All posts by nurmaku

Plenary or reflection: what is the need for?


To be a teacher is a very easy task but teaching is the most difficult process. Teachers cannot see the results of their work immediately unlike their colleagues – artists or constructors – who creates something and after some time vo a la the masterpiece is ready to be purchased or simply admired by the lovers. No panic! There is a solution for teachers to know what went well during the lesson and what should be improved next time. It`s plenary time! or five minutes activity at the end of each lesson for reflection. Why do teachers need it? What benefits students will gain completing this task? What are the functions of plenary tasks? Is it a new method or no? Here I will try to answer the following questions and explicate them for you.

Well, I would like to answer the first question first: Why teachers need reflection? Due to reflection or plenary, teachers can check if their endeavour was done not in vain. Moreover, teachers can see the flaws in their teaching methods, styles, analyse the activity for the appropriateness or relevance, or understand the learners` need and abilities better. Next time they will plan their lessons taking into consideration the students feedback and will be able to improve their teaching styles and up-to-date their teaching methods.

Next is what students will win from this? They will learn how to reflect on what they have learnt and assess the situation adequately so that to develop their own skills and habits. It will help them to see their own gaps and mistakes. In addition, it will motivate them to study hard in order not to fail the task or, even more, to get the excellent mark from the teacher next time.

As for the functions of the plenary, it is to help both teachers and students to see their own strengths and weaknesses in teaching and learning process. From topic to topic the content of the plenary should be changed in order not to get bored and to know the accurate situation in the class. It will help them to assess their abilities, try something new, for instance, new teaching method, or a new way of conducting the lesson, etc.

My answer to the last question is here that some educators assume that getting feedback from the students is something new or modern method in education. I argue that this type of reflection existed even in the Soviet period and it is not a new way of concluding the lesson. During the Soviet time teachers simply asked questions orally and students answered them in the same way without writing anything. But now when everything is changed and the era of technology is boosting, it is impossible to imagine a class without smart boards or some electronic devices so teachers use them at its full length, depicting everything in images, charts, tables, etc.

To conclude, I would like to say that with the help of plenaries the voices of the students will be heard, and both the teachers and the students will work hard on their own development. Creative lessons create creative students and will encourage students to think critically, to find out extraordinary solutions and will help to form the future leaders in the walls of the school!

Family Language Policy: Kazakhstani Case

Family language policy (FLP) is a newly emerged concept and King at al. (2008) state that FLP “provides an integrated overview of research on how languages are managed, learned and negotiated within families” (King at al., 20087, p. 907).

Unfortunately, no case studies have been done to research this kind of situation in Kazakhstan. But as a member of a big purely Kazakh origin family, I can say about my own experience. Three languages are spoken by different generation in my family. The older generation, my parents spoke Russian when they were young, later, they changed their attitudes towards the languages and shifted to Kazakh. First reason was when they reached 50 years old, and acknowledged the importance of the mother tongue, and the second reason was when their children (my older siblings used only Russian because they went to Russian kindergartens and schools as there were no Kazakh educational establishments in the village) started to speak Russian more than Kazakh at home. So they decided to send me and my younger sisters to Kazakh kindergarten and school. So, the second generation (my siblings and me) are fluent in both Russian and Kazakh languages. The third generation (grandchildren of my parents) are trilingual; they speak Kazakh and Russian in their own families, and they are acquiring the third language; trilingual policy is embedded in their schools and kindergartens. When the whole family units or their children and grandchildren come to visit my parents, they all try to speak Kazakh because my parents are strict when it comes to the use of language and demand from all of them to speak only Kazakh. The second generation also does good attempts concerning the Kazakh acquisition; using “One Language-One Parent (OPOL)” strategy at home (Braun & Cline, 2014). One of my sisters speaks in Russian to her children and her husband speaks Kazakh to them; they do it unconsciously, because my sister cannot speak Kazakh very well and she prefers Russian and as for my brother-in-law, he just simply does not know Russian very well, that is why he speaks only Kazakh with the children. Children differently respond to both of the parents, mostly in that language that they were addressed to.

This is the only one case, but I am sure there are many cases in Kazakhstan; people simply do not publicise it and maybe they even do not know about the existence of the policy. FLP should be accepted as any language law because the government states to augment the use and status of the Kazakh language. Stakeholders, policy-makers, and researchers must fill this gap and develop not only LP but FLP as well. Adopting some other countries` FLP is not an option because it should be designed according to the Kazakhstani unique experience.


Braun, A. & Cline, T. (2014). Language Strategies for Trilingual Families: Parents` Perspective. Great Britain, UK: CPI Group Ltd, Croydon.

King, A.K., Fogle, L., & Logan-Terry, A. (2008). Family language policy. Journal Compilation. Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Smagulova, Zh. (2008). Reforma shkolnogo obrazovaniya: bolshaya peremena [School education reform: big break]. Analytical group “CIPD”. Retrieved from

New Goal – New Challenge

One of my professors at NU told once that she had “MY TIME” in her everyday planning list, and as she explained, it was the time when she could do anything that had nothing to do with her real goals. Since then I also made up my mind to create my own one. Although it takes not only an hour of my one day as it was supposed to be so but I tripled “MY TIME”. I organized it a little bit different with new challenges and here it follows and the rest of “MT” is given to my studies and note, no social network browsing for at least a week (have to challenge myself even more))):

Every day:

6amWith the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. (E. Roosevelt)

6.30-7.30amSports do not build character. They reveal it. (H. Broun)

9 – 10.30pmEither write something worth reading or do something worth writing. (B. Franklin)

Once a week:

7 – 9pmI cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy…. (C.R. Swindoll)

8 – 10pmSoap operas are the most popular shows we have. (D. Stevens)

Some of them were set recently; they are really challenges for me. I am seriously addicted to the internet: surf it every day and night, watch anything and everything on purpose and with no purpose. So I decided to forget about Facebook, Instagram for about a week and limited myself. Another passion is Turkish soap-operas; I can`t explain why I am so passionate about it, but there is little excuse for that – I am learning Turkish. Again, I cut off the time that I was spending for that. Instead I found new inspiration in reading, especially classics. I love reading books actually, but with the advent of the internet they were shifted away and left to farther shelves.

How far I can go? You have to tell me! See you soon!


Live United

For a stranger, it is very interesting fact to know that there are about 130 nations and nationalities live in the Republic of Kazakhstan with its territory of about 2.717.000km² in peace and tranquillity for about 25 years. Since its independence, many representatives of various nations and nationalities left for their historic motherlands, and even more number of compatriots came back to their home country – Kazakhstan. 17.519.000 people (StatCommittee Ministry of Economy, 2015) share different cultural heritage, customs and traditions, holidays and devotions with each other.

The hallmark of being tolerant and respectful to other nations around is the hospitality and open-heartedness of local Kazakh people. Since my childhood, I had been surrounded by people with different languages and viewpoints, but all of them were kind and nice people. We were together in happiness and grief. We could feel everything with our hearts and mind. We understood each other very well. From one hand, they are different, and from the other hand, they are similar. They are different because they have their own language, culture and religion, and at the same time they are similar because they respect, love and value us and the environment that they live and breathe.

We all learn from each other. Sometimes we argue with each other telling that this or that is in our culture, or in their culture, this or that is taken from this or that nation, etc. At last, we come to conclusion that we should be thankful; otherwise we would not have such marvellous tradition or food or something else. We invite each other on the occasion of marriage, sundet-toy (i.e. circumcision), uzatu-toy (i.e. farewell party for a bride), etc.

To conclude, I wish to say that each of us have to inherit this gift; the gift to be able to maintain harmony and love to our neighbours! Live united!


Ministry of Economy. (2015). Statistical Committee of Economy Ministry.

Image is retrived from