“English for Academics” course at NRU ”TIIAME”
It is known that the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Head Scientific and Methodological Center for Retraining and Advanced Training of Teachers and Heads of the Higher Education System and British Council in Uzbekistan have developed the program for “English for Academics” course. This program is based on the implementation of the tasks mentioned in the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated April 20, 2017 № PD-2909 “On measures for the further development of higher education system”, which aims at developing teaching skills of higher education personnel in English, necessary for their professional development in abroad, participation in internship and exchange programs, as well as effective participation in practical and scientific conferences in their fields, publication of articles according to international standards as well. This program took into consideration the international standards of CEFR, a system of levels of proficiency in a foreign language used in the European Union. CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment and the requirements of continuous study of foreign languages in the education system of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
With this aim, on March 1, 2020 in collaboration with British Council there was organized “English for Academics” course at the Professional Development Centre of Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers. The course (3 weeks face-to face and 2 months online) is being attended by nearly 30 professors and teachers of various specialties. As noted above, the course participants were divided into levels A2, B1 and B2 in accordance with internationally recognized CEFR standards in foreign languages. During “English for Academics” course, participants were provided with a number of modern books and online resources that are effective for mastering English skills and enhancing their professional skills. At the course learners also had an opportunity to develop their self-study skills that are important for learning a foreign language and they were supported by trainers through the training platform http://english.edu.uz, created by the British Council under the leadership of the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The language learning approaches promoted through the platform help learners improve their professional skills.
It should be noted that foreign resources and electronic programs provided by British Council for the Professional Development Center, within the international project, created an opportunity for students to master foreign languages. Besides that, various weekly online course assignments were also aimed at improving language skills such as Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation, as well as developing learning strategies such as goal setting, self-management and searching information. Video, audio, podcasts, training materials, interactive exercises and links for language learning, provided by the British Council during the course allowed students to effectively use the best learning resources in the world for solving various problems using innovative approaches. On May 8, 2020 participants of “English for Academics” course for the successful completion of the online education course, using platform http://english.edu.uz were awarded with certificates by the Head Scientific Methodological Center. At the same time, the course participants plan to continue their online activities through distance learning with the instructors of the Center. We hope that such professors and teachers of our team will ensure the continuous development of professional competencies and pedagogical skills at the level of international standards, based on further improvement of the English language skills that are necessary for practical and scientific activities in their fields.