KazTEA 2017 Key Speakers

Mark Dorr

Administrator, Teacher Educator, Materials Developer, Teacher

Senior Fulbright Lecturer in TESL/TEFL Teacher Education, Multiple United States Department of State Academic Specialist Assignments Two United States Department of State Senior English Language Fellowships, United States Information Agency Senior English Language Fellow United States Information Agency English Teacher Training Fellow,

Experience in responsible positions with a wide variety of nations and cultures, Success in bringing opposing groups together and working on a common goal, Accomplished author and materials developer, Significant success in language teacher education and program consultation, Experience interacting with all professional levels including national leaders, government department heads, education leaders, teachers, and students

United States Information Agency and United States Department of State Academic Specialist, continuing by contract, international, March, 1996 to December, 2010 and March, 2013 to Present.  Worldwide contracts in education, community development, law and diplomacy, materials development through the USDOS EL Specialist program. Public diplomacy. Varying contract lengths, multiple visits. Federal and local government, university, and adult levels. Included one or more contracts for:

  • Guatemala: Multiple TESL conference presentations and university program visits/evaluations. Needs assessments/consults for programs and universities.
  • Saudi Arabia: Plenary Speaker and presenter at the Annual National TEFL Teacher’s Conference in Riyadh. Multiple contacts in the Ministry of Education.
  • Pakistan: TESL Teacher education workshops in Islamabad, and Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) including Peshawar, Abbottabad, and major Afghan refugee camp in NWFP. Teacher education sessions at in Karachi.
  • Kazakhstan: Consulted for Ministry of Education regarding national policies on TEFL education and teacher education. Teacher education workshops in Almaty, Shymkent, Astana, Semey, Kyzylorda, and Oskemen.
  • Albania: ESP Law seminar for Office of the Prosecutor, MOPO (internal security forces), and others. Facilitated collaboration between agencies, produced materials to assist in countering human trafficking.


Martin Curtis

Oxford University Press Teacher Trainer for Central Asia, Middle East &        Northern Africa.

  • was a plenary speaker at ATEL Conference, Beirut, Lebanon;
  • was involved in a curriculum design for Foundation Year Program for 8000 students at major Saudi University;
  • coordinated IELTS ‘Train the Trainer’ in Muscat, Oman;
  • was a keynote speaker at Amazing Minds North Africa 2011 (Morocco), Amazing Minds Middle East (Jordan), Amazing Minds Gulf 2012 (Dubai);
  • coordinated training for country-wide adoption for SEC, Qatar;
  • was the head of Business English Training at Abu Dhabi University;
  • supervised and supported team of teachers across Russia;
  • has given teacher training sessions in Russia, Emirates, Greece, Gulf States, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan;
  • identified, initiated and managed major ministry projects in Central Asia and Middle East.


Robert Sim

Independent Education Consultant

A secondary English teacher in Scotland for twenty years and then a local-government
education officer and adviser for sixteen years, also in Scotland, before retiring in October 2015 and working in the Center of Excellence in Astana for a year as a Trainer/Consultant.
Has been involved with many and varied projects as an education officer/adviser and during his year in Kazakhstan. Most relevantly, was latterly the local lead officer for two years for the 1+2 initiative, which is the Scotland-wide trilingual-education project.



Lyudmila Smirnova

PhD, Professor
Kazakh National Research Technical University after K.I. Satpayev

Implementing English Language Teaching Reforms in Kazakhstan: Plans and Reality

The paper describes the current state of foreign language education in Kazakhstan, which is seriously influenced by the ambitious plans to implement a phased transition to the trilingual education. Though some accomplishments in this area are obvious, a breakthrough is still far away.  Most significant challenges to be currently addressed have to do with a lack of qualified English language teachers, ineffectiveness of teacher training and professional development system, and as a result, a low level of school graduates’ language proficiency.

K. I. Satpayev Kazakh National Research Technical University first-year students and English language teachers were interviewed with a view to identifying the degree of their satisfaction with learning and teaching. The analysis of the interviews, as well as the results of class observations, gives ground to state that most of the first-year students are not equipped with knowledge and skills necessary to function in the academic environment while a considerable number of teachers face difficulties in coping with the basic teaching tasks. The paper specifies the problems both students and teachers encounter and offers possible ways to solve them.


Saule Abdygapparova

PhD, Professor

Kazakh National Research Technical University after K.I.


Saule K. Abdygapparova is graduate of Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia (1975). She got her PhD in Linguistics from the same university (1986). Saule K. Abdygapparova is currently associate professor at International School of Economics and Social Sciences of Kazakh-British Technical University. She specialises in teaching English (Analytical Writing, ESP, Business English, IELTS) and Communication. Saule K. Abdygapparova has 40 years of teaching experience and is awarded “Excellency in Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan” title (1998). She is author of 4 manuals and more than 90 publications in the areas of linguistics, EFL, business communication, intercultural communication, teaching methodology and education. Saule K. Abdygapparova has supervised graduate and postgraduate student research in linguistics, was a Fulbright research scholar at the University of Kansas (1999-2000), participated in a number of international (EU, USA) and national (the RK Ministry of Education and Science) research and applied projects. She is a certified teacher trainer and has conducted workshops for teachers at national and Almaty city in-service institutes.