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Teachers Association Support/Conferences

English for Special purposes (ESP) is in the focus of attention of ELO

On November 18-19, 2015, the newly established Moscow English Language Office supported Special Interest Group (SIG) on teaching English for Special purposes (ESP) held its first conference at the renowned Bauman State Technical University in Moscow. Logistic and financial support from the English Language Office helped to bring seven leading experts in ESP from different parts of Russia to participate in the conference to present workshops and master classes for 150 tertiary level teachers. The Moscow based English Language Officer and Moscow based English Language Fellow, John Kotnarowski, opened the conference with plenary presentations which helped to focus discussions on teaching ESP in Russia. Additional information shared during the presentations on MOOCs, webinars, and E-teachers courses were met enthusiastically by Russian teachers who are striving to adapt new methods into their ESP courses and classrooms.

ELO Moscow Travels to Arkhangelsk

On Nov.12-13, Moscow ELO traveled to Arkhangelsk to participate in an American Studies Conference hosted by the Northern Arctic Federal University. This years theme, American Studies: Results and Prospects of Interregional Cooperation and Research, was sponsored in part by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg. The Moscow ELO was one of the featured speakers at the event and spoke on the importance of English language learning and teaching as a tool to bridge cultural differences. While in Arkhangelsk, the ELO was also invited to give a workshop on best practices in English language teaching and a demonstration lesson for local teachers and students that highlighted activities to complement the International Day of Tolerance marked each year on November 16th. Following the lesson, the ELO spoke with teachers about resources and opportunities available to English teachers and learners though the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the Office of English Language Programs in Washington D.C.

ELO Moscow visits Izhevsk

On Nov. 13-14, Moscow ELO was invited to Izhevsk to meet with students and teachers at the Center for American Studies at Udmurt State University. The ELO spoke on elements of and issues related to American culture and suggested some methods for how cultural awareness training might be integrated into a broader curriculum. While in Izhevsk, ELO also had the opportunity to meet with in-service teachers and students to share resources and materials and model a number of interactive student-centered teaching activities that highlight inclusion, tolerance, and diversity.

Moscow English Language Office presents at Biannual Cultural Conference in Blagoveshchensk

On October 11-12, Moscow ELO gave two presentations at the biannual conference, "Current Problems of Languages and Culture Interaction" at Amur State University in Blagoveshchensk. More than 130 participants from Amur Oblast as well as 7 more cities from throughout Russia had a chance to listen to presentations from leading Russian experts who traveled to this remote Chinese border city through an ELO grant. Live in- depth discussions on issues related to cross-cultural communication were complimented by remote presentations from the U.S. and Korea. The conference was a great success and garnered broad support for the local teachers' association.

English Language Office Holds the 15th annual Umbrella Conference

From September 25-27, 2014, the English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in collaboration with the Russian National Association of Teachers of English (NATE) held their 15th annual Umbrella Conference in Kolomna. The theme of this years conference was Excellence through Collaboration. More than 60 leaders from 34 cities presented on topical issues important in EL teaching in Russia today. Two days of dynamic brainstorming sessions resulted in action plans, recommendations, and well developed integrated proposals in six new areas: research and academic writing, the establishment of a network of academic writing centers, appreciating diversity through the English language curriculum, teaching English for the blind and visually impaired, English for Specific Purposes, and the integration of online education (including MOOCs). This networking event led to the formation of new consortiums that hope to carry project ideas to realization through the support of the English Language Office. Representatives of the Embassy (ELO and IRC) made presentations and consulted with attendees on various professional development opportunities. Of note, 45 of the leaders of regional associations in attendance were alumni of U.S. exchange programs.

Moscow English Language Teachers Association (MELTA) Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

The Moscow English Language Teachers Association (MELTA) celebrated its 10th anniversary during their annual conference ELT Forum: Facing Challenges in the Changing World on October 25th, 2014 at Moscow State Pedagogical University. The organization was created with the help of the English Language Office and is headed by U.S. government Exchange Programs Alumni. Sixty-five teachers, including representatives from 10 districts of Moscow, enjoyed an inspiring plenary presentation made by EL Fellow John Kotnarowski, who shared ideas on how to motivate students both inside and outside the classroom. In the current, test-driven environment, the topic helped to remind teachers about basic professional values and beliefs and provided a chance to reflect on best practices. In addition to the plenary talks, twelve more alumni made presentations at various sessions, providing useful information for their colleagues and cementing their roles as leaders within the greater EFL community in the region. Highlights from the event were posted to the MELTA website http://elt-moscow.ru/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/422973184395154/

Moscow ELO meets English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Group at Far Eastern State Fisheries University and holds Workshop for Teachers

On October 20, Moscow ELO met with instructors from Far Eastern State Fisheries University to discuss issues related to teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP). The teachers chronicled their cooperation with the English Language Office in Moscow and demonstrated how outcomes of this collaboration have had a positive impact on ESP practices at their university and the overall level of professional development of ESP teachers in the Russian Far East. ELO discussed other programs, resources, and materials available through the a Office of English Language Programs that can enhance continued professional development for this community and conducted a workshop on some "best practices" in teaching English as Foreign Language.

Moscow ELO gives Workshops for Members of the Far East English Language Teachers' Association (FEELTA)

On October 18 Moscow ELO gave two presentations for members of FEELTA at Far Eastern Federal University. The ELO shared with the group some practical ways to raise student awareness of tolerance and inclusion and a session on ideas of how to include a cultural component into broader Foreign Language curriculums. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion and concluded with the ELO sharing resources and opportunities available to teachers and students through the Office of English Language Programs.

In-Service Training Opportunity for Russian English Teachers in the Far East/Khabarovsk

On October 13, more than one hundred teachers of English in Khabarovsk, the capital of the Far East, came together for an in- service teacher training seminar organized by the local teachers' association. The program included presentations by the Moscow English Language Officer and local English Language Fellow John Flynn. The event brought secondary school and university teachers together to discuss topical issues and to provide a unique opportunity for professional development.

In-Service Training Opportunity for Russian English Teachers in the Far East/Birobidzhan

On October 15, some fifty secondary school teachers from Birobidzhan and nearby settlements gathered at the local in- service teacher training center to participate in a diverse program that included presentations from the Moscow ELO and local Access students. Birobidzhan, the capital of the Jewish autonomous republic near the Chinese border, is a remote area with few opportunities for professional development opportunities with American trainers. The Access students, who have only been in the program for six months, amazed teachers at the ease with which they communicated in English and with the variety of activities they are involved in. After the presentations, the Access students had an interactive class with the Moscow ELO over tea and Halloween treats!

Moscow English Language Officer uses Target of Opportunity to Engage with Young Audiences in Blagoveshchensk

On October 12, more than sixty university students and thirty secondary school students from Blagoveshchensk enjoyed impromptu English lessons from the Moscow English Language Officer. The ELO took time between regularly scheduled conference presentations to hold a master class for this younger audience. Through a series of communicative activities, the students learned the value of intercultural communication, team work, and new approaches to language learning. The secondary school students who came to the conference to make presentations about the U.S., Great Britain, and Russia, were able to get acquainted with a bit of "real" America, reconstructing the map of the USA, and demonstrating what they knew about its regions.

Russian English Teachers Attend Conference Hosted by Russian University and the English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy

On September 26th, some 100 English language teachers from Moscow Oblast attended a conference organized by Moscow State Regional Institute for the Humanities and Social Science in Kolomna and the English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. The event, Challenging Change in Teaching, Learning and Testing, featured presentations by the English Language Officer and USG programs alumni that gave attendees up-to-date information on the hot topics of national standardized testing and assessment. Through presentations made by U.S. Embassy representatives, attendees were also able to learn about USG supported resources such as eLibrary and the Smithsonian project. The conference was highlighted on local Kolomna TV which covers the huge South-East portion of Moscow Oblast and included an interview with the English Language Officer. The conference led to a series of discussions that sparked attendees to actively participate in future collaborations.

Moscow ELO is Teacher for a Day at the Far Eastern State University of Humanities in Khabarovsk

On October 16 Moscow ELO was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Far Eastern State University of Humanities in Khabarovsk. The ELO worked with a packed house of third and fifth year university students from three departments. The ELO introduced students to a wide variety of communicative activities designed to raise awareness of issues related to tolerance and inclusion. The students were highly engaged and enjoyed the opportunity to use their English skills in a practical way concerning issues and challenges people in all societies face today.

Local English Language Teachers Association Expands

Khimki Chapter of Moscow English Language Teachers Association is headed by an Honored Teacher of Russia, an alumna of US government exchange programs Tatiana Kuznetsova. Under her guidance the activities of the association have become popular not only among teachers of this Moscow Oblast city in the North of Moscow, but also from nearby smaller cities of Moscow Oblast. The Association hosted a an EFL Forum on October 24th and eighty nine teachers from Khimki, Klin, Istra, Dmitrov, Solnechnogorsk, Pushkino and Dubna got together for a professional development event. The teachers presented their best practices showing videos of everyday lessons, sharing their experience and enjoying networking

"Highlights from Recent Events":

Salavat ACCESSS Summer Camp 2013
Umbrella-7 Conference "Building Networks for Change" Ryazan, September 17-19, 2008
Umbrella - 2014 in Kolomna
Umbrella Conference in Kolomna (Sep 25-27) was great thanks to the fantastic organizers and exceptionally hard working and smart participants (Elena Lubnina)

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