News from Sarajevo – Students take to “Callanizing” online!
7th April 2020
As the coronavirus situation doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon, switching to online teaching is a great way for schools to be able to keep their lessons going through this challenging period until they can open their doors again. Here at CMO, we’re committed to helping schools to do that, whether it be via the Online Callan Classroom, which has been specifically designed for Callan Method lessons and is full of helpful features, or via one of the other platforms that are available, like Skype or Zoom. We’ve also made it much easier for schools to buy our eBooks and sell them to their students, just as they would with our printed books.
So, there’s hopefully no reason why schools can’t keep providing their students with the Callan Method lessons they know and love. As an example, here’s a blog post that was kindly sent to us by Naida Dervišhalidović, the Executive Director of Magaza, a Callan Accredited School in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, telling us how they’ve been managing so far:
“While so many people are currently homebound because of COVID-19, there’s one “venue” that remains open 24/7 – the internet! Audio/video instruction is now the medium of choice (and necessity!) for schools and universities, and, while people might feel more comfortable with the idea of online meetings, or even workouts!, e-learning is something that many students have not had a chance to try out for themselves.
A few weeks ago, the same may have been true for Callan students in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where COVID-19 has caused the country to impose lockdowns and curfews. Located in Baščaršija, the heart of the old town, Magaza Callan Accredited School, having been forced to suspend all face-to-face classes, introduced online sessions for our group and individual lessons, which would normally be held face-to-face on-site at Magaza, the building that is also home to Sarajevo’s favorite specialty shop that offers music, music-themed items and unique gift ideas inspired by the country’s most renowned singer-songwriter, Dino Merlin.
At Magaza we were quick to react to the COVID-19 crisis by closing the school and shifting face-to-face lessons to the Online Callan Classroom, and the school has transitioned well. It has made us think fast, act fast and, overall, be creative and innovative! We have, thus far, successfully transitioned 70% of our Callan General English adult groups to the Online Callan Classroom as well as 100% of our one-to-one students. Some students have opted out (i.e. corporate clients, groups in which we have students who are doctors, teachers themselves and/or whose jobs require them to work irregular hours, or more than usual during the pandemic crisis). We have not transitioned any of the Callan for Kids groups yet, since they are currently overburdened with their regular online schoolwork and require parental supervision.
In addition to the lively online interaction, cheery chats between lessons, positive feedback and thank-you messages, we’ve also noticed that, as a result of their online immersion, our students (including Callan for Kids pupils) are now also making more frequent and more effective use of the Callan Student Practice Area and Callan Method app. There have also been some lighthearted moments: a student in one of the groups exclaimed that when they saw one of their teachers, Senad, on the screen, they couldn’t stop laughing, because now they finally had a “familiar face” in their homes!
While occasional glitches and audio/video delays can hinder the speed of delivery and reproduction during lessons, students remain happy with the online version of their Callan classes. In a way, it has sped up the inevitable – online education and new business models for language learning are the future – and it has helped our students embrace ‘the online’ more readily and more quickly than under ‘normal’ circumstances.
We’re keen to promote the ease of having lessons from the comfort of one’s living room, and the online learning option is now viewed as a promising post-Corona business model. Based on feedback, we are convinced that these online sessions are a great and high-quality alternative to our face-to-face Callan experience, and are committed to turning this challenge into an opportunity for even more students across BiH and beyond who can benefit from the Callan experience in the future!
I applaud the efforts of my entire team during these trying and uncertain times, as we look forward to welcoming new students to the Callan Online community and inviting more learners to “Callanize” in Sarajevo as well as online!”
You can learn more about Magaza here.
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