On May 26, the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation wrapped up its first year of study as part of the English language program at Kozybayev University in Petropavlovsk. 152 students managed to move to the next level of language proficiency. Aigerim Sultan, the program coordinator of the charitable foundation, will tell you more about how the program was carried out and with what results it ended the year.
The program took place online with native speakers. Who are among those 152 students who participated in it?
These are 88 students of the university and 64 of its teachers. The first year of the program started on October 4, 2022 and ended on May 26.
How much has the level of foreign language proficiency among the participants of the program increased?
In general, we can say that all of them have improved their knowledge of English by at least one level. That is, if at the beginning of the year the students had a level A2 (Pre-Intermediate), then by the end, provided deep involvement – they’re usually able to obtain B1 (Intermediate).
Did all of the students who started the program in the fall reach the “finish line”?
Not at all. Fifteen people, for a variety of reasons – from the inability to master the program (it was difficult for them to study with a native speaker) to workload at work – dropped out. There were also students who, for example, went abroad for an exchange or transferred to another university. This mainly concerns the participants of the A1 and C1 levels program (A2 level among teachers). New students took places of the dropped out students. At the beginning of the academic year, based on the results of testing, we created a reserve list of participants who did not pass to the program. We use them to replace those who have dropped out, and we did it before the second semester.
The teacher of the English language program of the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation Antony Durrant – who taught teachers – shared his view on the outcomes of the first year:
– The participants of the program have increased vocabulary, improved written and spoken language. And our most advanced students have had a good practice preparing for IELTS. Based on the results of testing and attendance, we selected the 25 best students (13 teachers and 12 students) to take the IELTS exam for a grant from the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation.
The selected students passed IELTS on July 15 and 16 in offline mode. Testing was conducted at Kozybayev University by specialists of the British Council. According to the results of the exam, six participants received grades from 7.0 to 8.0, four – a score of 6.5, and nine people passed the test for 6.0. These points give the right to apply for bachelor’s degree and even for master’s and doctoral studies in almost any specialty at any foreign university where training is conducted in English.
A colleague of A.Durant – Nathan Maher, who worked with students added:
– Overall, it was a wonderful experience. Most of the students were polite, sincere and kind-hearted. And despite the limitations of the online format, I am impressed by their personality and character: they are sincere, kind and purposeful people. Almost everyone managed to reach a new level of language proficiency. Our goal has been achieved.
One of the participants of the program, a student of the Mechanical Engineering Timur Sagdenov, shares his impressions:
– This is a great way to improve your spoken and written English. The main thing is to take the initiative and try to use the language as much as possible. I liked that the teacher listened to me attentively, and then corrected and gave recommendations. It was the same with checking homework. I really liked that there are no grades in the training, so there was no pressure.
The teacher of two faculties of the university at once (mathematics and natural sciences and chemistry and chemical technologies) Darina Maldybayeva added to what Timur said:
– I was familiar with the IELTS format, because I took it in 2021 and received 6.5. After studying in the program, I passed it already at 7.5, which I am very happy about.
The Kozybayev University student Zhanibek Adilbek summarized:
– Even if a participant of the program is not able improve his knowledge in the field of grammar and writing, he will get an excellent practice of speaking, and this is already a great development for understanding the language. The fact that the teachers were native speakers is cool, so we could better learn not only the language, but also the culture of another nation.
The second year of the English program at Kozybayev University starts in the fall. New students and teachers of this Kazakh regional university will continue to improve their English level together with Antony Durant and Nathan Maher. Applications will be accepted at the University on September 4, and classes will begin on October 2. Recall that Kozybayev University is the fourth regional university of Kazakhstan, which won the competition of the English language program of the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation and received the right to implement it at the expense of the foundation for 2 years. The program is conducted with the assistance of the Bonas MacFarlane Education Kazakhstan.
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