Aiming for a paradigm change in foreign language learning

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, October 2018. The first part of a Pearson-licensed further training course for English teachers took place from 15 – 19 October 2018 in the framework of EU funded project “Support to the Education Sector in Turkmenistan”. The Senior Non Key Experts, Mr.Philip Warwick and Ms. Marina Bogucka delivered training to 44 teachers who had been chosen from all over the country to take part during a rigorous selection process undertaken over the previous months.
The course is 62 hours in total and focuses on state-of-the-art knowledge and experience about how to learn a language in the modern world. It concentrates on 21st-century learning skills, such as active learning, creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. This underlying paradigm differs significantly from the Soviet approach of the last century with its focus on root learning and grammar.
Upon certification, participants will disseminate their knowledge to other teachers, giving a stimulus for new methods of learning English as a foreign language, with the facilitation and monitoring of Pearson trainers. Pearson is also a member of consortium that implements the EU funded project “Support to the Education Sector in Turkmenistan” under the leadership of European Profiles S.A..
The course is embedded in the implementation of the National Concept of Learning Foreign languages, issued in December 2018. The stated aim of the country’s leadership is that every citizen has a working knowledge of three languages. The Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Education requested the assistance of the project in the form of a pilot course, to familiarize itself with current global education standards, the objective of the EU project “Support to the Education Sector in Turkmenistan”.
The expected result of the course is to gain information about the balance between investing in quality education and outcomes. Based on the experience accumulated and lessons learnt, the project will inform policymakers about the required investment needed. Through implementing it, the course will be instrumental in providing evidence to the community and increasing confidence to the authorities about different alternatives of action. At its culminate, the course might influence the perception of priorities and nudge – in a best-case scenario – the current socio-economic trajectory towards higher investment in human capital.

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