. My favorite dessert is brownies and my favorite food is oatmeal.

2)Which University have you graduated from?

  • I graduated from the University of Chicago in 2021 and I studied public policy.

3)What brings you to Osijek?

  • I am in Osijek as English teaching assistant as you know. I am here through a program called Fulbright and that’s kind of a 9-month exchange program. I am in Osijek specifically because Fulbright and the US embassy have a good relationship with University, but I chose Croatia because of couple of reasons. One of them was immediately Literacy Days campaign that they have across the country. I was really interested in that.

4)Would you like to stay here longer and why?

  • I would like to stay here longer. I feel like nine months is not enough time to explore all of Croatia and the whole Europe in general. It is close to other places that I’d like to travel and just more time. Osijek is a really pleasant place to live, you know, and I got to be here at fall, through winter and in the spring, but I want the summer too.

 5)Now, when you explored the Faculty of Education, could you tell us some differences between our faculty and faculties in the US?

  • That is interesting… One is just a name; we do not really call it “faculty”. “Faculty” here means the subject area. “Faculty” in the US means people that work at the school, like professors and teachers and assistant professors, those are the faculty members. I think there are more similarities than there are differences. Faculties here are smaller and more specific. At university that I went is all of public policy, which is a bunch of different types of policy. When here, you have like right next door is tech and computer science. It is very specific.

6)What is your opinion on our educational system?

  • I think it is good from everything I have seen. It has a lot of similarities and differences with the US. I think the most interesting difference is that I learned about is how in the US a first grade teachers are always a first grade teachers, second grade always second, third grade always third grade…But in Croatia if you are a first grade teacher, you move next year to second and next year to third and next year to forth. That does not happen in the US and I have not even considered that it could be done that way.

That is a huge difference too – a free education through college. I think that is a huge plus. I think that the US should do that. That is a fantastic idea.

7)What is one part of Croatian culture that you would like to share with Americans?

  • The soccer culture; you got some strong, strong soccer fans. Today is the game, yees! Burek should definitely be shared with the US. I like the US coffee culture like carry on coffee, but I like the idea of here, sitting down and having long conversations – that doesn’t happen very often in the US. It is very common here. That culture should definitely be carried over. I think people also here… in an article that I read for a class it was talking about how in Croatia when you meet someone new you do not ask them right away what do you do. You ask them like where you are from and it is trying to get more personal aspect of who you are. In the US we focus more on what someone’s job is, what they do for work and that is a lot of who they are, but in Croatia you are more than that and I like that.

8)You told us that your family currently lives in Japan, have you lived there too?

  • Yes. This is my family’s second time living in Japan. We lived there when I was younger, when I was in preschool age and then we moved to basically California afterwards. So, I lived there when I was younger for 3 years. I visited 2 years ago to see my family and I will be going back in a couple of days for Christmas.

9)How did moving around impact you?

  • I think overall it had a positive impact. I think it allowed me to see a lot of different ways of living, people are very different even across just the US. I think I had a brought perspective abroad view. I think it has also allowed me to learn how to be adaptable and change my environment and how to be independent; to start over in a new place, like feel comfortable and try new things. Those are some of the ways, there are probably a lot of impacts.

10)Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are you wishes for the future?

  • I would like to be traveling probably. I would like to be working in a way that allows me to travel and to be doing beneficial work that impacts people possibly beyond myself. I do not know if that would be in Croatia but somewhere around the world. Like to get out of the US for longer.

Thank you very much for this interview.

  • Thank you.

Dunja Kreidl

December 13, 2022