Kazakh Teachers Begin Language Training in Move Toward Trilingual Education

ASTANA – More teachers in Kazakhstan will be getting second degrees in English as part of the country’s effort announced in the spring by Minister of Education  and Science Yerlan Sagadiyev to move towards a trilingual education system by 2019.

“In general, we shall seriously deal with the pedagogical universities. We are preparing a specific programme for them. However, even in 2012, the number of pedagogical universities started to train a new generation of teachers in a pilot mode. Kokshetau University trains 200 students at the multilingual department. Over four years, the educational facility has trained mathematicians, physicists, chemists and environmentalists who can teach in English,” the minister said, according to Kazinform.

Head of Educational-Methodical Service at Shokan Ualikhanov Kokshetau State University Saule Iskendirova said it is necessary to prepare teachers and more than 50 of them are studying abroad under the Bolashak and Erasmus Mundus programmes.

The National Academy of Education is creating a trilingual education centre, which will monitor the new programme for multilingual schools. There are 168 such schools in the state and the number will be increased.

Teachers in Aktau have started to study languages. Seven school teachers of English also teach their colleagues.

“Teachers now really want to reach a level of language, which will allow them to teach in a different language.  This a real challenge. Therefore, English language teachers wrote a plan under which teachers were divided into groups, and courses were organised for them. Now, we are studying together,” School No. 13 Director Madina Abdieva said.

Transition to the trilingual system was discussed at the highest level. In March, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasised that to speak several languages is important.

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