By Rudina Hoxha
“Language Schools in Albania (LSIA) is a matured institution with a clear-cut mission in teaching English to children, youngsters and even to elderly people. And the achievements are remarkable.”
This is the message of the respected teacher from Korça city, Gjergji Çiço who joined this School in 2002. He remains a long-term supporter of LSIA mission, a member of the Board and Director of LSIA Korça.
It is a real pleasure to interview Professor Çiço because its takeaways are valuable messages. He is one of those professors who bring the time back when teaching was really a privilege from every point of view.
“I was born in Korça and grew up in this city, the cradle of culture an education in our country. I graduated from “Raqi Qirinxhi” High School, one of the best ones in Albania, with the best teachers of the time. For 19 years, I taught English at “Tefta Tashko Koço” School of Arts and I consider that part of my career as the most fruitful one.”
In his view, LSIA is a streamlined school. “In my view as a witness, I say that LSIA has always been in the lead and has embraced the up-to-date teaching methods and textbooks and at present, it is practicing the online teaching. We have got talented teachers, who can offer this service,” Çiço said.
In our conversation, we talk also about teaching with respect, supporting students and help them to accomplish their wishes as well as how the teachers can remain inspired by the best students and consider them their true pride.
Below is the full interview with Prof. Çiço:
Pleasure to talk with you Prof. Çiço! Thank you for accepting our request for this interview.
Prof. Çiço, please can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where you grew up? What university / s you attended? Where you got your first teaching job?
With pleasure! I was born in Korça and grew up in this city, the cradle of culture an education in our country. I graduated from “Raqi Qirinxhi” High School, one of the best ones in Albania, with the best teachers of the time. For the higher education, I attended the English Course at the Department of the English Language at the Faculty of History & Philology of Tirana University. After the graduation, I was appointed as translator at the Albanian News Agency in Tirana and seven years later I returned to my hometown and got my first teaching job as a teacher of English. For 19 years, I taught English at “Tefta Tashko Koço” School of Arts and I consider that part of my career as the most fruitful one. As a pensioner, I am an active member of the civic society and the Rotary Club of Korça. I have translated the series Frank Talk Books on Rotary into the Albanian language.
Why did you become a teacher and why exactly a teacher of English? If you could go back on time, what would you remember from your early years?
Upon graduation from the high school in the early 60-s, one had three choices. For me, one of them was the English Language. I remember that I knew only a few words, such as “yes”, “first class”, “sure”. But I was not the only one in our course, who did not know anything of English; it was almost the whole course. We started learning from the very beginning.
How did it influence on your becoming a teacher the fact that you come from the city of Korca, known as a cradle of culture and education?
I agree. As youngsters we had very good examples in front of us to be followed and I was not the only one who studied to be a teacher. Almost half of my class became teachers.
Let’s talk now about LSIA. You are a long-term supporter of LSIA mission, a member of the Board and Director of LSIA Korça. What are your thoughts on LSIA and its role in fulfilling as many youngsters’ wishes as possible to learn a foreign language?
I joined LSIA in 2002 when this School was an eight-year old “child”. Nowadays, it is a matured institution with a clear-cut mission in teaching English to children, youngsters and even to elderly people. And the achievements are remarkable. Listening to them speaking and discussing on different topics of everyday life makes me really feel proud of them and our teachers’ performance.
In your view, what novelties the LSIA will bring to Albanian children and students?
In my view as a witness, I say that LSIA has always been in the lead and has embraced the up-to-date teaching methods and textbooks and at present, it is practicing the online teaching. Soon the LSIA will have its own website and offer the English teaching online and not only, online in Albania and abroad. We have got talented teachers, who can offer this service.
What tips can you give to the new teachers about ways to manage day-to-day development, so that their careers may someday be as long as yours?
I advise them to keep studying all the time, to love the students and respect them and make the later to love the teacher. I advise them to be patient, each student has his/her own individuality, never discourage them; they come to us to make true their own wishes and we must do our best to help them accomplish them.
Do you keep in touch with your students? How they keep you inspired? Would you have gone into teaching today again?
Yes, we are in touch with our students. The teachers keep good relations with the certified students, who go to the higher education and bring in the information. In general, the feedback is impressive. And, this keeps us inspired. Besides, there are numerous cases that their younger brothers and sisters come to LSIA to learn English. This is a significant indicator.
You ask me if I would have gone teaching once again. If I were ten years younger, sure I would. Being a teacher is a privilege. This is true. In my career, I have had the chance to serve to different positions, but the real people of Korça know and respect me as a teacher of English. And this is my true pride.