All posts by meiramkyzy

About meiramkyzy

Graduate School of Education, Multilingual Education, Class 2017

Ethical consideration should not be taken for granted

These days the presence of the ethical consideration in research and its importance in data collection process allows all researchers to converge the attention on ethical manners that was just unprecedented before.

I used to associate the word ‘ethics’ with good manners in behavior, e.g. ‘table manner’ and did not take it seriously as a whole important  procedure. After enrolling to Nazarbayev University my awareness on research just turned upside down. Now I realized how it is important to take into account all ethical procedures meticulously and treat participants of the research in an ethical way in order to avoid any violation of human rights. As far as I understood from the article “Research Ethics Review as One way to Protect Human Subjects and Not Only” written by Ispambetova Botagoz (n.d), there were some studies conducted in the past which violated the rights of human beings including prisoners and some people from the poorer sections of the world. These earth-shattering actions were a strike against research development because people refused to take part in the research which brought them harmful effects. Human solidarity and ethical considerations demand that this unfortunate impression be dispelled. Times have changed and taking advantage of miscellaneous ethical codes such as The Nuremberg Code of Ethics (1949), Helsinki Declaration (1964), and Belmont Report (1979) now it enables to protect people from physical, emotional and psychological harm during any study.  Those impressive achievements which mentioned in the article should not be taken for granted. In other words, any study which involves human subjects should inject ethical considerations into the work. 

Before submitting my Ethics Review to NU GSE Research Committee I tried to abide by the ethical terms and double checked the Ethics part because even if the study involves minimal risks and participants are over 18, ethical considerations should be meticulously reviewed for accuracy and consistency. Also It was essential to describe clearly how I am going to recruit participants to the research, because as it implies in the article any participation should be voluntary, people have the right to withdraw participation at any time without penalty. 

To conclude, I want to clarify one more time that if any researcher who has to conduct the research were not trained to emphasize research ethics over profits would fail anyway. It is expected from any researcher to find new ways to respond to today’s changes: such as an ethic of solidarity, a passion for peace, and the promotion of respect for human beings.

Language Variation: Kazakh dialects


“Languages, like living species, evolve, grow, change, live, and die in relation to other languages and also in relation to their environment” (Hornberger, 2002, p. 33). So, with this word I want to emphasize that one language can be varying in different forms according to different places. The term language variety is also can be understood as a different interpretation of one language, which depends on social, regional or contextual patterns (Jaspers, 2010). Everybody has differences in the way of speaking, including pronunciation, grammar using structure, and vocabulary in one language in a particular place, and this variety of a language is called a dialect (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000).  I am going to analyze a videoclip of Kazakh famous singer Serik Ibragimov with the song “Kazakhpyz barimiz” which can be translated as “All of us are Kazakhs”,  where he clearly illustrates different dialects in different parts of Kazakhstan. According to Coupland (2007),  dialect can be characterized as a perspective of different experience, not just a variation and its styles can be described as a social action, which illustrates a local identity.

Serik Ibragimov in his song illustrates the most common Kazakh dialects such as Northern Kazakh, Southern Kazakh, Eastern Kazakh and Western Kazakh dialects. One of the founders of Kazakh linguistics Sarsen Amanzholov claims that these different types of dialects are determined according to territorial basis, not by tribal structures (Kazakh encyclopedia, 2015). These different dialects are closely related to each another, although it has some regional peculiarities. So, let us take a look at the interpretation of the song’s lyrics and determine some of the dialects there.

At the beginning of the song he claims that there are different language varieties and customs in every region of Kazakhstan ranging from Altai mountains to Atyrau region, from Esyl and Zhaiyk rivers to the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Then, in the first part of the song he added Southern dialect to the song. There are some words which is similar with some Uzbek words, or their pronunciation. It can be impact of Uzbek boundary close to South region of Kazakhstan.

Standard Kazakh language Southern dialect English translation
Ol zhakta Oyakta There, in that place
Erkin Beimaral Feeling free, comfortable
Kai zhakta Kayakta In any place, wherever
Tate Apshe Aunt
Aga Koke Uncle
Oibai! (interjection) Oliaa! Woo!

Then, he continued his song in the second part with presenting the Western Kazakh dialect, the place of the powerful Younger clan (zhuz) of Kazakh tribe, which has a specific pronunciation and vocabulary pattern:

Standard Kazakh language Western dialect English translation
Ne khabar? Ne khayar? What news?
Goi Goo Well (meaning smth.)
Sau bolshy Say bosh Good bye
Nemene? Ne zat? What?
Tynda Tyndashish Listen

In the next part, the singer switched to the Eastern dialect with the specific pronunciation of consonant ‘ch’ instead of ‘sh’. This may be an influence of the Great Silk way road which went through South-Eastern part of Kazakhstan to China and nomadic style of nations and people of that time may had an impact on pronunciation which remain till our time (Kazakh Encyclopedia, 2015).

Standard Kazakh language Eastern dialect English translation
Shygys Chygys The East
Shalkyp zhatkan Chalkyp Wide
Zhatkan Chatkan Laid,  situate

 And the singer in his final part of the song mentioned the Northern dialect with the specific pronunciation of some vowels in soft way. The Northern region is described in the song as cold place with strong windy weather, however the singer enjoys the place of extreme weather and warm people.

Standard Kazakh language Northern dialect English translation
Kulakh Kuliyakh Ears
Tymakh Tymiakh Hat

At the end of the song the singer mentioned all the parts of Kazakhstan, and he strongly believed that Kazakh language with its beautiful various dialects should not be divided into national or regional subgroups. As we can see from this song, there are several language variations, especially dialectical variation (Nordquist, 2017) of four different regions. It can be observed that these dialects were different by grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation in each region. The Kazakh language is rich and wide, and it has lots of variations throughout Kazakhstan.  I have noticed that some of them are extremely different from Standard Kazakh language, others are slightly different. Despite that fact, dialects might be recognized by many Kazakh people. Nevertheless there is an every hope that Kazakh young generation and people from different parts of Kazakhstan might understand each other and accept these dialects with high tolerance and respect. The author and the singer of this song have an explicit objective of ensuring that every Kazakh people or citizen have an access to live in peace and harmony, no matter what ethnicity or culture you belonged to,  wherever you are from, and what dialect you use in ordinary life.


Coupland, N. (2007) Style. Language Variation and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Ibragimov,S. (2017).  Kazakhpyz barimiz\ All of us are Kazakhs. Video retrieved from

Jaspers, J. (2010). Style and styling. In Hornberger, N. H., & McKay, S. L. Sociolinguistics and language education (pp. 177-204). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Retrieved from

Nordquist, R. (2017). Linguistic Variation. Retrieved from

The American Heritage dictionary of the English language. (2000). Boston :Houghton Mifflin.

The Kazakh encyclopedia, (2015).  Dialekty kazakhskogo yazyka\ Dialects of Kazakh language. Retrieved from:

Discourse of using slangs (jargons) in vernacular language



The subject of the Kazakh language is a still painful topic for the Kazakh nation, because a relatively limited time has elapsed since the collapsing of Soviet Union and its Russian dominant ideology. These days Kazakhstan has a bilingual society, however with the development of technologies and creation of new era of virtual social networks the young generation of the country reduce their preferences to speak purely in one language, switching from one language variety to another, or from one code to another is practiced and the usage of slangs words formed from mixing Russian and Kazakh dramatically increased compared to the last decade, this in turn decreases the purity of Kazakh language itself. I am also concerned about the continuous tendency of using slangs, whether it has a positive impact on language ecology or has a crucial implication on language purity. In the discourse analysis the attitudes and perceptions of different people are taken into account. Particularly, this data interpretation’s goal is to analyse two inter-related dimensions of discourse proposed the usage of slangs and its impact on Kazakh language development and the relation with the Russian language itself.

It is known that language is heterogeneous and social (De Jong, 2011), and if the society changes, it is sure that the language changes will follow too. This analysis describes the discourses on slang; the first is that slang is considered as a fictional language of youngsters with the negative social media impacts on it; and the second that slang is a powerful tool which can be affected positively on vernacular language usage and its enrichment further among the Kazakh nation.

The Kazakh writer Kanat Tasibekov emphasizes his linguistic purism views and expresses the overall linguistic situation in Kazakhstan in the interview for the “Caravan” newspaper. “Our language – is a boundary of consciousness. The language reflects our personal traits.  The cultural level of Kazakh society is directly connected with the language. Nevertheless, the cultural level is still left much to be desired in Kazakhstan. Despite that fact that we have two official languages, most commonly I met youngsters who are not fluent enough in both languages, neither in Kazakh nor in Russian. They are not able to express their thoughts correctly in any mentioned languages. I accept, if the speaker is fluent in his\her native language, but not fluent in foreign or second language.  But I am struck by the language level of the young generation who do not even speak correctly in their mother tongue”. (Caravan newspaper online, a journalist Kseniya Karpova, July 10, 2017; a quote from Kazakh writer Kanat Tasibekov)

The another schoolgirl named Alima Abdikhalyk who studies at 11th grade at school gymnasium No.139 in Almaty left her comment about the purity of language and the usage of slangs on Azattyk online newspage. “The Internet and social networking sites has a negative impact on the language purity, teenagers use slangs and jargons in their speech with shifting from Kazakh to Russian”. (Azattyk, May 23, 2014: a quote from the schoolgirl Alima Abdikhalyk, the journalist Alma Kenzhebekova)

These comments shows that only one variety of language is appropriate variant, as far as shifting from language to language and using slangs would endanger language purity. According to these authors, overusing of slangs can lead to the loss of cultural identity and decreasing of cultural level because it is considered as an increasingly valid form of expression which is used by particular group of people, especially youngsters, to sound more emphatic in the community.

Aktolkyn Nurlybai a journalist of Akmeshit newspaper gives some brief examples of popular slangs among the young people:  “There are other important aspects of the current youth situation that cause concerns starting with their fashion style, lifestyle and language style. They use combined Kazakh Russian language, and present it in the way of slangs. From early morning till night they spend all their time on social networking, and they getting used to use shortened words. This trend threatens to rob the youth of today, and future generations, their  rights to better knowledge. So here the most common slangs: “Kaksyn – how are you”, “syndym – have a crush on somebody”, “zvonda – call me”, “kumashy- do not be stupid”, “zhyndansky – super”, “mahan – mother”, “pahan- father”, “mambet – old-fashioned man”, “nestevatsn- what are you doing”.

Nevertheless, there are some positive views on using slangs by young generation. Slang is considered as a tool for expand its horizons and keeping it active. Slang enriches the language with new terms and vocabulary which can be turned into neologisms in the language community.

From this view, I have one discourse, from the master of Kazakh philology Tumabayeva Aliya, she claimed that: “The youngsters’ slang usage trend should be examined and researched, because it can give us many linguistic features which can be added as a single branch of the study.  As far as I know, the slangs are not popular only in social networking sites but also widely used in media. The slang as “language inside the language” relates to spoken language and media world. It can be used as a tool for pushing people use Kazakh more than Russian”

In the era of globalization and technological progress the big tons of unfiltered information make our youngsters blind, their consciousness full of unnecessary information, as a result their language is suffered from all these modern trends.  However, the youngsters cannot be blamed for a lack of culture and proficiency in language if its views and concerns are disregarded. It means that the youngsters’ slang usage trend might be considered as a social and language phenomenon.


Photo credits to:


De Jong, E. J. (2011). Foundations for multilingualism in education: From principles to practice. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon Publishing.

Kenzhebekova, A. (2014, May 23,). Sleng sociyalnyh setei zasoryaet pismennuiyiu rech/ the impact of social networking sites slangs. Retrieved from:

Nurlybai, A. (2016, August16). Retrieved from:

Tasibekov, S (2017). Pochemu v Kazakhstane na russkom govoryat luchshe chem v Rossii\ Why Kazakh speak in Russian better than Russians itself.  Retrieved from:  ://

Tumabayeva, A. (2013).  Language inside the language” or the usage of youngsters’ slang\ «Til ishindegi til» nemese zhastar zhargony turaly. Ana tili newspaper. Retrieved from:



Linda Cliatt- Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard (deconstruction)

As I remember from my school days, our school principal was one of the greatest persons who inspired students to build on their strengths, persuading to believe that all dreams and goals are achievable. This experience allows me to construe that the principal is the key figure in education who keeps the balance in schools. When I saw this videoLinda Cliatt- Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard (deconstruction) for the first time, I was speechless, because it really touched me with highlights of the impact and asset that this strong woman brought to the society. It was manifest from her speech that principal, teachers and students in school are more than the system. Linda Cliatt-Wayman is a great principal in Strawberry Mansion High School in the North Philadelphia, who has the 20 years’ experience on a special education for low-performing schools.  She is a solid principal who triggered off a broken school to ameliorate; the woman who had established a student code of discipline among the students with the most outrageous behaviour. The school is defined as a school with the bad reputation and was in the hit list of Philadelphia’s authorities as a “persistently dangerous school”. Nowadays the school is being transformed in a positive direction.

That’s how it was.

She claimed that there was no one around who could be a powerful principal to this school in the last four years, and finally she volunteered to be a principal.  On the first day of work she had witnessed her students fighting each other, after it she moved on to first action toward improvement. During the meeting, one girl named Ashley asked her “Miss… miss, why do you keep calling this a school? This is not a school”.  Linda says that this sort of question made her think back to her low-performing school where she had studied many years ago. Exactly, this was not a real school, the doors were locked with the chains, and the classrooms were almost empty, students carried weapons and there were a drug addicts. What is the worst that even the teachers were afraid for their personal safety. She obviously did a huge work to transform everything in the school, she compel herself to persist these challenges. In this way, her famous slogans were used as leverage to struggle for change. Anyway it seems to me that everything is not easy as it described in her speech.

Her first slogan is: “If you’re going to lead, lead”.

Cliatt-Wayman asserts that everything happens in the school depends on the principal. Being principal requires her to be a leader. She pinpointed that the leader should not sit back in the office, delegate work on others, and cannot allow herself to be afraid of tackling her students’ issues. Also, she emphasized that there’s nothing to be done alone. So, to carry out this task Linda gathered around herself the most skilled staff, who have the faith on children’s potential. All staff including teachers, police officers work constructively, tirelessly and consistently to help the broken school recover. Necessary steps were taken to strengthen the discipline entitled as: “Non-negotiable.” As a result, the school removed from the persistently dangerous list, which in my opinion reflects her truly leadership skills to lead people fearlessly. As she highlighted “Leaders make the impossible – possible”.

The next slogan is: “So what. Now what?”

The principal asserts that the school encountered the low attendance rate, many students were from dysfunctional families, they did not place a priority to study, and this in turn led the school fall behind.  Taking into account conversations about appalling conditions, bad-tempered students, the low results on algebra and literature, she set the goal in front of her colleagues: “So what. Now what? What are we going to do?” Linda depicts development problems and solutions, so she made teachers to differentiate the methodology which might be effective to pay respect to individuality of students. She made every effort to deal with the problems she encountered, but in this video she described only the top of the iceberg. For instance, I was curious to know how they elevate the level of education in details, what exact methods teachers used? So, these questions still required more precise answers.

Her final slogan is: “If nobody told you they love you today, remember I do”.

Her students had financial, social and emotional problems, and no matter what they had she tried to support all of them, because she knows the feeling what it’s like living on poverty.  She believes that opportunities for education and life skills help them to improve their lives and rise from poverty. Linda has daily conversations with her students and  she elevates with pinpoint accuracy those moments when her students feel themselves special, essential and awfully safe.

Though truth be told, my favorite spot is that Cliatt-Wayman has gained the respect and support of the audience on the basis of her work and results. She made tough decisions; she set a clear goal in front of her students, reminding them on a daily basis that education can change their lives.

In her speech there is a powerful message for all educators who have an opportunity to change the world, we should not stand idly by, experience the negative effects of poverty, and be satisfied with promises of authorities. Since any change would require broad support across all sectors of society, she encourages people to let us be prepared to take minute steps toward development of education worldwide.



Do we really meet the requirements of the Bologna process?


Development of higher education requires to meet high demands of society and to correspond to the global and international trends observed in many countries. Therefore, the Bologna process is considered as the examples of international cooperation, formation of education spaces, significance of public responsibility, and academic mobility. The adoption of Bologna process and its principles is a voluntary action (A Tempus Study, 2012). Kazakhstan became the first country in Central Asia which signed and ratified the Lisbon Convention and joined the Bologna Process.

Bologna Process requires from its members that they should focus on some actions: Comparable degrees of diplomas; adoption of a system essentially based on credit transfer system; promotion of academic mobility for faculty and students; cooperation with European countries in quality assurance; lifelong learning (Yergebekov, Temirbekova, 2012). Therefore, there is a question arises: Do we really meet the requirements of the Bologna process?

We have seen in practice that there are limits on the adoption of the Bologna process, in Kazakhstani higher education system. Though one of the core principles of the Bologna Process is referred to recognition of degrees, diplomas of Kazakhstani universities are mostly not recognized in many developed countries (Sarsembayeva, Kaigorodtsev, 2013). It can be related to lack of joint programs and degrees and these programs has not been provided by the legislation of Kazakhstan and it causes hindrance with implementation of the reform in general (A Tempus Study, 2012).

Implementation of the Bologna principles in Kazakhstan has been restrained by inefficient financing system. This can be explained again by centralized governance from the Ministry of Education and Science and funding of public universities only (OECD, 2007). Modernization of higher education among private universities, which comprised the majority, has been suppressed.  Credit system also can be referred as another problem with the implementation of the Bologna Process. The сredit system was supposed to provide that each student freely chooses lessons he/she wants to attend and his/her teachers. But, due to the Soviet legacy of distribution of hours of teachers at the beginning of academic year, the number of courses and hours a teacher will give is known, and the students do not have any choice relatively their courses to take. So, electives eventually become required courses without much possibility to choose neither the course, nor the teacher (Yergebekov, Temirbekova, 2012).

Another problem with implementation of the Bologna Process was inability to ensure mobility of students and academic staff. In fact, there are some common obstacles for student mobility as “insufficient funding, insufficient language skills, low awareness of information, limited recognition of study abroad periods and of foreign qualifications; immigration and visa impediments” (European Higher Education Area, 2012). Yet, academic mobility, or more precisely, its inconsistent nature is stipulated by lack of flexibility of courses and credit transfer in terms of exchange programs, as well as cost of tuition fee and accommodation; besides there are no regulating mechanisms in Kazakhstan adopted that can facilitate student mobility. As for the mobility of academic staff, the program areas are restricted by some fields and language proficiency (OECD, 2007).

If there is a chance to do anything differently with the problems related to the adoption of the Bologna process, it can be stated as to increase public funding and establish mechanisms for involving international organizations and employers into this process (OECD, 2007). In addition, it is recommended to raise proficiency of the English language for academic staff in order to increase their mobility. In order to prepare a competitive student on the international level it is required to train academic staff and make their curricula more globally challenging.

As a final point, I would close by saying that the implementation of the Bologna Process is still under way and should be researched in order to face existing challenges and provide internationalization of higher education in Kazakhstan.


6343707Photo credit:


A Tempus Study: State of Play of the Bologna Process in the Tempus Partner Countries, 2012. Retrieved from

European Higher Education Area. (2012). Beyond the Bologna process: Creating and connecting national, regional and global higher education areas. Statement of the third Bologna policy forum (pp. 1 – 3). Bucharest.

OECD, (2007). Reviews of national policies for education: Higher education in Kazakhstan. MA, USA: OECD.

Sarsembayeva, G. J., Kaigorodtsev, A. A. (2013). Kazakhstan v Bolonskom protsesse. G-Global. Retrieved from

Tempus, (2012). Higher education in Kazakhstan. Retrieved from

The European Higher Education Area in 2012: Bologna Process Implementation Report. Retrieved from

Yergebekov, M., Temirbekova, Z. (2012). The Bologna Process and problems in higher education system of Kazakhstan. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 1473 – 1478. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.845



The power of feedback

In the time that passes between when I was a schoolgirl in high school and when I started teaching, I really see the big difference. This variance is mainly caused by educational reforms that have been adopted in recent years. Therefore I started getting interested in formative assessment as a tool to motivate students to perform better at the lessons, this raised the question in my mind;  “What is the formative assessment, and what does it do?”

I have deepened my knowledge about the usage of formative assessment and the role of feedback for the sake of my future practices at school. I am trying to sort it all out in my blog.  Formative assessment is a top-trending topic of these days among different stakeholders; it is “a process through which assessment-elicited evidence of student learning is gathered and instruction is modified in response to feedback” (Cauley & McMillan, 2010, p.1). It has been noted by many teachers that they have benefited from using feedback at the lessons. The main benefit of formative assessment is verbal feedback which teacher can give in every lesson to enable students to fulfil their potential and motivation to study further. Nevertheless, it does not always imply collaboration between students and teachers, it also describes how learners work measures up to the standard and explores the gap between current and aspired performance (Nolen, 2011; Yue., et al., 2008). In other words, when learners have definite goals, and timely feedback, they have a basis that leads them to understand their achievement; reflect on their weaknesses and strengths. In addition, it gives an opportunity to improve monitoring of the effectiveness of measures adopted on various aspects of feedback. Self-reflection will expand students’ responsibility on their academic achievements. It can be considered as a kind of teachers’ support with reminders which pushes them to action, and encouraging them to pay attention on their knowledge perception and meeting the learning objectives rather than getting grades.

There is every hope, that all teachers will use feedback as a powerful tool.  Academic achievements of students will reveal whether these indirect measures are sufficient.

Feedback concepts

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Cauley, K. M., & McMillan, J. H. (2010). Formative Assessment Techniques to Support Student Motivation and Achievement. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues And Ideas83(1), 1-6.

Nolen, S. B. (2011). The Role of Educational Systems in the Link between Formative Assessment and Motivation. Theory Into Practice50(4), 319-326.

Yue, Y., Shavelson, R. J., Ayala, C. C., Ruiz-Primo, M. A., Brandon, P. R., Furtak, E. M., & Young, D. B. (2008). On the Impact of Formative Assessment on Student Motivation, Achievement, and Conceptual Change. Applied Measurement In Education21(4), 335-359. doi:10.1080/08957340802347845