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English Teachers from Uzbekistan Consult with UCLA's ESL Department and Language Resource CenterLeft to right: Tatyana A. Shadieva, Barry Griner, Kathryn Paul, Christine Holten, Gohar Grigorian, and Sobir Khonov

English Teachers from Uzbekistan Consult with UCLA's ESL Department and Language Resource Center

Two faculty members from Bukhara State University visit U.S. to study methods of teaching English as a second language.

By Gohar Grigorian

Two faculty members from the English language department of Bukhara State University, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, visited UCLA August 18 as part of a three-week study tour in the United States to compare information on methodologies for teaching English as a second language. Mr. Sobir Khonov, president of the Uzbekistan English Teachers’ Association (UZTEA), Bukhara Branch, and Ms. Tatyana A. Shadieva, senior English teacher at Bukhara State University, met with Christine Holten, lecturer in the ESL Service Courses of the Department of Applied Linguistics; Kathryn Paul, assistant director of the International Institute's Language Resource Center; and Barry Griner, a graduate student in Applied Linguistics.

The objective of the pair's visit was to examine English teaching methodology and education philosophy from the U.S. perspective, with a special emphasis on content-based instruction using American studies materials.

Christine Holten and Barry Griner gave a detailed overview of the ESL program at UCLA.  In discussion with the visitors it emerged that UCLA uses a content based teaching system, while in Uzbekistan their ESL coursework is grounded on grammar. Donna Brinton, also a lecturer as well as Academic Coordinator, ESL, Applied Linguistics and TESL/ESL, and Barry Griner will travel three times a year to Uzbekistan for two-week training sessions with ESL teachers.  On each visit they will train 12-14 teachers.  Their first visit will be in November 2003. Exchange programs were also discussed.

Kathryn Paul gave an overview of the work of the Language Resources Center. The LRC does program development at several levels: on campus, for schools and other entities in the Los Angeles area, nationally, and internationally. For example, the LRC developed the entire English program at the American University of Armenia.

The Uzbek visitors said that the majority of the students who take English courses do so for the prestige and to get better paid jobs. Only a small number of the students are interested in becoming teachers. There are shortages of English and American books, especiallly in literature, in most major cities of Uzbekistan. Students there often have to be content to read American works in translation. Khonov and Shadieva asked if there were potential sources of donations of books for their universities.

Kathryn Paul replied that Armenian groups in Los Angeles donate books to the American University of Armenia, and the guests could get in touch with the Uzbek-American groups in LA, since there is an Uzbek community here.

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