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Hornby regional schools 2003

Almaty, Kazakhstan

25 August - 5 September 2003

Hornby Regional School for Central Asia

Twenty-five teachers from Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan celebrated the beginning of this academic year discussing a very interesting topic Civic education, human rights and English language development in Almaty, Kazakhstan. All of us are very grateful to British Council Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan for organising this event.

We spent ten great days sharing our ideas about incorporating this really serious stuff into our lessons at different levels and in different institutions. You won't believe, but now we are sure that civic education is possible even in primary school.

We were lucky to have got acquainted with four enthusiastic ladies who developed this course: Gyongyi Vegh and Maria Niemi from Hungary, Tatyana Kolesnikova and Malika Medetova from Kazakhstan. They infected us with lots of ideas that we have already started using in our teaching. We looked at activities with human right documents, magic pictures, OHP, stereotypes, role plays, we took the human rights temperature in our schools and educational institutions. It was a very creative course. We tried our hand at acting out conflict situations. Gyongyi shot us with her video camera, so hopefully Hollywood will welcome us soon. At least we could star in comedies!

We also evaluated some published materials and tried to design our own tasks for civic education. Apart from studies, there were interesting evening activities like singing and recording it, dancing Scottish dances, parties where we became real friends.

What are the outcomes of this school? Now we are a bunch of colleagues, who communicate via e-mail and hope to meet each other at some other schools or conferences soon. Some of us are going to organise similar seminars in their institutions. Some of us are going to incorporate human rights and civic education into their language courses or develop new courses.

We would be very happy if this report triggered off any useful ideas about EFL teaching.

Natalya Dementyeva (Aktobe, Kazakhstan) and co.

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