John Rutter’s Mass of The Children – The Highlight of Musical Happening in Poland

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Majestic Joint Performance of The Poles and Slovenes

Each of the final three days of our tour in Poland was a unique experience despite the somewhat monotonous schedule: breakfast, practice, lunch, practice, free time, concert. On Thursday night our music sounded off the walls of St. Florian Basilic in Cracow’s city centre, whereas Friday’s concert took place in Miechow. There we performed at the festival of the University of the Third Age, therefore our singing and playing were often interrupted by enthusiastic cheers of elderly ladies. :) Saturday finally came – that was the big day we had all been expecting for the entire week. After packing all our belongings and leaving the hotel, we had some more time to explore Cracow and enjoy the wonderful weather. As the evening was quickly approaching, we could all feel adrenaline working through us and as the final rehearsals weren’t what we had expected, our nervousness was getting only worse. However, our conductor and mentor advised us to relax, do our best and enjoy the good acoustics. The Divine Mercy Church was packed and full of expectation. After the Polish choir, it was time for the Slovenes to perform. After orchestra’s Concerto Grosso in B flat major by Georg Friedrich Handel the choir performed their varied palette of songs that included everything from Slovene folk melodies to spiritual pieces. What all of us had really been anticipating was actually the joint performance of all Polish and Slovene choirs and orchestras. John Rutter’s Mass of the Children was absolutely magnificent – the interlacement of fast and slow, joyful and melancholic intricate melodies created by the choirs, the symphonic orchestra and the soprano and baritone soloists touched everyone’s hearts and resounded in our ears throughout the magical evening. Still touched by the majestic last chord of Rutter’s masterpiece it was time for us to leave Poland and return back home. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such talented young musicians, to make new friendships and get an insight into the Polish culture and lifestyle. I am sure every one of us could agree that each concert was a new unforgettable adventure. We are looking forward to playing music with our Polish friends in the future Music to Life exchanges. /Anja Tršek, year 4/

Music to Life: From Zakopane to Krakow

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Rehearsals are an Important Part of Any Music Tour

The second reporting from the music tour to Poland runs as follows: on Monday 8th October 2018, we said goodbye to Zakopane and proceeded our journey to Krakow. In the morning we drove to Wieliczka, where we visited the famous salt mines. We could see the underground corridors, learn about the history of mines, touch and taste rock salt and even sing in the fascinating concert hall the chapel of St. Kinga. Its carved walls and floors as well as chandeliers were absolutely impressive. In late afternoon hours we finally made it to our main destination, Krakow. Some students left with their host families, while the rest of us had lunch at the hotel. We spent the evening walking down the picturesque main square of Krakow and singing to people in the streets.

The next morning the orchestra and the choir made their way to the Polish conservatory where we had separate rehearsals. Later, the Polish students guided us through the Old Town and surprised us with some interesting legends about Krakow. During our free time we took some pictures, had a cup of coffee or one of the delicious famous doughnuts, maybe took a carriage ride and keenly absorbed Krakow’s lively life. The relaxed afternoon was followed by two intense hours of rehearsal for Rutter’s Mass of the Children, which we will perform on the main concert on Saturday. The start was chaotic as about 150 energetic musicians couldn’t concentrate and just kept chatting. However, by the end of the rehearsal, some parts of the magical melodies sounded quite promising.

On Wednesday morning we had some joint rehearsals again and were excited about the progress we had managed to make so far. The Slovene orchestra and the choir got on the bus once more and drove to Nowy Sacz, where we had our third concert. Having performed versatile melodies in the beautiful Town Hall, we had dinner and returned to Krakow to get some sleep for the rest of our busy tour in Poland. /Anja Tršek, year 4/

Music To life – Erasmus+ Exchange to Krakow, Poland

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Night Singing Rules

The String Orchestra and St. Stanislav Youth Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium will take part in the Erasmus+ exchange Music to Life program from 5th – 14th October 2018. This will be a return the visit to the Polish students who visited St. Stanislav’s Institution in May 2018. Approximately 90 students and teachers got on the bus and set off at around 10 in the evening.

On Saturday morning we arrived to our first destination, Zakopane, a smaller city and famous winter resort. Excitement visibly filled us with energy and hid our lack of sleep caused by the night drive. After settling in our hotel we had some free time which most of us used to take a walk around the lovely town or hike up a small hill right above our hotel in order to enjoy the breath taking view of Zakopane. Saturday afternoon was the time for our first short concert in one of the local churches. The friendly audience gave us a huge round of applause and eagerly asked for another song although we weren’t too satisfied with our performance. We spent the rest of the evening exploring Zakopane by taking a walk through the city center, enjoying local food and live music in small cosy cafes.

On Sunday morning both the orchestra and the choir participated at the holy mass. After that, we impatiently waited to see what “lunch with a surprise” on our programs meant. We were more than thrilled to see horse carriages waiting for us! Local coachmen took us to a big meadow where Polish girls dressed in national costumes welcomed us with their traditional music. They set up fires on which we grilled our lunch while singing Slovenian and Polish songs. In the end we all sang to the melodies of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love as one. This was a wonderful introduction to our least favourite part of the day – practice. We spent the rest of the afternoon working on our pieces and were proud to see some major improvement as hours passed.

All of us are having a wonderful time and are looking forward to our departure to Krakow where we’ll finally meet our Polish friends once again. /Anja Tršek, year 4/

Eurostronomia, Erasmus+, Transnational Project Meeting 2

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Inspiring environment & good friends – both to be found in Targoviste, Rumania

From 7th to 11th July 2018 the second Transnational project meeting of the project Eurostonomia, Erasmus+ took place in Targoviste, Rumania. Two teachers and two students from St. Stanislav’s took part: Martin Čokl, Anton Križnar, Aleks Kaapre Rehtijärvi and Alenka Battelino.

This is the first time that students participate in project meetings so that their voice will be also heard throughout the project. This time they were working on composing guidelines for all future Erasmus+ students. They presented their findings at the plenary meeting held on the last day of the meeting. According to the coordinator of the project Mrs Susan Coontz (Wellington School, Scotland) they accomplished their work with excellence and contributed greatly to the success of the meeting.

We enjoyed the hospitality of the partner school Colegiul National Constantin Cantacuzino. All the partners participated in reviewing the activities realized in the first year of the project and intensively planning the activities for the second year. The feedback of national agencies were discussed. The stargazing activity was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather conditions. We visited the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology from Valahia University of Targoviste and Museum of Human Evolution and Technology in Paleolithic, Stelea Monastery,”The Royal Court” Museum, Townhall and Old City Center.

It was another wonderful experience working in the inspiring environment of good friends. We all appreciated generous hospitality and thorough organization of the managing team at Colegiul National Constantin Cantacuzino. We all look forward to our next teaching learning activity which will take place in Scotland between 16th and 23rd September 2018. /Alenka Battelino, project coordinator/

Launch of the New Erasmus+ Project Eurostronomia

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St. Stanislav’s Insittution is glad to announce that another Erasmus+ project was granted funds for the next three years, from September 2017 –  August 2020.

Eurostronomia is an Erasmus+ project connecting eight schools in eight countries, Bulgaria (SOU Emilyan Stanev, Veliko Tarnovo), France (OGEC Saint Dominique, Mortefontaine), Germany (Mallinckrodt Gymnasium, Dortmund), Macedonia (SUGS Georgi Dimitrov, Skopje), Portugal (Escola Secundaria Henrique Medina, Esposende), Romania (Colegiul national “Constantin Cantacuzino”, Targoviste),  Slovenia (Zavod Sv. Stanislava, Ljubljana) and the UK,  Scotland (Wellington School, Ayr).

Our main theme is Astronomy and through our collaboration we will strengthen STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills, communication skills and European citizenship. /Alenka Battelino, project coordinator/

Teaching Learning Activity 6 in Dortmund, Germany

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By Островский Александр, Киев – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12427825

The last Teaching Learning Activity as a part of the project Art Nouveau – Art Renouveau, Erasmus +, will take place from 2nd – 8th April 2017 and is organized by one of the partner schools Mallinckrodt Gymnasium in Dortmund, Germany. The participants will first get to know the characteristics of Art Nouveau movement in the region, in particular in Dortmund, and then participate in various artistic workshops, thus learning the techniques of the period and adding a personal modern touch to the artefacts. Students and teachers from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Rumania, Scotland and Slovenia are to join in. The mentor of the project at St. Stanislav’s Institution is Alenka Battelino, teacher of English.

Arrival day, Sunday, 2nd April 2017

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We came to Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport at 5.30 in the morning and checked in our luggage. Our plane took off at 7.05 and we arrived at the Frankfurt Airport 10 minutes ahead of schedule. We collected our luggage and went to McDonald’s to have breakfast. Then, after a rather lengthy halt, we left the airport at 1.09 pm. We drove through German countryside and arrived at the Dortmund Central Railway Station at 15.30 where our host families were already waiting for us. In the evening, they accommodated us in a hospitable way. We went to bed quite early because we were tired of the long journey. /Martin, year 2/

 

Day One, Monday, 3rd April 2017

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Warm Welcome

As usual, the first day was dedicated to getting to know each other, welcoming speeches and drawing up programme plans. It happened to be a farewell day for the graduate students of Mallinckrodt Gymnasium. To celebrate the occasion the school was turned into a circus and the rest of the students bid good-bye to the graduates in amusing and original ways.

It was an early start, though. Accompanied by our host students the participants attended the opening ceremony including the school orchestra, presentations about Dortmund and Germany as well as the principal’s speech. A warm welcome was followed by a coffee break after which the students showed us around their school and at noon we had lunch. After that, we were divided into several mixed groups and students showed us around the city. In the late afternoon we gathered by the Phoenix Lake where we took some time off and talked about our first day in Germany.

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Day Two, Tuesday, 4th April 2017

6:00 The first thing that I think about, when I hear the sound of my alarm in the morning, is how much I want to go back to sleep. The second thing is that I`m in Dortmund and it`s the second day of my exchange already. I guess time really does fly when you`re having as much fun as we are.

I manage to get ready and greet the Bulgarian girl that´s staying with the same family as me, and soon we are all on the bus to school, and our host, Mareike, is showing us all the famous buildings we can see from the window.

8:00 Although I love the friends I have made so far on this exchange and my host, it`s lovely to hear the sound of my mother tongue – Slovene again. I quickly join in the group to chat about our host families and people from other schools. That is until a lady announces that we are supposed to leave for workshops very soon. I follow the instructions and join my group in light painting, where me and my Slovene partner Gabrijela have a lot of fun while creating a host of images with different lights and patterns.

11:00 A short break and much needed coffee with croissants after dancing around the school basement with different colourful lights. Chatting with friends while watching the German seniors dressed up as different historical personalities walking around school. After the second part of our workshops, we meet in the forum where we have a singing lesson and although it`s hard, we do try our best at singing Ode to Joy in German. After that, we gather in Mensa (the school cafeteria), where we enjoy our lunch and free time.

13:00 Soon we gather on two different buses, headed to Zeche Zollern, a colliery with many Art Nouveau elements. After a very interesting tour (that our guide managed to do in only an hour), we climb to the top of the building where we get an amazing view of the whole city lying in front of us. After a few necessary group photos, we are already heading home.

16:00 The weather is amazing and the company is even better, so the day is perfect for a trip to the city park. And that is exactly what we do – we buy some food, find some comfortable seats by the lake and enjoy the sunshine. It`s really amazing how people from 5 different countries can have so much in common when they start talking and having fun.

22:00 After a long day, I`m grateful for a warm bed that awaits me in my room and an amazing host family that makes sure I`m as comfortable and happy as I can be. /Jerneja, year 2/

 

Teaching Learning Activity 5 in Montefontaine, France

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Setting off to France

 Arrival Day, Sunday, 25th September 2016

Today, on 25th September at 10.15 you can see in front of St. Stanislav’s Institution a group of pupils wearing blue hoodies, waiting for a drive. Ten students, three teachers and one destination: FRANCE. Last year we hosted pupils from five countries namely Bulgaria, Scotland, France, Germany adn Slovenia as a part of Erasmus + project and this year it is our turn to go somewhere new. This is the one but last exchange to happen as a part of Erasmus + project, that is also why we are all even more excited. With  students  we are preparing a little show that will take place in the most known part of Paris. But first, we will drive to Venice and from there fly to Paris, where our hosting families will pick us up. Thus, our »bonjour and croissant journey« will begin. /Anika Odar, year 3/

 

Day one, Monday, 26th September 2016 – The City of Love

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Opening meeting

My first day in France began with a song. It must have been love. I woke up and realized it was pretty cold even though I had a really warm pyjama. I hurried and dressed up and went to get some breakfast. After that, Ruby (a friend from Scotland), Claire (my host) and I went to St. Dominique, the school, where we got instructions for the following day. We also got really cute sketch books for drawing as a welcoming present. Then we were divided into three groups that visited the city separately.

Our group went to a very nice house called Lalique. The facade is decorated with spruce trunks and leaves. It looks really odd, but nice. I liked it quite a lot. Then we walked to the Alexander III Bridge that symbolizes peace between Russia and France. We spent a lot of tim e looking at all the elements of the bridge. We walked over the bridge on one side and then back on the other, and stopped at each of the statues on it. After that, we walked to the Grand Palais where we took our first group photo.We also walked over the Elysian field on our way to a park where we had lunch. It was beautiful and the sun came out of the clouds so it was warm too, but we did not know if we could walk on the grass, so we just stayed on the bench and ate our sandwiches.

The Maxim’s was our next stop. It is a private collection of the Art nouveau paintings, furniture, decorations, etc. It has been a great privilege to come and see such a collection, however I did not like the guide, though. The old opera house and Galeries Lafayette were left for the end of the day and it was a perfect ending. The Lafayette is breath-taking and I liked the view from the roof a lot. I fell in love with the ‘city of love’ the first time I visited it and I’m definitely coming back. The city is so lovely and it has really great buildings which I personally love. I will be back on Friday. /Monika Lah, year 3/

Day two, Tuesday, 27th September 2016

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Some work for hands and heart

Today was the second day of the Erasmus exchange. After the first day in Paris, which was quite tiring, we started today on much easier feet. It was the first day of workshops. We started at 8:45 in the morning, which was kind of late for us, but quite early for the French. We got separated in 3 groups and each group was doing a different task. The first group was creating movies, the second group was working with clay and the third one, which I was a part of, was making stained glass. Our group was led by a French stain glassmaker. He was a very kind and funny man. He only spoke French so we also had a translator who was even funnier than him. Our work began with a design in our head. Then we had to draw our design on a piece of card board. After doing so, we numbered our stencil, traced our picture twice on a thinner see-through paper and thus our work was done for today. We also learned how to cut glass and how to use it properly. In the afternoon we had a lecture about motion picture and after that we watched the movie called Midnight in Paris. We finished our day with a very French like (rather slow) flashmob rehearsal, which we would dance on Friday in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris. /Jerica Korpnik, year 3/

Day three, Wednesday, 28th September 2016

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Most effective – learning on the spot

The third day of Erasmus+ exchange is coming to its finish line but my description of this day is just about to get started. Firstly, I have to say that I am becoming a bigger fan of French breakfast with every following morning. A French baguette with some butter as well as marmalade with chocolate croissants perfectly melt in the mouth. In the school, my team and I continued with creating the movie, which is going to be finished tomorrow. We filmed our story that we had written yesterday and tomorrow we are going to put all the clips together and make the real film. It definitely is an interesting experience; firstly because I work with students from other countries (Germany, Scotland, Romania) and secondly because we had to think about how to shoot the clips to make the best out of it. Our concern was also the fact that we were using costumes. After lunch, I attended another workshop where we were making jewellery. I am the only guy in the Slovenian team at this exchange but that’s OK and I am the only guy at this workshop as well but honestly I have no idea what I’m doing there. We have that workshop tomorrow as well so we can finish our job and I am going to use my necklace as a gift when we get back to Slovenia (if it looks nice of course). At the end, we practised the dance for the Friday’s flash mob and I think we are doing pretty well. Anyhow, I have to say that the day was interesting. We learned a lot of new things and will surely continue with that tomorrow and that’s why I’m really looking forward to the following day. /Tim Gregorčič, year 3/

Day four, Thursday, 29th  September 2016

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Tinkara absorbed in her craft

The penultimate day of Art Nouveau – art Renouveau exchange in France was meant to finish our weekly work and prepare well for our flash mob, which will take place on Friday in Paris.

After our arrival to school, we were divided into groups for our morning workshops, like on Tuesday and Wednesday. Together with Jerica we were in stain glass workshop. When we arrived to our working place, we were positively surprised, because the background for our stained glass has already been cut and prepared to put the pieces together. With that move, Mr Jean Claude made our work easier, because we were able to start constructing together all the pieces immediately. When Mr Jean Claude was showing us how to work, everything seemed very simple, but we soon discovered it was anything but easy. In fact, putting pieces together was very demanding. As the pieces did not match perfectly, we had to cut them all over again or adjust the edges. That took up a lot of time, so we only partly finished our masterpieces. Luckily, Mr Jean Claude kindly offered his help to finish our work. For the Friday’s exhibition, hopefully the stained glass master will succeed in finishing our work.

After lunch, we got back to school, where we were divided into groups for the afternoon workshops. We took part in glass workshop. We felt overwhelmed, especially Katarina, because we have finally had the opportunity to learn how to create pearls from Murano glass. Glass was in a form of a small stick, so it was easier to deal with the task. We took the glass stick in one hand and the metallic one in the other hand. Under the flame we first warmed up the metallic stick and then we slowly started to smelt the glass. As the glass was smelting, we wrapped it around the metallic stick. When we were happy with our pearl, we took it away from the flame and waited until it cooled down and solidified. With the pearl, we could create a piece of jewellery which was to be exhibited on Friday.

The day ended with our last rehearsal for the flash mob in Paris. This time we all had our “country shirt”- Slovenians the green ones – and we all together, this time almost professionally, rehearsed the entire choreography. Satisfied with our performance we went to our host families. /Katarina Babič and Katja Jenko, year 3/

 

Flash News: Fancy a Visit Chez Maxim’s?

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Two Thrilled DCG Students Chez Maxim’s

Monday, 26th September 2016, brought about many surprises. It was the first time for me to wake up in a French bed, drive around with a Frenchman, look at the Eiffel Tower and visit  Maxim’s. Maxim’s is the fanciest restaurant in Paris. In the time of Art Nouveau all the French  – young and old – who were ready to dance to a spectacular music and see some friends or courtesans, met there. The film Midnight in Paris (which we watched on Tuesday) showed us what a party at Maxim’s looked like. A lot of elegant dresses, alcohol and some food.

Now in 2016 you can also feel the energy of the early nineties on a tourist visit around the house or at night when this place is a restaurant. For one person it costs 200€ to get “an art nouveau” night. However, it costs you less money if you take a tour during the day. Here is a part of their menu so that you get an impression of how much money we are talking about: Maxim’s Nest Salad 27 €, Poached quail eggs with Baeri caviar (30 gr) 125 €, Duck paté with foie gras and truffles 43 €, Baeri caviar with blinis (50 gr) 197 €, Roasted fillet of beef, reduced sauce with black truffles and puffed potatoes 103 €, Edward VII Lamb chops with artichokes puree and glazed turnips. 78 €, Fresh and ripened cheeses assortment 25 €, Coffee 9 €

So, how does it look like it? Nowadays we would say that it is too much. Too many flowers, too many vases and too many oval sculptures. On the ground floor there is a restaurant, with a bar, many tables and a dance floor and stage. Art nouveau is all about nature, animals and women. Even the lamp is no exception. After that, there is the first floor, there are some rooms, and two of them are decorated with mirrors on the opposite walls, so the room seems bigger. They are for rent if you want to host a party and if you want to make it special. You can also write on the invitation that one time even Mary Antoinette danced in those rooms. The view is very French, too. On the second floor, you can see in one room an exhibition of vases from different countries and furniture of oval shape and with flowers to open the drawer. Pierre Cardin, the owner of the place, had collected the items for 60 years. When you go through different rooms you meet women of art nouveau, one you will definitely recognise is a film actress Sarah Bernhardt during the First World War. She showed commitment to her nation through her participation in performances at the front, appearance in propaganda productions and the campaign suggesting  the United States to enter the war. She was also called “The Divine Sarah”. And if you are lucky enough there will be a really into “art nouveau” man, who represents the period as if it was now. If you want to see all this by yourself do it quickly because the owner is an old man and when someone else buys the Maxim’s, it is not sure what he will do with it. It might even become a shop. It is definitely worth going to Paris and see it. /Monika Lah and Anika Odar, year 3/

 

Outdoor Learning in The Czech Republic

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In front of the tipi

The »Outdoor« seminar was held in Týnec nad Labem from 18th – 22nd April 2016. Nine participants from Germany, Romania, Hungary, Spain and myself joined the event.

Understandably, the entire seminar was set outdoors, setting off with making a tipi tent, which was occasionally used as a shelter against cold wind and also as a kitchen where some of our meals were prepared.Forest served as a playground for a day and we learned through various games how to use our senses. We visited primary school Základní škola in Týnec nad Labem where we enjoyed staff’s hospitality and exchanged good teaching practice.

I learned about the importance of teacher’s body language and voice, which quite often turn out to be more important than the actual content/topic in the process of learning. I realised the need to ask myself five important questions when preparing the lessons: what, how, where, when and why. Teachers should focus more on motivation before lessons and be aware of the importance of voluntary, non-competitive games in the process of learning. Outdoor activities are closely related to personal and social development, environmental education, overall exploration, while the materials for all the activities are there, waiting to be used and then returned with a sentence: “Thank you, Nature!”

I have realised that teachers at the Alojzij Šuštar Primary School know how to use the »little paradise« in our school’s surroundings and try hard at outdoor education. I believe seminar participants were excited to hear about the good practice provided there. /Tina Šetina/

Teaching Learning Activity 4 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Teaching Learning Activity 4 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

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Veliko Tarnovo

 

Teaching Learning Activity as a part of the project Art Nouveau – Art Renouveau, Erasmus +, will take place from 11th – 18th April, 2016 in Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria. The purpose of the seven-day activities is to learn about the Art Nouveau movement in Bulgaria and to create new ‘art renouveau’ works of art. Students and teachers from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Rumania, Slovenia and Scotland create pieces of art together and  enjoy each other’s company.  The mentor of the project at St. Stanislav’s Institution was Alenka Battelino, teacher of English.

 

 Arrival Day, Sunday, 10th April 2016

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Welcoming music

On Sunday we met at the airport at 8am and set off for Bulgaria. We first arrived to Sofia, the capital of the coutry, and took a bus to Veliko Tarnovo where we would be staying. From the start, I found Bolgaria very interesting. Within the first few minutes, we saw two horses and a donkey walking across the street. Tarnovo, however, is much different and more similar to some Slovenian cities. /Maja Peklenik/

 

 

 

 

Day One, Monday, 11th April, 2016

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Glass work

On Monday, we met at their school at 8.50. They introduced some history of the country and told us a few facts about it. They also held a talent show, where they taught us some of their traditional music.

After lunch, we had workshops in the theme of Art Noveau. There were three different activities possible: making painted pendants, glass drawing and mirror and felting. We spent the afternoon with our host families.

I can already tell this will be a great exchange. /Maja Peklenik/

 

 

Day Two, Tuesday, 12th April, 2016

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Handcrafted Flovers

On our second day in Veliko Tarnovo we went to the old city center and learned a lot about Bulgarian history and history of Veliko Tarnovo. After the trip around the old town we had workshops in school, during which we created handcrafted flowers out of wool.

This morning we gathered at 9:30 right next to the Mother Bulgaria monument. From there we proceeded to the old town, where we saw sights such as the monkey house, Tsarevets, monument dedicated to famous Bulgarian rulers, a monument dedicated to the Bulgarian merchant Hadji Nikoli and a famous Bulgarian inn.  During our many stops we had a short break dedicated to souvenir shopping and town sightseeing. I was impressed by what a lovely medieval town Veliko Tarnovo looks like and how much history there is behind it. Later on, we went to a restaurant, where we ate Bulgarian mushroom stew, steaks with mashed potatoes and delicious dessert. After lunch, we returned to school where we had workshops. This time I was felting, therefore I created woolen flowers with the help of Bulgarian students and teachers. The creativity of various students and teachers was just amazing, and I think we created some beautiful handwork. We were also pleasantly surprised, when we saw ourselves in a local newspaper. /Matija Trošt/

Day Three, Wednesday, 13th April, 2016

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Ruse, Bulgaria

Wednesday started a little bit differently than any other day. We gathered earlier, e. i. at 8 a.m., and filled up three buses prepared for this occasion. I was on bus No. 3 and our group went on a trip to the city of Ruse. Because we drove there for quite a while, I played cards with two of the French girls. It was interesting to see that we have so many very similar games. We also played a completely French game. However, the trip ended, rather too soon to my taste, and we got to our destination. Ruse is a wonderful city with many interesting Art-Nouveau sights. After the guided tour through the city, our team had an hour- long break. Because the temperatures were very high everyone was a little bit lazy, so in the end two of my friends and me went around the city. My first goal was to reach the river Danube and when doing so, a very beautiful view opened. Some minutes and photos later we found ourselves walking back to the meeting point. The most interesting thing that I noticed was how intertwined the present and the past are. I saw an old church next to modern houses and old rotting warehouses as well as a railroad near modern sidewalks and roads. The present does not mind the past, it seems the city wants to give an impression there is no connection between the two. However, I noticed it. Moreover, I will remember it. After the break, we went to the museum that showed how people lived back then. Later on we visited two monasteries near the mountains. Because everything was beautiful, we went hiking for some time. After this incredible sightseeing, we returned into present life. Our (only) time. Everyone enjoyed the trip and nobody will ever forget it. /Peter Berkopec, year 2/

Day Five, Friday, 15th April, 2016

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Bulgaria- through- my- eyes poster

In the morning I woke up to my favourite tune of Bandiera rossa. For breakfast I had burek and some coffee, while sending yesterday’s journal articles to prof. Podlipnik, who had given me the task of collecting everybody’s journal articles. After breakfast my host, my co-partner Ema and me went to school, which was luckily just a 5- minute walk away. I had a workshop, where Špela, Ema and me made a poster entitled Bulgaria through my eyes.

Then we had 4 hours of free time, so we went for lunch in a fancy restaurant, which I do not usually do. We also went to two shops, where the girls bought some make up. Of course, I was suffering like in Tartarus. To make it up to me they bought me an ice cream with caramel spread! Because we had too little time, we took the bus to school. The bus was full of people, and they were not grannies returning from the market with fresh salad, but people from our exchange. When we all went off the bus, only two passengers remained there. (I checked). In school we had an exhibition of the stuff me made during workshops this week. During the final speeches, we were given diplomas, and I must say that the Slovenians besides the French were given the biggest applaud. A group photo was also taken (shame on our teachers, who did not represent Slovenia in the midst of paparazzi). Endless goodbyes followed, during which hands were shaken, hugs were given, friends were added on fb and selfies were taken. We returned to the host’s flat to deposit of our stuff and then we went for pizza. /Nika Podakar, year 2/

 

Course for Non-Native Speakers of Spanish in Puerto de la Crus, Tenerife

Daša_Tenerife
Third From Left Daša Oberč Amidst Teachers of Spanish in Tenerife

A training course for teachers  of Spanish entitled Curso para profesores de español no nativos was held in the city of Puerto de la Cruz located in the northern part of the island of Tenerife between 7th – 11th March 2016. There were four participants in the course (two teachers from Denmark, one from Norway and myself). The course was held in a language school which is attended by different profiles of learners (groups are heterogeneous with learners from different countries; in addition to high-school and university students there are also quite many adults who want to learn or improve their Spanish). Before the start of the training course, we were invited to fill out a longer questionnaire on the topics we want to concentrate on, the activities we want to become familiar with and the chapters of the Spanish language and culture we want to pay special attention to. We also had a great opportunity to exchange good practice with each other.

One part of the course was dedicated to attending different Spanish language courses ranging from A1 to B2. After the visits, we paid attention to various topics discussed in these courses (such as ser y estar, el subjuntivo, el factor lúdico en la enseñanza del léxico, la teatralización como recurso en el aula, el contraste entre los pasados, la tecnología en la enseñanza de idiomas) and enriched them with examples of good practice, reflections and exchanges of didactic materials. In the afternoons, we took part in different activities (lectures on culture, language, history, sports, holidays on the Canary Islands, etc.) or did some sightseeing (Museum of El Teide National Park, botanical gardens …). I really appreciate the professional and friendly attitude of our teachers both during the classes and in the free time. I would like to stay in touch with them via social platforms to exchange materials for teaching Spanish. The selected topics that were discussed in the course are very useful for teachers of Spanish. It was interesting to see how particular grammar issues are practised at different levels. In the past, the Canary Islands were a link between Europe, Africa and Americas, which is reflected nowadays in the language (vocabulary, intonation, and pronunciation), architecture, culture, and society. Spanish as a world language is very diverse, therefore, it is extremely important to be able to present and spread the knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world to your students.

I informed our foreign language teachers’ group about the training course. In addition, I will also share the materials I got at the course with my colleagues. /Daša Deželak Oberč/