Archive for October 17, 2010

Wikipedia and my students’ other reflections after two weeks

Last Friday I had my 10 students do a S.W.O.T. analysis but this Friday I had them answer several questions about their last two weeks.  The following are their reflections of what we did so far:

What do you want to contribute in a Wikipedia article?

D: traditions of serving guests in Kazakh families

L: child’s birth or the strange Kazakh traditions connected with a child’s birth

A: I’d like to write about Kazakh traditions if not about weddings then about “Shildekhana” or “Tusay Kesu” These themes are related to family traditions.

N: Nauryz, weddings, national games

What was the best part of these last two weeks?

Opportunity to get information knowledge is everything.  If you have information, you can rule the world!


What was the difference between Eagilik and IRC at U.S. embassy?

A: The difference between them can be seen, no sorry, can be smelt as soon as you come in.  There is a strong and wonderful semll of coffee in Eagilik that wakes and cheers you up so that you can enjoy your being there.

Second, in IRC you don’t need to register (at least we didn’t do it) to get the books. You just write down your contact information and can get books for a certain period of time.  While in Eagilik you are to sign up and pay monety (though not much – 800 per year) and borrow books and DVD disks.

Third, there are a very few books about English grammar in Eagilik.  Even if there are some, they are not modern or up-to-date.

The last, but not the least difference between them is in the fact that you can move about Eagilik as you wish, whereas in IRC you have to be escorted – even if you want to go to the canteen.”


D: The process of entering the place.  Zhanar is the only one willing to share information with you whil there are several people at Books and Coffee.  IRC is rather academic while Eagilik is more popular place.  Martha did a big job at Eagilik.  I never knew fiction had so many subdivisions.  I liked how the tradition to put over your shoes at home is there!  Kazakh people have so many useful habits!


What is the most important thing you learned from your classmates?

S: My classmates are individuals and they taught me to be myself.  I think it helps me much in my future work.


How have you taught reading in the past?

L: It is not comparable because in the past without such rich equipment was not available to anyone.

A: We just read some 30 pages and translate and retell (;(

How have you taught writing in the past?

L: In the past, I didn’t understand what writing was.  Just now I understood how important writing is for everyone.  I never taught writing in Russian, tried to teach it as I knew.  Unfortunately, I knew nothing, especially I didn’t know ways to encourage the students to write.

A: we wrote reproductions and very seldom essays ;(

N: to my mind, teaching writing is very hard. I want to know more information how to find easy way of teaching writing.

S: I think writing skills is a weak point in Kazakh schools.  The best way of reaching writing is to complete 2 tasks:

1)   read much

2)   use strategies of writing process



Comments (2) »