‍Feeling like a winner in Ukraine! Our coordinator Iryna Lebid

Tell us about your work/role with SOL:

I have been a SOL Coordinator in Ukraine since 2017. I have represented SOL at IATEFL Ukraine, Hungary and Poland conferences, at The FIPLV Nordic-Baltic Region, Language Teachers’ Association of Lithuania (LKPA) conference in Lithuania and at The Baltic IATEFL and LATE Annual Conference in Latvia.

I conduct teacher development workshops for teachers of English in my region. I always use the materials brought from Devon at my workshops.

I also help SOL staff to organise school visits when they come to Ukraine. I regularly meet pupils and students to tell them about their opportunities with SOL.

I run a FB page “SOL in Ukraine”. And I’m creating a network of Ukrainian teachers of English in order to promote SOL.  I work with teachers of English from different parts of Ukraine and even abroad, I help them to know more about SOL and organise our trips together to Devon.

What, or who, was your first encounter with SOL?

I first met Grenville in 2015 at IATEFL Ukraine Conference.  At that time, I worked at European university as a lecturer and I was looking for a unique language school in England. After a few minutes of conversation with Grenville I understood that at I had found what I wanted.   Grenville offered me the opportunity to fill in the form for a prize draw. I did it but I didn’t get a prize. In spite of losing, I think I became a winner because I had met Grenville and my SOL story was beginning….

What do you love about SOL?

I love SOL philosophy and people who make this philosophy true.

SOL gives equal opportunities for teachers and students of different age and level of English. They improve not only their language skills, they learn English deeper together with British culture and it allows to understand what is modern England, its life and values nowadays.

It is very pleasant to work with SOL staff because they are people whose motto is “we are happy when you are happy!” It’s fantastic, because comfort and happiness of each student are very important for them!

I love the teachers at SOL  because they are professionals who inspire and motivate! I always adore observing their classes and see happy faces of my students!

I really appreciate what host families do for us. We became their family members for 10 days! In my case the Marks has become my English family forever! We share secrets, spend time together beyond the progamme, support each other and I cook British food in Ukraine using Mandy’s recipes!  It’s incredible!

Where and what direction would you like to see SOL take in the future?

I would like SOL to organise special sessions and training for co-ordinators where we could share our experience and learn new things.  It would be great!

I would like to take part in a long-term project under SOL wing for creative and critical thinking. It would be really useful to prepare materials for Ukrainian teachers as a result of this project.

I am also dreaming about organising a SO(u)L camp for teachers in my wonderful Ukraine!

When you’re not supporting SOL, what do you do?

At the moment I’m a teacher trainer. I teach English and Methodology for future primary school teachers.

Tell us something interesting about your country we may not know?

My country is exciting! Hardworking and talented people live here!

The geographical centre of Europe is located in Ukraine, near the village Dilove in Zakarpattia (in Western Ukraine).

The first Constitution in the world was created in Ukraine by Ukrainian Hetman Pylyp Orlyk in 1710. The Constitution in the USA was adopted in 1787 and in France and Poland in 1791.

The Ukrainian language won the third place at Beauty Language Contest in Paris in 1934. Nowadays Ukrainian melody of the language is the second in the world after Italian one.

One of our national musical instruments is trembita. It is the longest musical instrument in the world, its length may be 4 meters and its sounds are heard in the distance of some kilometres.

One of the most popular Christmas melodies “Shchedryk” (“Carol of the Bells”) was created by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych.

The oldest university in Eastern Europe is also in Ukraine. This is The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Acadamy"). It was founded in 1645.

One of the most beautiful parks in Europe is situated in my native town. It was build by polish Earl Stanislav Pototskyi for his wife SOfia as a symbol of his love to her and called is "Sofiivka".

Welcome to Ukraine and know more about my incredible country!

If you would like more information on bringing a group from Ukraine please visit our Ukraine page or email Iryna at [email protected]