In the last two years, the Access program, supported by the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Macedonia, has been successfully piloted in the MSS “Koco Racin” in Veles and its purpose is to teach the participants English language, American culture and democratic values. After the successful implementation of the pilot program, this year the program continued to be implemented with a second generation of students.
The duration of the Access program is two years and it is attended by twenty five first, second and third year students from all secondary schools in Veles. The classes are conducted in an informal manner, which is interesting and different from the regular teaching process in the secondary education, through organizing creative and educational workshops, as well as focusing on the social aspect among the students. The students are given the opportunity to enrich their knowledge of the American way of life, the educational system, the celebration of national holidays, the political and cultural life, as well as the traditions and values of USA in an unusual way.
In additions to the regular classes, which are held twice a week, the program also provides one summer camp and one winter camp annually. Moreover, the students also attend important cultural and educational institutions. Art exhibitions, theater performances and film screenings are attended; the athletic spirit of the students is enriched through sports games and their intellect is honed through interactive and creative workshops.
In the course of the second generation of the implementation of the program, new working methods were introduced that are different in their concept and enable the acquisition and development of new skills and contribute to better development and greater self-confidence among students.
The co-teachers method is introduced to allow the students, together with the teachers, to analyze the topic of the day, explore it and prepare a work program for the class. Afterwards, the students implement the program through an interactive way of working.
The poncho buddy method allows the students to work in pairs. With this method, the students are paired at the beginning of the year and the pairs remain the same throughout the entire year. While working and covering the curriculum topics, the poncho buddies work together, help each other with the given tasks, explore the given topics and present the work done to the entire group.
These two methods of operation enrich the diversity of the methods of operation, and also help in developing the personality of the students. In addition to improving the spoken English language, they also strive to achieve higher level of autonomy and increased self-confidence among the students.