All posts by dalmirakulmaganbetova

Annual International Education Fair in Astana

For educational institutions the beginning of the February is always associated with the International Education Fair. School graduates participate in the fair to get more information about foreign universities all over the world.

This year the global education fair took place in Radisson hotel on the 3rd of February. During the whole day school children of the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades were visiting the fair. The fair is always organized in the high level because the place, where the fair takes place, is always very comfortable, big enough and easy to get. Together with foreign universities` representatives local translators are provided. In order to decide what university to choose for children, many parents prefer to know more information about universities.

This is the second year I participate in the fair. I can compare the level of organization of how many visitors come every year. The school graduates make me proud of them because they are prepared enough good to enter the university. At the education fair they have not challenges in communicating with foreign university representatives. Almost all students of the 11th grade have passed IELTS and earned high scores such as 7.0 or 7.5. It seems that every year students realize that they have real opportunity to study abroad; therefore, being proficient in English language is very important. Besides, children are very motivated to enter the world class universities all over the world. Their ambitious are very high so that let them be competitive among other students.

The education fairs always help school graduates gain more useful information in order to choose what to study and where to study. The foreign universities` representatives share all need information about the university they come from. They present special scholarships or provide overview pictures of the university campuses and explain advantages of studying abroad. Sometimes parents make contacts with representatives and keep in touch with universities in order to be sure that they make a right decision about the educational institution for their children. Without a doubt, the first step of education is a crucial on the way towards successful career.

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UPenn students are rewarded for not using mobile phones

Several days ago some very interesting news appeared in the internet. In order to get discounts, students of University of Pennsylvania are refusing to use mobile phones.

Mobile phones are one of the main disturbances for students. However, there are two sides to every issue. On one hand, mobile phones often help to make the learning process more comfortable  by providing easy access to the translator app, calculator, stopwatch, etc. On the other hand, mobile phones distract the student from their studies. We feel the need to check mail, messenger, Instagram and other apps so often that it make us miss important information during lectures. Sometimes students unconsciously unlock their devices and waste a large amount of time looking through new notifications. We have to agree that mobile phones take our free time. Even when we don`t know what to do in a queue, we start to play games in our devices. Soon the overuse of mobile phones is going to be converted to a huge societal problem.

The bright student from University of Pennsylvania, Emily Turner has created Pocket Point, the unique mobile app that allows students gain points as long as their devices are switched off. The system is very easy. When students come to the campus, they turn on the app that counts minutes or hours while phone is off. Each 20 minutes let students gain one point. They may exchange the points to discounts in shops, café, etc.

Pocket Point app may help to manage the students` attentiveness at class. They stop to digress from the studies and concentrate their attention on lessons. At the same time students are interested in using this app, because they may spend a great time with friends in a café and pay with discounts.

The prerequisites for multilingual education are family and history events

Kazakhstan is a multiethnic and multicultural country. More than 130 nations live together (Sheryazdanova, 2013, p. 1). One of the crucial elements of international peacefulness is correctly developed language policy. Multilingual society has a strong impact on the stable economy, politics and cultural life of a country.

Plurilingual individuals co-exist with other plurilingual personalities. We may say that almost everybody in Kazakhstan is a carrier of more than one language. The reason of that statement is that school programs include both Russian and Kazakh languages. Moreover, all public and private schools provide one or more foreign languages. One of them is English language subject as a compulsory discipline.

All these components are led by plurilingualism drivers. Every child grows in a family. It is the first and the main driver that forms the personality. Children become acquainted with their mother tongue and gain proficiency in other languages mostly in their families.  As a rule, in Kazakhstan most families are familiar with the Russian and Kazakh languages. However, the level of proficiency may vary from one to another. Therefore, children come to school with different knowledge levels of languages.

The second, but not the least pluralingualism driver is history. For more than 150 years Kazakhstan was under the tsarist rule (Oka, 2000, p. 3). The Tsarist regime had an impact on the Kazakhstani identity. One of the common and widespread tsarist policies was migration. So many nations were moved from their historical places to the wide steppes of Kazakhstan.  The indigenous population always tried to make new comers’ lives better. Kazakh children and adults threw kurts to prisoners in Alzhir prison. It was an attempt to feed those who were under the tsarist repression (Tokaeva, 2011). Kazakh people tried to communicate with those who were forced to move to Kazakhstan. This communication also influenced the language acquisition among Kazakhs. So, without a doubt, we can say that the waves of migrations formed Kazakhstani language policy as it exists now.

There are more plurilingualism drivers that should be mentioned but in my opinion, these drivers are the most important. These factors contributed to the emergence of the current language policy in Kazakhstan.

References

Oka, N. (2000). Nationalities policy in Kazakhstan: Interviewing political and cultural

elites. Chiba:  Institute of Developing Economies.

Sheryazdanova, K. (2013). The Role and Place of Migration and Diaspora’s Policy in Bilateral

Relations Between Kazakhstan and Germany. Chaos, Complexity and Leadership.

Springer Proceedings in Complexity 2014, pp 47-58.

Tokaeva, A. (2012). The history of the camp with an exotic name “ALZHIR” and its female

prisoners. Retrieved from

http://rus.azattyq.org/content/gulag_camp_kazakhstan/24179843.html

Education through internet takes too much time

Several decades ago nobody knew about internet and computers. Nowadays the new technologies totally occupied our surrounding. Nobody can refuse of using mobile phones, laptops, tablets and etc. Almost all devices have an access to Internet. People began to create and invent new applications. Undoubtedly very useful educational tools are invented, (unfortunately, some of them are not applicable to study and gain appropriate knowledge). Soon the term Web 2.0 applications appeared in our lives.

Internet started to develop rapidly. It led to creating social networks in order to make communication between people from different regions easier. Therefore Web 2.0 applications appeared this time. According to Alexander (2006), Director for Research at the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education, “the idea [Web 2.0] dates as far back as the 1960s and JCR Licklider’s thoughts on using networked computing to connect people in order to boost their knowledge and their ability to learn”. So Web 2.0 gave opportunity for people to share their knowledge with each other and exchange experiences. Nowadays even small children are able to use web applications.

The process of exchanging knowledge and sharing ideas with colleagues from different parts of the Earth became real as if they were living the next door. However, people started to live in virtual world. Scholars, educators, students immersed in the World Wide Web looking for new articles and useful information for their education. Unfortunately, it takes too much time and sometimes it seems that people spend more time with their computers rather than with family. Is it bad or not? Is it a disaster of the 21st century?

Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning? EDUCAUSE Review, 41(2), 32–44.