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Poland - Climate Change CLIL in Poland
Poland - Climate Change CLIL in Poland

Climate Change CLIL in Poland
24th - 26th Nov, 2006

The British Council in Poland (www.britishcouncil.pl) organised two days of activities integrating climate change education with language education in Warsaw this week.

Richard Dawson (richard@field-studies-council.org) from the Field Studies Council (www.field-studies-council.org) has written four thematic units on climate change which I’ve worked on adapting for a Polish EFL audience.  The resources have been reviewed by Geography, English and CLIL teachers in Poland and this event is the start of the trial process.
I'd like to highlight Field Studies Council UK work in this area with schools in Wales and Thailand.  They have a project which links up schools in these two countries where they can measure their environment footprint and compare their results with that of their partner school.  Richard tells me that they are working on expanding the programme to include other areas and it might be an interesting project to look out for in the future if your schools is focussing on environmental education.

Day 1

Colleagues from a variety of environmental education institutions around the country came together at the BC offices in Warsaw to be introduced to the materials and to share ideas for cascading the initiative among their colleagues in their home contexts.
Richard presented the four climate change themes:

Climate Change: Menace or Myth - a unit which gets students investigating and differentiating fact from fiction in climate change.

Techno Fix or Frankenstein Future - this unit looks at the role of technology in helping us in solving or exacerbating climate change problems.

Live Another Day - this set of resources explores lifestyles and their part in contributing to carbon emissions.

Conflict and Cooperation - a unit which looks at the role of the individual, businesses, communities, governments in combatting climate change.

I presented the Science Across the World programme to the group (www.scienceacross.org) and the new  Climate Change topic and offered the idea of using the programme as a medium for exchange and communication through the database of over 4500 teachers in the database for the young people they work with.  Making The News (www.mtn.e2bn.net/mtn_satw) was presented also as a means of publicising the work of the students who will be attending the workshops these colleagues will offer using the Climate Change resources.

Richard offered a blueprint for organising a workshop and colleagues discussed good learning activities as they attempted to build the ideal paper aeroplane through reflecting, planning and testing their prototypes in a learning cycle.

The aim of the workshop is to develop a network of facilitators who can offer English-medium climate change workshops in response to a need expressed by teachers and students involved in the ZeroCarboCity campaign in 2005.  The colleagues in the group will be given the complete set of resources and teacher's notes when the final draft is done for the beginning of January 2007.

Day 2

Teachers of English, Geography, teachers interested in CLIL, as well as colleagues from environmental education institutions came to the second day's workshop to give us their opinion of the materials and the project.  Their criticisms were extremely valuable.
Beata Grudzinska (beata.grudzinska@britishcouncil.pl) introduced the project and gave background information on the history and activities leading up to this initiative.  I then gave an overview of issues related to content and language integrated learning and Richard gave the climate change perspective.
We wanted to move quickly on to the stage where the teachers got their hands on the materials and had the opportunity to try out and discuss some of the tasks in their small groups so that we could make the most of their feedback in our next editing phase.

It's worth pointing out that in consultation with the local teachers mentioned above the resources have been written to meet demands for English language school leaving exams, the matura.  This can be seen in the types of tasks, the attention paid to vocabulary, the length of written work and the inclusion of presentation tasks as well as many others.
Some of the comments from the group were critical but constructive.  Certain themes in the texts, it was thought, were not appropriate for 16-18 year olds, such as a text on sustainable home building, and it was suggested that we choose themes more 'at their level'.  It was also suggested that the teacher's notes should contain more help, more ideas and tips on, for example, dealing with new vocabulary and also a glossary of terms for the teacher as well as the students.  This is something we plan to add in an expanded section entitled 'Background Information'.

Overall the feedback was very positive.  The English teachers in the group saw the resource as a valuable one for their language classrooms and they looked forward to receiving the finished product.
I think the project is highly innovative from a language and content perspective.  It's encouraging to see such 'joined up thinking' in an area where it makes so much sense to bring geographers, environmental educators and language teachers together.  After all, it is a global problem and communication between communities is of paramount importance in achieving understanding, raising awareness and seeing the global environment picture.

In a meeting with the BC team, and speaking to Tony O'Brien, director of BC Poland, it is clear that there is a desire to take this project further in Poland.  There is interest in this initiative at BC headquarters in Science in Manchester and ELT in London and it would be a great step to see this highly successful initiative exported to other parts of the world where colleagues are integrating climate change education with the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language.

 Keep an eye on this!

Poland - Education for sustainable development
Poland - Education for sustainable development

Education for sustainable development
A series of articles from Ola Zaparucha, Poland.

12th Oct 2009


Ola offered to send us articles she has written and co-written on Education for Sustainable Development. Many thanks Ola. I'll let her explain:

Dear Keith, 

I enclose the article on Education for Sustainable Development to be included in the FACTworld website. It is the first in a series of 4 articles which tackle this issue. The first one analyses the range of the vocabulary and topics on ESD in English textbooks used in Poland. The next ones will give a range of activities on ESD to be used both during classes of English and during other subject classes delivered through English, be it Geography, Biology, Chemistry or any other related subjects. 
The article was first published in the magazine for teachers of English in Poland The Teacher: http://www.teacher.pl/. Once the other articles are published I will also send them to be publicised on the FACTWORLD website. 


Ola Zaparucha

Education for Sustainable Development in an English classroom
(You can find the articles at the links at the foot of this page)

Article 1: Environmental issues in English textbooks
Article 2: What a mess the world is in and how it got that way
Article 3: We’re trying to solve the problem – is it working?
Article 4: Is there a solution?
30th Jan, 2010

Poland - English-medium Geography
Poland - English-medium Geography

English-medium Geography, Poland, 19th April, 2007

Ola Zaparucha has sent us two papers on the teaching of Geography through the medium of the English language in Poland which were presented during the October Conference in Torun and which have since been published in a book of proceedings.  
Ola sends us a short message here with some background relating to the materials and the event.


These papers were presented at the joint HERODOT/EUROGEO and the Association of Polish Adult Educators Conference held in Toruñ, Poland, between the 5th and 7th October 2006. The leading topic was 'Teaching Geography in and About Europe'. In 2007 the paper was published in the book of the Conference proceedings. See http://www.herodot.net/conferences/torun2006/torun-tp1-2006.html or http://www.sop.torun.pl/  for details.
Best regards to you for Easter 
Ola Zaparucha 

Both papers are available here ...

Teaching Geography through projects: a European and linguistic dimension (Word version below)

How much English teaching in Geography teaching (Word version below)

Poland - Everyone is a Geography Teacher
Poland - Everyone is a Geography Teacher

on reasons for Geography and English Integrated Teaching  

by Aleksandra Zaparucha olazap@wp.pl
The article was published in the English Language Teaching magazine The Teacher No 1(45) 2007 www.teacher.pl (more here)

Poland - Fieldwork in Geography bilingual teaching
Poland - Fieldwork in Geography bilingual teaching

Fieldwork in Geography bilingual teaching


Pics and news from Ola Zaparucha

The theme of fieldwork as a focus for three days of continuing professional development for Geography teachers from across Poland and abroad all working through the medium of the English language. 


James Hindson from Sense and Sustainability, UK, leading the introductory session of the workshop.

Working on EcoBingo - James distributed handouts with various questions to help us intorduce to one another.

There was no way out - at some point of EcoBingo we had to stand up and walk around to meet other people!

James was really well prepared for the workshop! The winner of the EcoBingo activity got a bar of chocolate - fair trade chocolate, of course!

We are all geographers - so we like maps! James asked us to stick a piece of paper with our name on the wall map of Poland. Those coming from the cities on the Baltic Sea had a bit of a problem a they were not tall enough!

There was even an extra map of Europe for our colleagues from other countries - James Hindson from the UK, and Irene Dieleman and Martijn Kaal from the Netherlands. The person on the right is Marcin Stark - one of the heads of the Association of Polish Adult Edcuators which organized the workshop.

A presentation on Geographical Information System (GIS) and its practical uses delivered by Remek Stańczyk from the Institute of Geography, University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Toruń and Sebastian Tyszkowski from the  Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of Polish Academy of Science i Toruń. 

An evening meal in a lovely restaurant called 'Spichrz', which means 'granary' as the building is a Swedish-style granary from the 17th century. Traditional Polish food...

with an extra long sausage...

live folk music...

and vodka!

On Saturday morning James had an introductory presentation on sustainability.

The first fieldwork activity - checking how unsustainable the neighbourhood is. Luckily, although it was cold it did not rain.

All the participants were divided into 4 groups and were sent in four different directions - to the north, south, east and west!

On our return, James had an extra bar of chocolate for each group! It was well appreciated, as we were cold and there was another task for all the 4 groups. Each of them had to prepare a poster prsenting in what ways their location was unsustainable regardin the social, economic and natural sphere.

Working on the poster.

James helped if necessary...

Each group had a different style of work...

Presenting the posters...
James explaining another field activity - the task this time was to observe a tree and check how sustainable it is in terms of energy uses or waste produced.

On our return all the groups gave their ideas to James. We went from this simple drawing of a tree...

to such a a complex, yet very sustainable system.

After a short presentation on Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and a lovely dinner we went for another fieldwork activity - usisng the GPS receivers two groups were to get to certain points in the city centre and, instead of finding caches as in typical geocaching, to answer question connected with the objects on the way.
At the beginning it seemed a bit complicated, as two separate groups were following the same route! However, they had different coordinates!

After a successfully completed GPS walk and a bit of free time for shopping for souvenirs (Toruń is famous for its gingerbread) we listened to a few presentations of our colleagues. Irene Dieleman from Goes, the Netherlands, spoke about bilingual education in her country. We were a bit envoius hearing on the number of training sessions the teachers in the Netherlands had a chance to take part in!
Martijn Kaal from Amsterdam told us about fieldwork activites he does with his students as well as on his personal perspective of bilinual teaching.

Lucyna Hartowicz told us about the action undertaken by her school towards sustainability.

Małgosia Byca from Warsaw had a presentation on fieldwork undertaken with her bilingual class in Warsaw. Studying a stream in urban setting prooved to be a challenging task!
An evening meal on the premises was a nice way of concluding the day!
The Sunday morning was devoted to a presentation on teaching and learning styles.
There was also time for a discussion on quality fieldwork.
The hardest task of them all! James distributed postcards showing Darwin (the greatest figure for Shrewsbury where James comes from). The task of all the participants was to write what type if fieldwork they promise to carry out with their students before the end of the school term. The postcards were later collected by James. He explained he will send them to people in a few month's time as a reminder of what had been promissed!

Farewell and thank you time!
Standing from the left: Basia Stark - the head of the National Centre for Further Training of Geography and History Teachers, Antoni Stark and Marcin Stark - the heads of the Polish Association of Adult Educators in Toruń, whcih also is a publishing house. It is a family business, indeed!

The following presentations are available in the links below:
SOP - Why out of classroom learning-1.ppt (80KB)
SOP - JAMES - Presentation 2 - the world is in a mess.ppt (4MB)
SOP - JAMES - Presentation 3 - the solution.ppt (4MB)

29th Oct, 2009

Poland - Geography and History CLIL
Poland - Geography and History CLIL



The publishing house SOP Oświatowiec Toruń and the Association of European Geographers EUROGEO are happy to announce the 11th edition of the international methodology workshop

UN sustainable development goals – teach them bilingually

Toruń, Poland, 7–9 October 2016[/userfiles/files/geogpoland.jpg]

You can find three documents at the foot of this page: Inviation, Questionnaire and Registration form!

Poland - Geography bilingual teaching - practical issues
Poland - Geography bilingual teaching - practical issues

Geography bilingual teaching – practical issues

3-5 October 2008, Toruń

Aleksandra Zaparucha

Between the 3rd and 5th October 2008 the second round of workshops for bilingual Geography teachers was held in Toruń. 
A tradition that is planned to continue year on year sharing good practice among Geography teachers around Poland working through the medium of English.

Getting to know each other
My presentation on student projects

The event took place on the premises of the Association of Polish Adult Educators, which coexists with the National Centre National Centre for Further Training of Geography Teachers, lead by Antoni Stark.
This time, the focus of the event was innovation and assessment in teaching Geography through English. The people who attended the workshop were teachers, both experienced and new in the profession, as well as teacher trainers and university workers.    
Traditional Polish food and music for the evening
Discussions, discussions, discussions... Daniela Schmeinck (standing) during the workshop on assessment

The leaders of the workshop included Dr Daniela Schmeinck from the University of Education in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Aleksandra Zaparucha, who represented the Association of Polish Adult Educators, Toruń Branch.
The three-day program of the event included presentations on innovation in Geography, such as Geocatching or Virtual Globes, assessment issues, as well as practical ideas, such as student projects and ways of integrating language skills.
Group photo in front of the National Centre for Further Training of Geography Teachers

The participants had a chance to present their ideas from bilingual classes and discuss them with others engaged in this mode of teaching. This, according to the workshop participants, proved most crucial, as there is no sufficient guidance for bilingual teachers in Poland.
The next event, already planned for 2009, will probably deal with fieldwork in bilingual classes.    
Nov 5th, 2008

Poland - No Nonsense CLIL in Poland
Poland - No Nonsense CLIL in Poland

No nonsense CLIL in Poland

Content and Language Integrated Learning in Poland
Beyond Trivia

Two conferences presenting non-trivia language teaching in Poland, December 2007

Download or view the resources from here
I participated in a busy programme of presentations as part of the 12th DOS-TTS teacher development conferences in Warsaw and Wroclaw, Dec 2-3rd 2007.
Introductory PPT to the conference (file listed below)
Ewelina Wroblenska from the British Council in Poland gives the background to the Speak up on Climate! resources (Ewelina.Wroblewska@britishcouncil.pl).

Grzegorz Spiewak our host partner with DOS, a very professional and active organization for teachers in Poland (grzegorz@e-dos.org).    
There were a number of reasons why it was a great event to attend.

It was such a topical conference title.

It is always a pleasure to work in Poland.

It was the launch event for the Speak up on Climate! materials which were commissioned by the British Council in Poland and which are the result of an attempt to integrate environmental studies with English language learning and also to meet the demands of the Polish Matura exam.  My role was to present on the issues of integrating content and language and also to give the audience a taste of some of the resources.

a cutting from the resources launched in Poland

We started off with a simple question.  Why CLIL?
The slide on the left speaks for itself.

hands on Speak up on Climate! resources
examining climate change data
Interpreting data
Participants were asked to analyse the discourse of charts.  Colleagues had to express the data in the chart in their own words.
The Speak up on Climate! resources offer frames for producing a range of language including here a PowerPoint presentation for a 'green car'.

It's important that the data relating to climate change in the resources be based on information available in Poland and about Poland and Polish people.  For this reason the resources cover many of the issues to do with climate change but from a Polish perspective.
There was one teacher who suggested that there is a conspiracy going on to try to manipulate our lives through fear-mongering on climate change.  A couple of teachers expressed the feeling that students are tired of the topic in Poland.  What a thought!  We may be boring our students with this topic, imagine that.  This may say more about classroom methodology than what young Polish actually think about climate issues.

To pursue this aside a little further, a recent Mori poll of GB adults aged 16+ suggests that this teacher is in a very tiny minority.  53% of those questioned said that Global Warming/Climate Change combined were the most serious threats to the future wellbeing of the world.  Terrorism came second with 21%.

http://ipsos.com/global-warming-issue-unites-world-opinion (2015 - 85% see climate change as a threat)

We also looked at some vocabulary related to climate change and tried out a task which included repetition, pronunciation, definition and a competitive factor.    
climate change vocab
photos of climate change
 ...and students are asked to discuss photographic images of climate change.

The British Council assure me that the entire publication will be available for download in the near future.  In anticipation I'll put a link here for the Speak up on Climate! materials which I'll activate as soon as they are available.  Watch this space! (See link to archived materials below)

We had a discussion to define CLIL.  I talked about the role of discourse analysis in the primary and secondary curriculum and making use of the data this produces for CLIL materials writing.  The other area under discussion, and also key in CLIL contexts, concerns visual contextualisation of content.  Ideational frameworks is a term used to describe 'diagrams of thinking'.
I also presented some ideas and examples from other sources. One great place (one of the best) to look for materials and ideas for integrating language and content is Science Across the World (www.scienceacross.org).

How many receptors do you have on your tongue? 

You inherited this aspect in your genes.  The same is true for eye colour, hair colour, height, middle finger hair, tongue rolling ability, and whether or not your ear lobes are attached or not attached to your face.
Investigating heredity in the language classroom is a wonderful way of bringing Biology into the English lesson.  Possessives, apostrophe s, and others spring to mind and examples such as 'He gets his blue eyes from his mother', 'He has his father's chin' and many more.

Getting students to create eco maps of a restricted area in the local neighbourhood, present a key and describe this for a partner group in another country turns a Science activity into a language and culture task.
A park in St Paulo
the species of plant life found in the park

a key representing the species found and their location in the park

... and eventually the discussion turned to Food and Science and Art    
Pizza DNA

If I say that the Polish colleagues came out on a Saturday and Sunday for the conferences so in their free time, if I say that there were over 160 of them in total and if I say that they paid for the event, I think you'll get the idea of how motivated a crowd they were, even demanding (and so they should be!).

They certainly created a buzz and I wish them luck in their moving beyond trivia to CLIL.

No Nonsense CLIL!

No Nonsense: non-trivial content, non-trivial methodology - 12 DOS - TTS teacher development conference

Now this is a title for a conference I can warm to.

The British Council in Poland is contributing to a series of conferences this December and January in collaboration with DOS Teacher Training solutions in Poland.

Content and Language Integrated Learning plays a part here in offering non-trivia to colleagues interested in alternatives to traditional ELT approaches.

I'll be presenting examples of resources which combine language learning with content topics and materials.  The plan is to provoke discussion about the state of ELT and the role CLIL has in moving language education closer to the reality of its learners.
You can find out more at the DOS site http://www.e-dos.org/wintereltea/

Poland - Reports on Workshops for Geography Teachers
Poland - Reports on Workshops for Geography Teachers

Report on workshops for bilingual geography teachers

Oct 2007

Ola Zaparucha sent in this report on CLIL Geography in Poland

Sorry for not keeping you informed on what is going on in CLIL in Poland. There is so much going on there is no time for reflection. In August we held workshops for bilingual geography teachers. 

The National Centre for Further Training of Geography Teachers, which works at the Association of Polish Adult Educators (SOP), has organised the methodological workshop for geography teachers who teach their subjects through English in bilingual classes:

Bilingual Geography - aims, methods and challenges.

The event took place in Toruń between 20th and 23rd August 2007.  The workshop was conducted by Olivier Mentz - Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg and Daniela Schmeinck - Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe, who both specialise in bilingual education.

The aim of the workshop was to exchange teaching experience, present available materials and integrate those involved in teaching geography through English.  The participant completed the questionnairies which will enable to see the position of bilingual education in Poland. Moreover, all the papers presented during the meeting willl be published in the book of proceedings. Moreover, there is an initiative to set up a working platform and forum to exchange ideas and educational materials connected with teaching geography in English. It is still in preparation. The workshop is going to be organised on a regular basis. The next meeting is being planned for October 2008.
During the workshop a new publication was presented - the geography workbook, part one, for middle school, which has been translated into English. Other initiatives in terms of translated materials include the books on HISTORY (volume two for high schools has been finished and is waiting for printing) and the third part of the GEOGRAPHY textbook for high schools.

More information is available from the SOP website:  http://www.sop.torun.pl/. Inquiries regarding the publications are to be directed to  sop@sop.torun.pl

As soon as the new publications are available I will let you know. 

Best regards 

Ola Zaparucha, olazap@wp.pl

Poland - State of the Art of Content and Language Teaching

The State of Content and Language teaching in Poland

This is one of the first contributions to the FACTWorld site, way back in the early days...

Urszula Myszkorowska, Ewa Parszyk

After the Second World War, there was extensive teaching in Russian language prevailingly, with simultaneous teaching English, German, French, Italian, Greek and Latin, but at less extent. While Russian was compulsory from year 5 in the Primary School (11-12-year old children) the other foreign languages were voluntary. The situation was different in Secondary and Grammar Schools (15-19-year old) where at least one west European language was compulsory as a complement to Russian.

The radical changes became in Poland after 1989 when extensive teaching English started to be compulsory. Until nowadays the age of children who are taught English has lowered, with regard to both private and state sector.

In Poland, after the Reform in 1999, children usually start their English education in kindergartens (5-6-year old). They develop their knowledge gradually. In Primary School (7-12-year old) pupils realise 3 levels. They are; starter, elementary and pre-intermediate. Secondary Schools (13-16-year old) give the students opportunity to pass intermediate and upper-intermediate levels. Students in Grammar Schools (16-19-year old) master their skills at advanced and - in language profiled classes – proficiency level.

At the Universities students learn English for two years, but the language and vocabulary is concerned with the subject of their studies. In Poland there are also over 10 Universities and Colleges training English teachers, where all the subjects on the curriculum are lectured in English only.

Language teaching in Poland is based on English course books and syllabuses published by the leading publishing houses as Longman, Oxford, Cambridge and Macmillan Heinemann, but books for content teaching are not common.

In Poland teaching other subjects on the curriculum through the medium of English is not popular yet, but teaching English and other foreign languages via cross-curricular studies is compulsory. Different subjects (Math, Physics, Chemistry, Science, Computer Studies or Biology) students learn in their mother tongue, but some topics of them are introduced on English lessons to integrate language studies with the other subjects on the curriculum. It would be difficult to require sophisticated knowledge on mentioned subjects without specific books in English and teachers being both English and subject specialists, although there are a few profiled schools in Poland where students are taught all subjects on the curriculum by English native speakers who are subject specialists.


Ewa Parszyk

Science in Polish Teacher


Ursula Myszkorowska

English Teacher


Poland - Teaching Geography in English
Poland - Teaching Geography in English

Geography and English Integrated Learning
a report from the international conference
Aleksandra Zaparucha
School Complex number 10, Toruń, Poland

Teaching in and about Europe

 Teaching in and about Europe was the main theme of the international conference held in Toruń, Poland, on 5 – 8 October 2006. It was a meeting designed for Geography teachers in Poland who teach their subject through the means of English. The conference was held at the National Centre for Further Training of Geography Teachers in Toruń, and co-sponsored and organised by the Herodot and Eurogeo organisations and the Didactic Laboratory of the Geography Faculty of the Nicolas Copernicus University in Toruń.

The conference aimed at bringing together the teachers in Poland who teach Geography in English as well as academics involved in Geography Teacher Training and the representatives of teacher development institutions. Another objective of the meeting was to create a place for exchanging practical ideas and techniques on how to teach Geography through English effectively and the variety of experiences in that field. The discussion on the didactical resources available was also expected. The organizers hoped for establishing a network of the teachers involved in such a manner of Geography teaching.

The main part of the event included the conference itself with the participants’ presentations, and three Geography lessons taught in English in the School Complex number 10 in Toruń. A great opportunity to entertain the guests was a field trip to Golub-Dobrzyń Castle and a guided tour around the city centre.

The conference opening took place on 5th October 2006 at 6pm at the National Centre for Further Training of Geography Teachers in Toruń. The welcome speeches were delivered by Antoni Stark, the President of the Association of Polish Adult Educators, Toruń Branch and Karl Donert from the Liverpool Hope University, the President of the EUROGEO and the HERODOT network Coordinator, followed by a representative of the Toruń authorities.

Karl Donert was the first to give a presentation on the newest project of the Herodot, i.e. geoinformation (the full title: Geoinformation and education: a revolution waiting to happen in Europe). The day finished with a welcome dinner.

            Friday 6th October was the school day. The conference participants were welcomed by the school headmaster Andrzej Drozdowski. The school introduced bilingual teaching of subjects three years ago, starting with Geography and History. Presently, Mathematics and Biology are also taught with the elements of English. 

Next, three Geography lessons were taught to Polish students. First, Ms Małgorzata Kubik from Gdynia Bilingual High School No 3, IB School No 0704), conducted a lesson on Population distribution to the last year of the Gimnazjum level (15-year olds). The next lesson, Introduction to the United Kingdom, was taught by John Little from the European School of Culham. The students were from the second grade of Gimnazjum. The last lesson was conducted by Aleksandra Zaparucha, who taught a lesson to the first-grade Liceum students on Map reading.

After lunch the following presentations were held:

·        Daniela Schmeinck (Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe, Germany), To o late or to o early - Teaching Geography in Primary School on how young learners see maps;

·        Andrew Powell & Jonathan Edwards (Kingston University, the UK) on Teaching about Europe on a Primary BA Teaching Degree Course);

·        Olivier Mentz (Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Germany) on several aspects of teaching about Europe: Europe matters! 10 reasons why School Geography should teach a European dimension);

·        John Halocha (Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln, the UK) on Images, perceptions and questions: Europe through the eyes of children in England;

·         Servet Karabag, Salih Sahin & Mustafa Öztürk (Erciyes University & Gazi University, Turkey) on Geography Curriculum of 2005 and its Reflections to Teacher Education Programmes of Geography in Turkey: Expectations and Recommendations.

After dinner, the entire group got on a coach to take part in a trip to the Castle in Golub-Dobrzyń, which is about 40 km from Toruń. There, after a guided tour and an exciting presentation of the medieval knight show, the shooting contest started followed by an evening meal.

On Saturday the presentations included the following topics:

·        Aleksandra Zaparucha (10th School Complex in Toruń, Poland) on how bilingual Geography teaching is viewed by an English teacher: How much English teaching in Geography teaching,

·        Mustafa Öztürk (Erciyes University, Egitim Fakültesi Kayseri, Turkey) on European Dimension in Geography Teacher Education Programmes in Turkey: Student Teachers' Experiences;

·        Dorota Grudzińska (Gdynia Bilingual High School No 3, Poland) on 
Bilingual Geography Course;

·        Iwona Piotrowska (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland) on
Cognitive and application aspects in the bilingual teaching of Geography;

·        Desmond John Bowden, Mark Chidler & Pam Copeland (Newman College of Higher Education Birmingham, the UK) on Brussels: Enquiry Based Learning: more than just a way of thinking;  

·        María Luisa De Lazaro Y Torres (Real Sociedad Geográfica, Spain) on
Spain in the web: a GIS way of teaching;

·        Cichoń Małgorzata (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland) on
Pattern and environmental determinants of perception during experimental field classes;

·        Aleksandra Zaparucha (10th School Complex in Toruń, Poland) on 
Teaching geography through a project: a European and a linguistic dimension

            This day ended up with a guided tour around the city centre and an evening farewell meal. There was folk music to entertain the conference participants and plenty of opportunities to exchange the ideas.

            The most important gain of the conference was the first ever opportunity for the Geography teachers who teach their subject through English to take part in a conference organized especially for them. All the presentations were given in English, which itself was a great chance to practice listening skills. Additionally, the teachers could discuss their personal experiences and difficulties in delivering their subjects through a foreign language.

As the event proved to be successful, the National Centre for Further Training of Geography Teachers in Toruń, the main organizer of the conference, is already planning two meetings next year. In March there will be a weekend session for teachers from Poland. It is hoped to be prepared by the teachers themselves, who would have an opportunity to present their own practical ideas of delivering Geography through English. The next even will be held in summer and will be a week-long training conducted by Olivier Mentz from the Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg and Daniela Schmeinck from Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe, Germany. It will be a course designed purposely for the Polish Geography teachers who have no formal preparation for teaching English.


Map reading” - a lesson in Geography and English Integrated Learning 

Aleksandra Zaparucha
This article presents a lesson taught at the School Complex number 10 in Toruń during the conference on bilingual Geography teaching, which took place from 5th to 8th October 2006.

Poland - Tools for cross-curricular education in bilingual Geography and History
Poland - Tools for cross-curricular education in bilingual Geography and History

Tools for cross-curricular education in bilingual Geography and History 

Event announcement!

The amazing Ola Zaparucha has sent us an announcement and draft programme for the latest Bilingual Workshop in Torun, Poland, 4-6th October, 2013.

This year the workshop will welcome both Geography and History teachers for the first time.

Announcement here.

Draft programme here.

Poland - Training for ZCC Exhibition Facilitators
Poland - Training for ZCC Exhibition Facilitators

Climate Change in Poland – two days training for ZCC Exhibition facilitators
Warsaw, 19-20.4.2005

The British Council Poland organised a two day workshop of training in preparation for the ZeroCarbonCity Exhibition starting in mid May for 26 people from 11 cities around Poland.  Our host organisers were Beata Grudzinska Beata.Grudzinska@britishcouncil.pl and Marta Lewicka marta.lewicka@britishcouncil.pl.  A major partner in the event was the Unit for Environmental Education Trainers in the person of Anna Batorczak (odiee@geo.uw.edu.pl).
Participants included British library coordinators, Science Museum techinicians, Students, and Ecological Information and Education project coordinators.  The Workshop took place at the Hotel Ibiss on the border of the Old Town in Warsaw, Poland.

Day 1
The first day’s programme focused on the Exhibition, resources, and planning to give the colleagues from 8 British libraries, who would be with us only for the first day, as many ideas as possible on preparation for the coming exhibition.
We began with a discussion on what exactly we understand by the term ‘Popularisation of Science’ and suggestions included:

  • Mediating between the public and the Science
  • Getting the public to DO Science
  • Making Science exciting
  • Presenting Science in a positive light
  • Raising public interest in Science
  • Making Science accessible to the public
  • Getting more people involved
  • Giving the public a positive Science experience
  • Making Science mean something real
  • Bringing Science into everyday lives

Colleagues were also asked to consider a number of factors influencing a successful exhibition initiative and wrap-around events:
  • Ownership
  • Exhibition as resource
  • People/staff
  • Visitors
  • Atmosphere
  • Venue
  • Activities
  • Contacts
  • Publicity
  • Integration                              


The Exhibition itself is a wonderful resource with a series of photo panels and text information panels exploring issues of climate change:
  • Physical Environment – Greenland
  • Development – South Africa
  • Natural Environment – Kenya
  • Human Rights – Marshall Islands
  • Technology – Japan
  • Food – China
  • Health – India
  • Urban Life – Mexico
  • Economy – California
  • Leadership – UK/Germany/NYC


The Exhibition has been prepared in several formats and sizes including a DVD of the materials.  There is also a ‘Selector CD’ of music and interviews on the climate change theme and a book of essays on climate change from famous personalities such as Tony Blair and Leonardo Di Caprio.
As well as the Exhibition, colleagues considered a number of supplementary ‘wrap-around’ activities.  These included the Science Across the World (www.scienceacross.org) climate change packs ‘Global Warming’, ‘Renewable Energy’ and ‘Biodiversity around Us’ and the production of student poster and model mini exhibitions.  Other activities were based around the Middlesex University Teaching Resources climate change kits.  These are kits specifically prepared with the climate change theme in mind (www.mutr.co.uk).
  • Visitors design and build their own solar-powered clock.

  • Visitors design and build their own Solar Gismo from local materials They build their own solar-powered cars, windmills, mosquitoes, toys and, weather permitting, watch as they come to life in the sunshine.

  • Wind-driven windmills offer visitors the chance to construct their own windmill and see it work and produce power on the spot.
  • UV-warning badges can be designed, painted and worn by visitors at the exhibition.

  • Fast-growing seed kits can be handed to visitors to keep and grow at home.

Participants ended the day with the task to prepare an action plan in groups with colleagues from the same geographical locality to help them identify concrete steps in their preparation for the coming exhibition.
Day 2
On the second day, Anna Batorczak presented on the work of the Unit for Environmental Education Trainers and discussion revolved around the debate within the Science community on the strength of the evidence which relates human behaviour to climate change (www.ekoedu.uw.edu.pl).
Colleagues were also given the opportunity to work more closely with Science Across the World and on practical tasks from the materials  - Renewable Energy, Global Warming and Biodiversity around Us  - which can be found at the programme website:
First of all, the colleagues discussed examples they know in their home towns and areas of small scale renewable energy projects.
Responses included solar powered weather stations, solar powered parking metres, biomass fuel projects and others.
Colleagues looked at global warming and were asked to make predictions about the possible effects for Poland.
… and in Biodiversity around Us, colleagues made posters of the variety of plant and animal life in and around Poland.
In the afternoon the participants got there hands on the MUTR kits and created their own mobile telephone UV-warning stickers, and considered how they might best make use of the fast growing seeds by, for example, creating a garden area within their exhibitions based on stages of growth of the Brassica seeds.
Additionally, the colleagues built solar clocks and wind turbines while considering possible problems they may face when working with exhibition visitors.  They were also asked to come up with ideas for making use of the kits creatively.  Ideas included decorating the turbine sails with climate change images, as well as designing a climate change clock face.
A short session was dedicated to web resources available related to the climate change theme.
www.factworld.info – the forum for across the curriculum teaching portal – put your flag here, reports, materials, information.  Ethical English and Share Your World are available on this site.
www.yahoogroups.com Factworld (Forum for Across the Curriculum Teaching) – a group of colleagues to share with, materials, information.  If you join us, there are hoards of files of materials in the website.  ‘The Language of Thinking’ is here.
www.britishcouncil.org ELTeCS (the English Language Teaching Contacts Scheme), LearnEnglish, in2english.  
http://www.greenhousetrust.co.uk/  This is an interesting website with a host of links to sites for various issues and campaigns related to climate change.
www.climateprediction.net  You can find some interesting experiments to get involved in here simply by giving up some of your PC time and space to the project on climate prediction.
http://www-saps.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/ Cambridge University site based on plants and plant science.  Some very nice software presenting the stages of growth of a plant from seed to flower.
www.scienceacross.org Science Across the World (now hosted at ASE link) – database of contacts, and bank of 16 exchange project resources in multiple languages.  Several of the packs are related to the theme of Climate Change.
www.ase.org.uk Association for Science Education – resources.  At the link in the UPD8 archives

Follow up
Colleagues will set up and join an email list at yahoogroups (‘climatepl’) set up to support their work and each other in preparation for the ZCC Exhibition and beyond.
Anna Batorczak will organise translations into Polish of relevant Science Across the World materials to give access to the programme to a wider network of interested teachers in Poland.
Each of the locality groups within the workshop will write up their action plans and send them to the British Council to provide a clear indication of what will be organised in each of the city venues of the ZCC Exhibition and activities.
British Council Bulgaria, ODIEE and I will discuss possibilities for expanding this initial workshop to include other areas of work in Science and Language Education in Poland.
Yet another intensive, fruitful meeting.  I’m exhausted!  And, I can’t wait to be back… very nice people, pierogi, borsch…