Media literacy seminar for Fulbright English Teaching Assistants

On February 8-11 Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission had the pleasure to host 30 English Teaching Assistants from 7 countries, as part of the Media Literacy seminar. The seminar was organized in cooperation with Google Campus Warsaw and the Washington-based Newseum – dynamic, engaging and interactive museum of news. Many thanks to our grantee Natasha Ng, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the University of Opole, for writing this summary and for photo documentation:

Held in Warsaw, Poland, the very first ETA Seminar in Media Literacy conference, funded by the Department of State and hosted by the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission, provided a great opportunity for Fulbright ETAs from various parts of Eastern and Central Europe to come together and discuss an ever increasingly important topic: media literacy. In a day and age when technology is evolving faster than we are wise, it is becoming as important as ever to be able to critically evaluate and assess our various media sources.

The conference was attended by Fulbright ETAs serving in Poland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine. Featuring seminars from Barbara McCormack of Newseum, Daniel Rzasa of Google, and Joey Fordyce, an English Teaching Fellow in Odessa, Ukraine, ETAs had the opportunity to learn about new methodologies on teaching media literacy, how to moderate discussions with controversial topics, how to evaluate reliability of news sources, and general critical thinking as a tool in teaching ESL.

In addition to learning about media literacy, the conference also provided a unique opportunity for ETAs from different countries to bond and get to know each other via cooking. At CookUp studios Warszawa, ETAs cooked a full course meal together with the help from world renown chefs. The dinner menu featured several Polish and Hungarian dishes including: pierogi, Silesian dumplings, goulash, and various desserts.

The ETA Seminar in Media Literacy conference was nothing short of a success. From the sophisticated venues of Mercure Warszawa Centrum and Google Campus Warsaw, to the tasty pierogi we cooked alongside our fellow ETAs, the Polish-U.S Fulbright commission set the bar high for other Fulbright commissions to host a similar conference. Despite this, perhaps the most successful part of this conference was the bringing together of people in one place to discuss the urgent topic of media literacy.