If someone asked you “Would you still choose MA in Multilingual education program if you knew about all its peculiarities beforehand?”, what would be your immediate answer? Yes, no, maybe, I would think twice or your own option? Well, if my opinion matters to you, I would definitely say “Yes, but…”.
After completing three-fourth of the master’s program, I believe, it’s the right time to look back and remember what was it like. In this blog post I aim to write constructively about this one-and-a-half years spent at one of the best universities in Kazakhstan and, perhaps, in a number of countries. Firstly, outlining some drawbacks and secondly, highlighting strong features will help to produce a practical comment. I aspire this blog to become a useful advice for those interested and perfectly give a hint to GSE administration on how to improve the program.
Although Nazarbayev University is the most advanced university in Kazakhstan, there are some areas which need revision and improvement. Some of the courses in our program were repetitive and their value could be questioned. For instance, the courses Plurilingual individual and Multilingual society had many overlapping topics. Consequently, some lectures possessed little value and were not interesting. Another weakness of the program is some assignments not in line with the graduate level of education. To name a few: completing linguistic passport of a plurilingual individual or compiling a portfolio of all readings, assignments, notes connected to the course. How did theses assignments challenge us intellectually or what value did they have? Honestly, I don’t know. Teaching methods of some instructors and their competence in some areas of multilingual education raised my concerns. Even though people may argue that at a graduate level instructors should not bother about their teaching methods, I’m convinced that teachers who want their subject to me memorable and beneficial should always plan their lectures in the best way. However, all mentioned above weaknesses should not down value a number of positive characteristics of the program.
Multilingual education program at GSE is definitely a worthy course. Professors with a deep knowledge of the topic and vast experience in teaching help this program to be a successful one. They apply their expertise and try their best to teach us something valuable, to instill in us love to knowledge and research. These instructors are an asset of this school. Engaging, challenging and horizon-opening courses and assignments, though-provoking discussions make this program exceptionally useful and unique for those who want to accept the challenge. Applying a critical lens in all tasks and producing appealing and thought-provoking speeches made us stronger students and stronger professionals. Constant support from library workers and writing centres, opportunity to be engaged in journal production, participation in various events and meetings creates additional opportunities and broadens worldview. Last but not least, studying next to smart, bright and gifted people and having a chance to communicate with them is an undoubtful privilege and a unique asset.
All in all, regardless all drawback, I would definitely recommend this program to those who want to expand their knowledge and develop mentally, emotionally. I also want to express my warmest gratitude to all people who made these 1.5 years unforgettable due to their invaluable contribution.