Over the last ten years, Ardita Bazelli has been teaching at the LSIA Korca branch, where she helps young students learn English. Portrayed as an asset for LSIA, Bazelli has become one with the mission of this school: “Offering a bright future to the students all around the world. We do not only teach students a language, through our teaching, but we also instill in each student the virtue of tolerance and good understanding.”
In this exclusive interview, Bazelli walks through her career showcasing the role of LSIA on it as well as her objectives to offer to the students an effective teaching performance by instilling in them the feeling of being confident in using the language and gain autonomy.
All her efforts go around a model. “I have considered myself lucky to have been taught by the best teacher in the world- she is Mrs. Merita Sotiri. As a teacher, she could make her students love this language,” Bazelli said, adding “This was due to her deep knowledge and passion for the English language.”
How would you describe your professional life and what is the impact of LSIA on it?
In a simple phrase, I would describe my professional life as a multifaceted teaching journey. Why multifaceted? Currently, I am teaching English in one of the most prestigious college schools in Albania, Preca college. It is a school, the dimensions of which, motivate and support you to grow more professionally.
Previously, I was an English teacher in ‘’Agimi ‘’ primary school in Maliqi town, a school with the inherited desire to educate generations with bright futures. Leading young students in various national and international projects and school debates in the English language, winning various awards equipped them with life skills ready to embrace the global citizen.
Also, teaching in high school and the university has given me the possibility to understand the outlook of an older student towards the study of the English language. An outlook that has encouraged me to search, study, apply various teaching methods and techniques, and to adapt them into teaching.
Simultaneously, for the last ten years, I have been part of the LSIA and I consider this fact as a positive opportunity in my professional growth. Teaching various age groups, using the latest methods, working with cooperative and supportive colleagues has equipped me with qualities of a leader, supporter, the ability to develop relationships with colleagues and students, a dedicated teacher in a continuous search to transmit knowledge to my students.
What does it mean for you to be part of LSIA and what is your objective as a teacher?
Being part of LSIA means being part of a teaching and learning space and environment where the mission of an English teacher makes sense. LSIA is a school where the possibilities it offers, to both teachers on one side and the students on the other side, are numerous.
The continuous professional developments, equal opportunities for all are some of the main elements that distinguish LSIA. I find myself lucky to have been appreciated for the modest contribution I have offered to the school which aims at the establishment of relationships between teachers and students based on mutual pursuit of education, peace, and prosperity – features that add value to LSIA.
Regarding the objectives, I would say that they are related to the school on one side and the students on the other side.
My objective as a teacher is to contribute, not only to the preservation of the objectives the school has set but even in the progress of the school which is working on a wider dimension. Offering my expertise in the teaching field, gained from my experience in the classroom environment and the seminars, webinars, and other sources of information, I aim to give my contribution by generating various helpful sources of materials for English students and teachers.
The objective I have regarding the students is to offer them an effective teaching performance by instilling in them the feeling of being confident in using the language and gain autonomy. Engaging students in activities that require critical thinking, creativity, and self–expression would lead to successful outcome-English speakers.
How does it feel to engage in teaching youngsters the English language? How do you motivate them? How would you help a student struggling to keep up with the material?
As I mentioned above, I could work with various age groups and understand to a certain extent the psychology of learning a foreign language. Teaching young children requires a careful selection of materials taking into consideration that they do not have the right information regarding grammatical structures, they feel tired easily, they lose interest if they are not offered what they like. Here my role as a teacher is to be creative, avoid putting pressure on them, make the students active through games, and making it fun-this is what they like.
Motivation is crucial in teaching. If we have a group of motivated learners things are easier ‘’you teach, they learn’’. What I try to do is a good planning of activities, I also use words of praise and I try to include a variety of activities to keep the child engaged and motivated.
There are students, on the other side, that struggle to keep up with the material causing frustration to them.
So my role as a teacher firstly is to support them. Giving support to struggling students would lead students to the idea that they are not alone and things will be better.
Revise what we have learned through examples inviting students to use certain structures to present their own experience and use the language naturally.
The material is presented, although in different contexts, progressively so the students face it time after time and there is no space for feeling worried. So I start with the brainstorming of how much material they know and say “Remember what we have said about…..’’ or showing some realia and ask students a question to respond about what we are going to discuss and this way I diagnose their level of knowledge and present materials to suit their level.
Pair work, group work, roleplaying are some ways to make the students learn from each other and even on their own. Interaction is very important.
Who was one of your favorite teachers in the past? Why? What about students?
This is a question I am proud to answer. I have considered myself lucky to have been taught by the best teacher in the world- she is Mrs. Merita Sotiri.
As a teacher, she could make her students love this language. This was due to her deep knowledge and passion for the English language.
I follow her model when it comes to preparation and organization skills because she would choose activities to make us get involved with the subject practicing all skills by involving the proper techniques to grab everything perfectly.
During her English classes, we would find ourselves as actors in the role of a doctor advising patients, traffic warden giving directions, journalists to master the art of questioning, critics debating on various issues, etc. Naturally, our English improved day by day.
We thought that we competed with each other during these classes but we reached a conclusion we competed with ourselves. And yes, we are good professionals today thanks to her strong work ethic. She believed in us, she had high expectations for all of us and she was always strong support for us.
When it comes to my students, I try to follow the example of my respectful teacher. And to be honest the outcome is impressive. During my ten years here in LSIA, I have worked with various generations of students and their results are to be proud of. I am unable to mention all their names being careful not to forget one. All I can say is that they are still grateful to and cooperative with LSIA school.
What is LSIA doing well that makes you excited about working there?
The mission of LSIA itself. Offering a bright future to students all around the world. We do not only teach students a language, through our teaching, but we also instill in each student the virtue of tolerance and good understanding.
Now, being accessible to people through online teaching means to make our mission being heard and noticed. I would appreciate the fact that we will be in the service of the Albanian community teaching their children our beautiful language.
LSIA is a school that consists of an international team where experiences and best examples are provided offering a good service to all.
Our school is an open stage that offers possibilities to a lot of people to present their skills and talents.
It is all this impressive atmosphere that pushes you not to give up, but to motivate you to leave an unforgettable print in the life of a person.
Being part of LSIA is to be proud of.