«Renaissance»

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

The name of the organization: English Language Teachers Association in Ust-Kamenogorsk “Renaissance”

Address: Pushkin Library, 102 Ushanov Street , Ust-Kamenogorsk, 070019, Kazakhstan

Telephone: +7-3222-262171; +7-777-2470930

E-mail: eta@ok.kz

Website: http://natek.freenet.kz

Projectsite: East Kazakhstan Oblast

President of the organization: Tatyana Kolesnikova, MEd in TESOL, Senior Lecturer, East Kazakhstan State Technical University, Ust-Kamenogorsk, East Kazakhstan

Established: 1995.

Mission statement:

The Association encourages English teacher development in professional and leadership fields, represents the ELT community in governmental organizations, maintains and enriches the Resource Center, promotes co-operation, sharing experiences, exchanging materials and information to improve the situation in education area and empower their students in English within a developing civic multicultural society.

Our Objectives

  • Development of professional and leadership skills.
  • Encouraging EFL teacher cooperation and support.
  • Representing the ELT community in governmental organizations.
  • Maintaining and enriching the Resource Center.
  • Encouragement of the best people in the profession.
  • Assistance in organizing exchanges of teachers and students.

“Renaissance” activities:

  • Monthly meetings
  • Used book and journal table
  • Annual Readers’ Theatre Festival
  • Linking to EFL teachers worldwide
  • Outdoor activities
  • Quarterly Newsletter
  • Celebrating holidays in English and American traditions: Halloween, X-Mas, Valenine’s Day, Easter
  • Promoting projects: Village Teacher Trainer, Teachers’ Club
  • Training courses, mini-workshops, teacher development seminars:
  • New information technologies
    • American studies
    • British school system
    • American slang
    • Ecological education
    • Basic computer skills
    • Conflict resolutions
    • American English
    • Using the WWW

History

Teaching can sometimes be a solitary job. Language teachers need communication like no other teachers do. Renaissance emerged as a result of such a need. And the first motive was to maintain communication to practice English and exchange teaching ideas and materials which had been rather scarce at that time. As the Association was growing it acquired more important goals such as developing professional and leadership skills and raising the prestige of EFL teaching in Kazakhstan. Our monthly meetings became fun with John Wyman’s (PCV) coming to Ust-Kamenogorsk in 1995. He held a great number of workshops on various techniques in teaching English, taught us square dance, folk songs and contributed a lot to the warm atmosphere within the Association. It has become traditional to celebrate some American holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Easter or St. Valentine’s Day, involving teachers as well as students. It helped to lower students’ inhibitions and raise their interest in learning.

Once a year we hold a two or three-day seminar for teachers of English to expose them to new technologies and approaches in EFL teaching, to say nothing of mini workshops being held every fortnight. These seminars are very productive. They make the trainees discuss the basic English teaching methods, visualize their principles, and focus on typical activities. They stimulate creative group work over presentations of various communication-based activities, group evaluation and discussion. The following workshops are an example of variety of interests of association members and experience of the tutors who held them:

  1. The technology of the communicative approach in teaching the American Studies
  2. Creative atmosphere in extracurricular activities (English Club).
  3. Critical thinking through puzzle solving.
  4. How strikingly similar American history is from Kazakhstan’s present situation
  5. Content based approach (teaching English through human rights)
  6. Some new approaches to communicative teaching
  7. Applying new informational technologies in language teaching.

Soros Foundation in Kazakhstan awarded the Association with a grant of $10,000 for equipment and literature to develop our own Resource Center. Library readers, students and teachers may profit from using the collection of books and about 200 films in English.

We work for the community organizing English courses, Video clubs, and conversational and debate clubs. We also interview experts in other than English fields for their language competence. The life of our Association is displayed in its newsletter the Renaissance , as well as our participation in a joint project of the TEA and the library, “Language Is the Key”. Other NGO’s are free to enter their materials in English on various issues.