Laszlo Katona

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Teachers Fighting Against Fake NewsHungary

Laszlo Katona is a certified teacher in English language and literature and chemistry. He holds a PhD in English applied linguistics. He is also an assistant professor for the School of English and American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. In this role, he coordinates the “English language in the media” specialization for English Studies BA students. He delivers courses such as audiovisual translation, electronic media, performing and presentation skills and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). His scope of research is the role of foreign language applied theatre activities in language learning, he also specializes in conducting translation courses and several teacher training courses, bringing to his work a wide range of experience in the field. His major goal as an English professor and ESL teacher is to promote the importance of foreign language learning and education.

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Teachers Fighting Against Fake News

Laszlo’s project held a 3-day training course for 15 teacher trainees on media literacy and focused on three main topics: combatting fake news, critical thinking, and digital intelligence. His project brought in fellow IVLP Impact Awardee Tetiana Konovalenko to hold a training on war-related fake news.

After the initial training, participants split into groups and brainstormed three products that could be used to share the knowledge they gained from the training. As a result, the participants built their own community through shared experiences as young English teachers eager to promote media literacy and critical thinking.

Laszlo also moderated a panel discussion with other Awardees who implemented both 2022 and 2023 IIA projects as part of the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel on “Sustainable Community Impact” which you can read more about here.

"As a teacher trainer I would like to have as many lighthouses in our country as possible." - Laszlo Katona

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: War or Special Military Operation - Helping Youth Take Up Arms Against Fake News

This project was a 3-day training session for 15 university students with active students status at BA, MA, ELT, or PhD level. The project focused on the possible ways of fighting fake news with special focus on the fake media coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war. This included six workshops delivered by three internationally acknowledged trainers with expertise in their field. The goals of the training sessions were to facilitate university students’ ability to recognize and thus helped them fight against fake news focusing on the Russian-Ukrainian war by promoting the understanding of media literacy and media disinformation. It was also a major aim to promote the understanding of the geopolitical situation in mid-Asia with special focus on Russia and the bordering countries, and to offered direct insight into the actual situation to the Russian-Ukrainian war, to show participants the difference between what they can get from media outlets and platforms and reality. Ukrainian people benefited from this project because the news of their situation was able to be known by even more people. By helping the Hungarian community gain proper insight into the situation, less and less "pro-war" party politicians were able to create a negative influence on the society. Laszlo believes that a training like this helps treat the root problem. People cannot be changed, but given another perspective, they can change themselves.

Laszlo’s project organized a 3-day training for 15 Hungarian university students to educate them on fighting fake news about the Russian-Ukrainian war and how they could raise awareness to this issue. By promoting media literacy and the negative impact of fake news, the project provided a clearer understanding of the Mid-Asia geopolitical situation, specifically focused on Russia and its bordering countries.  

IVLP Exchange Experience

Laszlo was a participant in the IVLP Project 21st Century ChangeMakers: Engaging Youth in the Battle Against Disinformation in 2021 and 2022, organized by the U.S. Department of State and CRDF Global.

Laszlo's exchange experience led him to develop his IVLP Impact Award Project: "[My 2022] project confirmed my conviction that media outlets should work with unbiased honesty. This cannot always be guaranteed, so instead, we have to educate our communities to be able to differentiate between the different versions of realities that media outlets convey to them."

U.S. Communities Visited in 2022

Birmingham, AL; Washington, DC; Pensacola, FL; Atlanta, GA

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually in 2021

Birmingham, AL; Washington, DC; Pensacola, FL; Atlanta, GA

Country of Origin: Hungary

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