Workshop: Setting up Standards for English language and foreign language in primary and secondary education in Kosovo

Date: 08 September 2010, Venue: HOTEL AFA, Prishtinë

National Qualifications Authority (NQA) in close cooperation with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and local actors in Kosovo have launched an ambitious project for setting up standards for foreign language classes in all levels within private and public sector. One of main goals of NAK was to ensure that standards and assessment of foreign classes are closely link with Common European Framework of Reference.

The respective  event “Setting up Standards for English Language and foreign language education in Kosovo” was organized by NAK, MEST and British Council in Kosovo on 08.10.2010. The opening of this event was made by Minister of Education, Science and Technology Mr. Enver Hoxhaj.
British Ambassador in Kosovo Mr. Andy Sparkes made a speech for all participants and he emphasized the importance of above mentioned standards.
The participants during that day were form local government, public and private schools that will provide foreign language classes as well participants from universities.
Invited were also participants from Cambridge University ESOL Examination for presentation of “Linkage between School Programs and Joint European Reference”. This presentation was headed by Mr. Bob Obee who discussed some practical issues in relation of linkage between school programs and syllabus, adapting school programs with existing knowledge gained during teaching, training of teachers and assessing achievement, among other issues he also mentioned couple of examples regarding Cambridge ESOL and assistance that this University provided for different Ministry’s and different countries around the world. 
Some feedback was requested from participants to order to reveal their desired aims in relation to foreign language and assessment in Kosovo and presented recommendations were that foreign language should be divided in two phases: one year goal and five year goal.
The desirable achievements or results were that students to be submitted in lower primary cycles A2, Higher primary cycles B1(age 16 year’s), high cycles B2 (age 18 year’s). During 5 years the main goal is to achieve above mentioned output levels: Primary output A2, high output (age 14 year’s) B1, secondary output (age 16 year’s) B2 and high output C1.
One of the focus of the event was to help teachers to achieve a level of awareness teaching methodology that would orient them toward implementation of given recommendations. TKT were accepted as a important initial point so that currently the plans are being developed for 150 teachers who are interested for above mentioned courses and to achieve test results in beginning of 2011.
NAK is also involved in implementing the plan for accreditation of foreign language schools and other discussions regarding minimal requirements for teachers.
Suggestion that Advanced C1 was used as minimal requirement for teachers up to B2 and TKT/CELTA/DELTA it seems that it will establish a solid base for teachers with different qualifications.
Mr. Michael Carty from Cambridge University ESOL praised NAK for their engagement in relation with establishing standards and assessing foreign language learning and emphasized that Cambridge University is privileged to participate in a such development in a country with such young population which is motivated and determined toward success.
This type of engagement i.e. establishing standards places Kosovo in front of a effective implementation of foreign language learning policies and can be a point of reference for other regional countries.