During the fifth edition of the FOR-UNI Forum of University Centres for the Teaching of Foreign Languages, on May 27, 2022, the Centre for Foreign Languages of the University of Gdańsk hosted representatives of language teaching centres from over a dozen universities in Poland. The meeting once again became an opportunity to exchange experiences in the organisation of language teaching and improving the quality of language education at universities. Particular attention was paid to the cooperation of language centres with the economic sector, organisation of individual language courses for students with disabilities and discussion of the results of a survey: 'Remote learning in lectures during a pandemic'.
The FOR-UNI Forum was launched in November 2019, at the premises of the School of Foreign Languages of the UW at the initiative of the Centre for Foreign Languages of the UG in collaboration with the University of Warsaw and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. The Forum aims to develop academic cooperation in initiating and supporting processes aimed at raising the profile of foreign language teaching at universities and other higher education institutions, to create a platform for the exchange of good teaching, organisational and managerial practices, and to actively participate in shaping national language policy in the field of higher education.
It is the fifth time that the Centre for Foreign Languages of the University of Gdańsk has undertaken to organise the Forum. Due to the pandemic, the previous three editions were held remotely, on the MS Teams platform. This time, the participants could meet for the first time in the seat of CJO UG, at the Faculty of Economics in Sopot. The official partners of the event were: Pearson and State Street, and JM Rector UG prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski took the event under honorary patronage.
The meeting was officially opened by the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Quality of Education, prof. dr hab. Arnold Kłonczyński, who welcomed all guests - managers, directors and persons responsible for organisation and quality of education from eleven Polish universities: Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, University of Warsaw, University of Silesia in Katowice, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, University of Wrocław, University of Rzeszów, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, University of Łódź, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and University of Gdańsk. The meeting was chaired by the Director of the Centre for Foreign Languages UG, mgr Alina Swebocka.
During the first panel discussion, all language centres presented their current organisation of foreign language courses at their respective universities. Then, mgr Adam Czajkowski, Director of the Centre for Practical Foreign Language Teaching at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, shared with the audience the main assumptions of SPNJO's original project on cooperation with the business sector. Another topic discussed was remote learning during a pandemic. Mgr Barbara Kubica-Daniel, from the Centre for Foreign Languages UG, presented the preliminary results of an original study by CJO UG on the impact of remote learning on the development of language skills.
In the second part of the meeting, the discussion covered the organisation of individual classes for students with disabilities. The participants listened to a presentation by mgr Marianna Gagan, CJO Coordinator for cooperation with the Office for Persons with Disabilities. They then discussed the best way to organise such classes in terms of necessary adaptations, forms of completing the course and, above all, the unquestionable benefit for students using such classes.
Moreover, participants of the Forum could also take part in a psychological workshop 'Leader's Quartet' conducted by Mr Bartłomiej Janiak from Pearson and visit the most interesting tourist attractions in Gdańsk with a guide, mgr Magdalena Broniewska-Lenarczyk, senior lecturer at CJO UG.
The next meeting within the continuation of FOR-UNI is planned for September 2022.