Language Resource Center designs custom classes for ESL teachers from Tashkent.
By Joelle Uzarski and Donna Brinton
For three weeks in July (7/4-7/24), UCLA's Language Resource Center is hosting the Uzbek Teachers of English Program (UTEP). Ten English teacher trainers from the Republic of Uzbekistan are participating in a custom-designed training program delivered by members of UCLA's Department of Applied Linguistics & TESL and funded by the U.S. Department of State. For most of the participants from this Muslim majority country, it is the first time leaving Central Asia.
The UTEP participants are faculty members of the largest teacher education institute in Uzbekistan, the World Languages University. Their division at the university, the Institute for English Language Teacher Education (IELTE), implements a unique, innovative pilot program in Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent. IELTE, in which all instruction is delivered in English, draws highly motivated students from throughout the republic. This pilot program will enter its fourth year of existence this fall, and to date, has trained approximately 250 future English teachers. IELTE's pedagogical program is slated to become the official model for English teacher training programs in other universities throughout Uzbekistan.
Though the UTEP participants are familiar with American culture, only one of the ten has been to the United States before. The participants will broaden their knowledge of current English language teaching methodology by participating in classes delivered by UCLA faculty members. In addition, many cultural events have been planned for their time in Los Angeles so they can broaden their appreciation of American music, art, geography, and cuisine.