An Erasmus + Project

A Learning and Leading 21st Century Language school


Today’s business world is becoming more and more multinational as it expands across borders and companies compete for advantages to keep ahead of their competitors and at the forefront of the ever increasing and fast moving market. In many international businesses, English is the dominant language of communication. With so much cross-border activity, cultural differences are having an impact on business and what is common practice in one country could be viewed differently in another. Effective communication is vital in not only understanding and respecting these cultural differences but also in helping to avoid misunderstandings of verbal and non-verbal communication between cultures.

CNTC, a language-learning centre which offers language training to multinational businesses and individuals who are respectively striving to advance in their organisational markets and careers, must also keep abreast of the ever progressing language training market to be a leading provider.

Through this Erasmus+ programme, CNTC is delighted to offer their teachers, administrators and management, the opportunity to experience and learn from cultural differences by working together with their cross-border European partners in Slovakia, Italy and the UK. There are numerous Continuing Professional Development courses available which will enhance the teaching and management methods and skills of CNTC to be a more innovative and efficient training provider of language learning experiences to their students.

In August this year, CNTC sent three members of their staff to Slovakia on the first ‘Mobility’ training.  Three courses were attended during the two weeks at Harmony Academy:

Essentials of Communication:

This was a short course of 2.5 days where participants explored different methods of communication and discussed whether it is always effective. There were lots of new warm-up activities to use with group classes. Participants looked deep into their own personality characteristics, guided by Stephen Covey’s Whole Person Paradigm theory to understand and appreciate how we are all made and act differently in various situations.  This should be remembered and respected when working with others – not everyone will always see things as you do!  Participants also looked at Virginia Satir’s Personality Iceberg Model and discovered that the style of a person’s communication is made up of many aspects of their life history, events and emotions which lie beneath the surface layer which we, as the recipient of the communication, see or hear! 

Essentials of Leadership:

This course (also 2.5 days), also had lots of new group warm-up activities to take back to the classroom. In these few days, participants discovered the differences between management and leadership and about taking ownership of the roles and responsibilities each entails, both in work-placed and in personal environments. Participants explored the idea of creating a coaching and guiding culture between members of staff.  Everyone espoused their own personal values which were used to write a mission statement for both work and personal life.

The Learner-Centred Approach:

This was a 5 day course and took place in the second week of the training. Here, participants looked at the differences between a Traditional Teacher-Centred approach (Passive learning) and a Learner-Centred approach (Active learning, participation).  Various psychological theories of learning were investigated including behavioural, cognitive, humanistic and constructive. Giving autonomy to your learners to discover facts for themselves rather than filling their head with information and by offering continuous encouragement for personal growth and development is very important in a humanistic learner-centred approach to teaching. There were a lot of discussions between the participants about ‘real life’ problems experienced in the classroom in Slovakia and France with opportunities to examine ways of solving these problems.

There was time to socialise with class participants and course managers and also the opportunity to experience the local cuisine and culture with a welcome dinner on the first evening, optional group lunches at various local restaurants throughout the two weeks as well as an end of course dinner after both courses. Cultural visits included a very interesting historic tour of Trnava Centre and at the weekend a visit to ‘Red Stone Castle’ (Červený Kameň) a 13th-century castle in Kameň, administered by Slovak National Museum.

St. Nicholas Basilica, Trnava
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Next Event!

In March 2020, CNTC will host an Erasmus+ Event Week from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th March. 

During this free Erasmus+ event you will find out about Erasmus+  

  • What it is and how it works.  
  • Available funds and how it can benefit YOU!             
  •  Hear about CNTC’s Erasmus+ Project – Learning & Leading 21st Century Language School.

A fun and informative week is planned where you will,

  • Meet the European partners in the project, based in Italy, Slovakia and the UK.
  • Sample Teacher Development Modules: –
    • The Humanistic Approach
    • Innovative Methodologies & Technologies
    • Managerial and Leadership Skills.

If you are working in education and would like attend, please contact Nicki at CNTC (tel. 05 59 13 5000) or send an email to 

We look forward to meeting you in March at CNTC, Lons, 64140 


Erasmus+ Training Week at CNTC, Lons – 2nd – 6th March, 2020

 CNTC (Alpha Langues), Lons, are delighted to announce that they have recently hosted a successful week of ‘Teacher Development Courses’ for English Language teachers and trainers. CNTC teachers, along with teachers from the CanSpeak network and private schools and business, were all offered the opportunity to attend the free training modules between the 2nd and 6th March, 2020. The week was well-attended by teachers from CNTC (Alpha Langues), Lons and Le Challenge des Langues –Toulouse (both members of the CanSpeak network), and invitees from local primary schools and other training and business consultants.  The course trainers were partners of CNTC’s Erasmus+ project “A Learning & Leading 21st Century Language School“…    

Jana Chynoradská, HARMONY Academy, Slovakia      

Jana graduated from Comenius University, Faculty of Education, with a diploma in English language and literature, and a doctorate in English methodology. She initiates many local and international projects aimed at developing cross-cultural and international networking within ELT, education, communication and leadership.

Chaz Pugliese, Pilgrims UK

Chaz is a teacher trainer, conference presenter and author working out of Paris. He has been a keynote speaker at over 30 conferences and has trained hundreds of teachers all over the world on many aspects of ELT methodology. Chaz published Being Creative (Delta) in 2010. His latest book is Creating Motivation (Helbling, 2017) and one more is in preparation.

Chaz has been a Pilgrims faculty member since 2000. In 2013, he co-founded the Creativity Group. His main research interests are: Creativity in Education, Motivation, Spoken English and the Psychology of Language Learning.  Chaz is a keen tennis player and a fairly decent jazz guitarist.

Gabriela Lojová, HARMONY Academy, Slovakia

Gabriela Lojová (doc, PhDr., PhD.) is an English language teacher trainer at the Department of English language and literature at Comenius University, Faculty of Education in Bratislava, Slovakia. She specializes in teaching English grammar and the psychology of foreign language teaching and learning.

Chaz, joined us via video-conferencing from Paris and started the week with a day on ‘Creative Methodology’… an informative day exploring the reasons why creativity is any teacher’s main ally and how a teacher’s creativity can encourage student motivation. Methods for generating enthusiasm in the classroom through personalising exercises and activities, talking about real facts and making it relevant to the student. Be a caring, fair and original teacher. Chaz offered a lot of tips for use in the classroom, particularly on ways to be creative and working with minimum resources while creating student motivation. Chaz stressed using ‘real play’ not role play exercises, to be creative and experiment with activities and exercises with your students. 

The day finished on a positive note with everyone keen to put the day’s examples of creative motivational activities into practice in their classroom.

Gabi continued the training modules on Tuesday and on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons with the foundation course of the Learn and Lead Programme for Trainers in the ‘Student-Centred Approach’ (humanistic) approach to teaching a second language. This course focused on the development of trainers’ pedagogical and psychological thinking rooted in the principals of a learner-centred approach.  The 7 principles of Learner-Centred teaching were explored and analysed and compared against traditional teaching/learning methods (passive learning).   The Learner-centred approach (active learning/discovery) was overwhelmingly agreed by the group to be the better approach to teaching and learning a foreign language.  Keep the training humanistic and relevant to the learner. One size does not fit all.

Jana opened the training on Wednesday morning with ‘Essentials of Communications’.  The foundation of the course was based on ‘The Whole Person Paradigm’ by Stephen Covey.  Participants were then invited to discover differences and similarities between people and to find out what really matters in communication. Trainers and Managers in schools became aware of their individual roles and responsibilities, helping them to create a motivating, effective learning environment with a focus on common goals. 

On Thursday, Jana continued with the module on ‘Essentials of Leadership.’ Participants were guided on how to be an effective team leader and encouraged to examine their own roles and responsibilities in both personal and career life. These essential and effective leadership and management skills can be used both in the classroom and in the running of a training organisation. This gave everybody the opportunity to see things from the perspective of managers and language school owners and vice versa and to see how everyone has an important role to play in providing a bespoke and innovative course for each learner while delivering a professional business service.

The week finished on Friday with a review of the week, and an exploration of how ideas could be developed, progressed and implemented within the CNTC environment.  These informal sessions were facilitated by Jana who provided ideas and advice, gained through her experience in running several Erasmus+ projects over a number of years.  Overall, it was deemed to be a successful week’s training and people left feeling more motivated and inspired, and keen to use new ideas in the classroom.

A highlight mid-week was a tour of Pau on the Alpha Langues Double Decker red bus. Everyone climbed on board and stopped off for an aperitif to enjoy the magnificent view of the Pyrénées Mountains.


Due to the Coronavirus, all CNTC staff requests for Erasmus+ mobilities have been put on hold until further notice.

Thank you.


During the months of August and October, the two Directors of CNTC joined Erasmus+ courses in Florence, Italy and in Barcelona, Spain. A member of staff also attended a course in Florence during October.

This is what Nicki and Philippe Abadie, Directors of CNTC said about their experience on their two courses in Florence, Italy during the month of August and their course in Barcelona, Spain in October, 2020 ………

“In August, Philippe and myself were able to participate in 2 mobilities in the beautiful city of Florence. After a long drive (we opted to drive because of the current Covid pandemic), we joined our respective groups. I had chosen « Integrating creativity and Innovation in the Classroom » and Philippe was set to discover how to use « Smartphones and tablet in the classroom ».

Day 1 started with an introduction and a presentation from the participants. We discussed issues and challenges in our jobs and spent the last session of the morning working on a case study. Day 2 was centered on motivation and dealing with conflict; How to create a healthy school environment and avoid problems among students (eg bullying) and spread harmony among staff members . We looked at activities and how to personalize them. Day 3 drew our attention to mindfulness, which I hadn’t previously encountered and an exploration of project-based learning. Day 4 looked at new technologies in the classroom. We learnt about and had hands on experience of lots of tools that can help in the classroom.

This in fact was something that Philippe spend his week on and it was great to see the potential of technology in the classroom to personalise training and keep teaching tools up to date. Things like using You Tube to create from videos and songs, how to create quizzes (Quizlet),

On the final day, we examined methods of assessing students. We put all our new skills and ideas into practice in a final activity of planning a “healthy” lesson.

The afternoons were spent roaming Florence and learning so much about the history of this city. There were very few tourists which made our visit even more pleasurable!

I am so grateful to my tutor for the week. I learnt so much from her. The subjects covered were well researched, well practiced and extremely well integrated into the program. The tools we used will be of great help to me and my colleagues one we are able to put them into practice together in our planned after-mobility workshops. The videos and visual materials/slides that illustrated the themes were interesting, informative and motivating. My tutor has shared a lot of her material with us for future reference. We were a small group of 5 which was also a real privilege for exchanging and sharing practices. I made some good friends! And of course, the backdrop of Firenze, that I had never visited, was amazing!”

“Of course the food was great, I forgot to say!”


“In October, Philippe and I went off again on 2 mobilities, this time to Barcelona. We drove (again opting to steer clear of airports and the travel risks of the moment). This time both of us participated in the same course « Happy Schools: Positive Education for Well-being and Life Skills Development »

We discovered Positive psychology, and saw how it is changing the face of teaching in schools today. During the week, we considered positive education and looked at examples that have adopted the methodology worldwide. We explored constructive communication, worked on our Ikigai and discovered “the flow” through practical activities involving art and concentration. Mindfulness was studied and experienced and we looked at how to solve conflict in a situation and how even bullying can be managed by teaching people life skills. We learnt about character strengths and participated in a survey to find our own strengths. We learnt about the 6 universal emotions and explored facial and body language attached to different emotions. We designed our own project to implement in our school to improve the well-being of our staff. This is something we are keen to put in place later once our staff are all back together after these difficult times of teaching remotely.

It was very interesting to learn the global expansion of the methodology of positive education. Being able to share the experiences with other teachers from other countries was important and we developed strong friendships over the week and shared lots of ideas. Well-being in a school is paramount and it was very valuable to learn how to very simply put in place some practices personally to be able to cope with the stresses of everyday life today.

Neither of us knew Barcelona and our Spanish is very limited so it was great to partake in some exploration of the city with a teacher from the school and we thank also one of our fellow students who spoke on our behalf when it came to some visits or ordering food. A very enjoyable time where our well-being was well taken care of!”


Another member of CNTC staff spent a week on a mobility in Florence during October with Europass Teacher Academy. The course was ‘CLIL in Practice: Focus on Florence and this is what Tasha said about her week….

CLIL in Practice: Focus on Florence

October 12-16, 2020

“This training in Florence was a very pleasant experience for me as it was also my first time visiting the city. The course teacher, Sheila, was more than happy to animate our mornings despite having a small group. As an English teacher to non-native speakers, I was able to reinforce my methods in teaching. This training has given me inspiration to prepare my lessons better in the future.

It was also interesting to learn more about the history of Florence and I would look forward to the museum visit after every lesson that Sheila had picked out. I learned plenty of things about the city and what made it more memorable was that we could still see some remnants of the rich history of this magnificent city.

Because of the on-going sanitary crisis, it was to our advantage to see Florence more clearly with less tourists roaming its cobblestoned streets. The restaurants were not as crowded but the food was always great nonetheless. The rainy days and chilly breeze did not stop me from having a good time!”


Members of CNTC staff were invited to join the second revision and dissemination of the Erasmus+ Mobilities via Visio. Two mobilities took place in August 2020 in Florence, Italy and in October 2020 – another mobility in Florence and two in Barcelona, Spain. All presentations, sharing of information and links were appreciated by those in attendance. The presentations and notes were recorded and are now available for those who could not attend the meeting at the announced time or for those who would like to refer back to the many ideas shared during the session.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and all the difficulties and restrictions arising and constantly changing, it is with regret that CNTC has decided it must end the Mobilities and close their Erasmus+ Project.

It was unanimously agreed that all the mobilities have been of personal and professional benefit to all who participated and their students and added to the certified standard of teachers in the school. All would like to thank CNTC and Erasmus+ for the opportunity of attending the mobilities and dissemination of mobility information to all colleagues.

The Project is now closed.