The English Speaking Nation: Secondary Teacher Training (ESN: STT), a program by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and the Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education, recently entered the ongoing third phase of teacher training.
ESN:STT is focused on improving the classroom English knowledge and teaching skills of more than 15,000 secondary school English teachers throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan through intensive retraining and certification. The program aims to improve methodological and pedagogical standards through a cascade of teacher-to-teacher training.
Under the guidance of Core Teacher Trainers, who participated in rigorous English language training delivered by the TESOL International Association (TESOL) and George Mason University (GMU), Regional Peer Mentor-Teachers (RPMS) work directly with teachers in Uzbek schools.
In October, representatives of TESOL and GMU visited Uzbekistan to evaluate the success of the ESN: STT professional development program. Joan Kang Shin and Rebecca Fox from GMU, and Heidi Faust from TESOL, were accompanied by American Councils ESN staff during visits to 21 elementary and secondary-school classrooms where ESN-trained teachers work across Uzbekistan. These representatives visited 15 sites over 12 regions in a week, including Andijan, Bukhara, The Republic of Karakalpakstan, Kashkadarya, Samarkand, and Tashkent. Through classroom observations, focus groups, interviews with teachers, and meetings with the Director of the Institute of Retaining and Advanced Training of Public Education, the TESOL and GMU delegation gathered excellent feedback on ESN: STT’s progress in improving English teaching in Uzbek classrooms.
Over their visits, Dr. Shin, Dr. Fox, and Ms. Faust observed impressive growth in the teacher’s pedological development since the beginning of their ESN training. Teachers across the regions fostered interactive and engaging classroom environments, providing an energized and student-centered learning experience for their students.
Representatives noted that classes were conducted in English, including all activities, teacher instructions, and student interactions. Many ESN participants reported that before the program began, the primary language of instruction in their English classrooms was Uzbek.
Teachers shared how important the ESN :STT coaches were as mentors who helped them improve their ability to teach English effectively and cascade the program’s impact to other teachers in their regions. Teachers also shared that their training created a symbiotic relationship with other teachers; many no longer wish to be confined to their own classroom silos. “Sharing is caring,” as one teacher put it.
Teachers expressed immense gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the ESN program, thanking the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, TESOL, GMU, and American Councils for the experience. The ESN: STT program has created an international community of teachers with improved English teaching skills and a great sense of pride.
Since the start of ESN: STT, over 5,350 English as foreign language teachers have been trained, including 92 Core Teacher Trainers, 650 RPMS, and 4,700 mentee teachers. American Councils is proud to implement ESN:STT and looks forward to furthering the improvement of English teaching across Uzbekistan.