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“Advancing English for Media Literacy in Kazakhstan” project: Cohort 3

In summer time 2022 despite school vacation 70 EFL teachers started the “Advancing English for Media Literacy” project in 4 cities of Kazakhstan, namely in Kostanay, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk and Koksheetau  assisted by KazTEA facilitators: .Marina Kusritskaya, Yekaterian Rakhmanbergenova, Olessya Vodopyanova and Zhanat Aubakirova

Teachers from main stream schools, Nazarbayev Intellectual School (Pavlodar, Kokshetau, Petropvlovsk), Lyceums, university teaching faculty, training centers, and private schools as well as pre-service teachers took part in 8 facilitated sessions, during which facilitators arranged various tasks of  interactive and engaging format to raise teachers’ awareness on social media features, advertising techniques and improve their English level. The participants noted as the main reasons of enrolling in the course the need of experience  in e-learning. Furthermore, the “English for Media Literacy” MOOC  gives them opportunity to advance their level of English, through listening and communication, involvement in the process of learning media literacy competences. To make the process of learning more engaging facilitators demonstrated their technical skills applying various web application to involve participants into discussion or active learning, such as debates, think-pair-share, interviewing, elicitation, concept-checking questioning as well as Visuword, COCA, Reddit apps to practice lexis related to media literacy,  google forms for survey or brainstorming. Project participants highly assessed the role of facilittors to succeed with the course materials and online course. They have noted faacilitators' assistance in acquiring concepts within media literacy, such as, types of biases, elements of diversity or techniques for advertising.

These are some comments of the project participants:

Сауле Аймухамедова (Kostanay) We created news ourselves adding some details which were unreal, the others tried to define them, it was exciting process. The given seminar gave us a little experience and reveal concept of SM (social media). It happened due to Tatiana Khasanova

Yekaterina Kudritskaya (Kostanay) During the session the participants were firmly committed to discuss the different types and sides of advertising. They were keenly observant about the techniques used in creating advertisements.

Tatyana Zhukova (Pavlodar) Having studied the techniques of advertising and creating their own posts participants “have the full understanding of all details of the advertisements, how to motivate target audience to do something, how to avoid bias”.

Ирина Кофтанюк (Pavlodar) Bias “reflects how people organize, perceive and communicate reality”. Information could be presented in positive or negative way, which “depends on whose interests the author represents. We are human and we are all biased. Staying completely neutral is quite difficult. Therefore, we must be able to extract grains of truth from the flow of information”.

Bayan Rakhymzhanova (Kokshetau) it was a great idea to involve the US Embassy representatives in the discussion. That helped me gain a better understanding of the negative aspects of social media. For example, the impossibility of detecting online bullying among students.

Dinara Sarmoldina (Kokshetau) Most people are not aware to what extend the websites are reliable and trustworthy. There are loads of them: some of them are government websites (gov.)or educational ones which are tagged (edu.)at the end of the website address. Most of websites are commercial (com.) and to check their credibility we are supposed to evaluate websites with the help of 5 criteria: authority, purpose, objectivity, accuracy and currency.

Galiya Kalen (Petropavlovsk) We had the opportunity to present our advertisements and evaluate them according to the criteria. Now we have the full understanding of all details of the advertisements, how to motivate target audience to do something

Асель Джаксалыкова (Petropavlovsk) Discussions help us understand more clearly positives and negatives of social media.

Within the project teachers also read and discuss materials and papers from the Forum on American English for Educators Facebook page. The facilitated sessions for Cohort 4 are going on and new topics will be discussed.

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