Posts tagged Kazakh language

Impressions of American Guest Speaker who Knows Kazakh

The following are three impressions from ten of my Professional Development students who listened to Chad’s talk the other day, I think they are insightful:

Student #1 – It is clear that Chad is a good teacher. He is modern, positive and open to students’ opinions. It was a pleasure for me to talk to him, he has charisma. When we introduced ourselves, Chad tried to remember our names by heart. After each introduction he pronounced our names, so he could remember us. While getting introduced he had a little chat with us, and during the conversation he called us by our names. That was his way to find a common language with people. Nothing sounds better for a person than his name. Imagine how you get happy when someone knows your name. Your answer will be: “Oh, you remembered me”.
Chad is sociable and you needn’t to try to say something to make him speak. On the contrary, he shared his life experiences with us and tried to get all of us free and comfortable. He didn’t ask to stop him in case we do not understand him. It shows he was sure he will find a way to our flow of ideas. The fact that he has a family of teachers surprised me, it is ok to have a family of engineers, businessmen, lawyers or something like those. I remember how my teacher used to tell me not to choose a profession of a teacher. She was tired of teaching, and it is clear she won’t let her child to be a teacher. Chad’s family is a devoted teacher family and the fact that he didn’t succeed in his business can be explained as “a call of blood”. [not sure what that means?]
Earlier I met Chad’s little children and didn’t even think that they might be studying in Kazakh schools. I think the teachers must be happy to have students like Chad’s children. I don’t know whether you experienced it or not, but it is a great pleasure to speak to little Americans. I do really like it. They are so sweet.
However, the most important thing I liked about Chad is his knowledge of Kazakh. His Kazakh is very good, I am saying not as a Kazakh,who is happy to see American speaking my native language, but as a person, who does really appreciate his knowledge. I watched the way he spoke Kazakh, and I admit that his Kazakh is perfect.
In an hour conversation, we felt so easy and relaxed that we didn’t notice the time passed. However, it is the usual thing that happens to us when we have a quest speaker invited.)))

Student #2 – I confess that I was really waiting for Chad’s talk since our teacher mentioned about that. As a classmate had said, we’ve heard a lot about him from a student of Foundation Program who is from Semey. She really admires him. And now me also. Especially I like how he speaks Kazakh – like a real Kazakh man. We, Kazakh people, need to learn much from him. Because really, as one of my classmates said, if a Kazakh man speaks incorrect Kazakh we start to make fun of him or just forbid him to talk in this language. Maybe we do it because we don’t want this man to make fun of the language making so many errors. But I do agree with Chad, we MUSTN’T behave in that way, otherwise no one would learn Kazakh.This is very complicated issue and we, all the Kazakh people, should join in order to save our mother tongue and stop speaking Russian to each other.
Also it is obvious that Chad is a very smart, experienced teacher. In one hour I learned from him so many useful things. If I talk in general, we had time just for introducing ourselves, but he shared the techniques and methods with us only making comments on our research topics. If only we had more time… But nowadays people tend to be so busy, I know it from my own experience. I even don’t have for myself on weekends! Anyway, the techniques Chad mentioned, like making the students create language situation themselves or arranging one day or night of English, using pair works, also using bean or such kinds of ways of positive motivation… I think all these could be very useful and effective in teaching not only a foreign language but also Kazak.

Student #3 – It was the best talk I’ve ever had with guest speakers, because Chad knew Kazakh language and our traditions too, which gave us an opportunity to learn and share our teaching methods. I was proud of his Kazakh, his speech was like a Kazakh man’s. He gave us good advice in Kazakh, how to encourage people to speak Kazakh. And all my classmates followed his advice, it means his advice works. After the class, all my classmates started to speak Kazakh, even those who had never spoken it. I think if we English teachers know Kazakh as well as Russian, we will show our lessons to Kazak teachers teaching students in Kazakh and using the same great methods and approaches. I think, people slowly understand the importance of Kazakh language. Even, in president’s election the candidates have to pass Kazakh language first. It is one of the main task for the candidates. Some of them passed it successfully, some of them failed shamefully.

(to be continued)

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Tentative Autumn Leaves and Thesis Statements

autumn-leavesautumn-leaves-iiThe leaves have been hanging on for weeks, back in Minnesota with one good wind they would have been LONG down on the ground.  That is why I LOVE Almaty, Kazakhstan right now, I have always loved the autumn colors.  Also, I’m very proud of my students for coming up with some fairly workable thesis statements, though they are as tentative as the autumn leaves.  See what you think of the topics my students have chosen, such as education, Kazakh language and nationalities issues; famine and starvation; repression and gulags and Great Patriotic War:




1. Oppression in education before the Bolshevik revolution encouraged masses of illiterate people who did not know enough to rebel against the government and hopefully lessons will be learned with our current education to help people improve their lives with better training.


2. During the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan, all universities and schools were conducted in Russian, therefore the Kazakh people had to learn Russian to get a good education in order to get jobs in order to survive.


3. Most Kazakhstani people lived in rural areas with not enough educational facilities or had large families who couldn’t afford proper education; some had to go a long way to the nearest school or do without studying at all.


4. The Soviet Union had many unsolved problems about education, they wanted to use Marxist-Leninist propaganda to improve morals and work ethics for all Soviet citizens.


5. The intelligence and serious thinking people had lots of problems because of Soviet ideology, so they had to abandon their research and scientific work.


6. Huge masses of illiterate people led to the October Revolution of 1917 and that problem progressed during the Soviet period; now there is a need to raise the level of education especially in rural areas.


Kazakh Language and Nationalities issues

1. Being on the brink of cultural degradation, the Kazakh people had to be educated in the Russian language in order to succeed in the Soviet policy and eventually develop into its own independent country after the Soviet Union collapsed.


2. The Kazakhs could not use their own native language and traditions during the Soviet times and in order to survive to get an education, they had to learn Russian.


3. Groups of individuals who felt discriminated against had to use the power of the group in order to survive against the policies of the Soviet Union.


Famine and Starvation

1. During the years of famine in Kazakhstan, 1.5 million people died but other people solved this problem because their aim was to survive more than just to die.


2. Kazakhstan’s famine after and during WWII was a great problem for many people but my grandparents found a solution by getting products from their own garden and own cattle.


Repression and Gulags


1. Before WWII mass political repression took lots of innocent people’s lives, it was implemented as a strict policy in order to force people to obey so they could survive.


2. People were sent to the gulag when they did not accept the USSR politics or if people complained about them, so in order to NOT be sent, they had to accept Stalin’s policy or complain on their neighbor first.


3. It is hard to imagine what victims of Stalin’s policies had to endure especially when sent to the gulags as “enemies of the people,” but nothing can be done except to avoid such a horrible mistake again.


4. During the industrialization in USSR, the government needed lots of low-paid people to construct factories, roads and they decided to create gulags where they used imprisoned political enemies and zecs who helped to increase the economy of the country by their hard work.


5. The Kazakh elites were killed as enemies of the country and their relatives were sent to work at camps, nevertheless, the “wives and children of the enemies of the people” survived because of their very strong wish to live, hope and love to bring their Kazakh land to independence for the next generation.


Great Patriotic War or WWII

1. During the period of WWII, 27 million Soviet people died and sometimes those who survived didn’t have enough food but my grandparents solved this problem because they loved each other, they survived for love.


2. During the Soviet period, many people in Kazakhstan had no jobs or opportunities to earn money for food, but those who survived had their own ideas and ways to educate themselves.


3. During WWII, a lot of women with their children struggled to survive and thanks to their enduring hardships, we have our grandparents who continued our next generation.


4. During WWII, folks could not trust anyone so that is why some people became spies, they worked for the Soviets and for its enemies.


5. In years of WWII there were medical centers which had doctors who were helping injured people by treating them and there were others who loved their job and helped with pleasure.


6. A lot of innocent people suffered from the Great Patriotic War but Stalin could have diminished the amount of victims and deaths if he had believed that the Nazis would attack the Soviet Union and had been better prepared for this war.

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