As you know, people all over the world celebrated International Children Day yesterday. We did the same. Kazakhstan with the support of UNICEF organized Children film festival in Astana. The festival aimed to draw people’s attention to the children all over the world and different situations they are in. Children film festival in Astana takes place in Saryarka Shopping and Entertainment Center. It will last for five days and started on the first of June. The first day of the film festival started with the film “All the invisible children”, that consisted of several short films such as:

  • Tanza, by Mehdi Charef (Burkina Faso) tells the story of a child soldier in Africa who dreams of living a normal life and attending school.
  • Blue Gypsy, by Emir Kusturica (Serbia & Montenegro) pictures a gypsy boy in his last day in a juvenile prison in Serbia-Montenegro without any other perspective but returning to prison.
  • Jesus Children of America, by Spike Lee (USA) shows a HIV positive Brooklyn teenager called Blanca, daughter of junkies’ parents with Aids and the cruelty of her schoolmates in school.
  • João and Bilú, by Kátia Lund (Brazil) tells the story of two children who fight to survive working on the streets.
  • Ciro, by Stefano Veneruso (Italy) tells the story of a young boy in Naples who pickpockets to spend money on entertainment.
  • Song Song and Little Cat, by John Woo (China) shows a tale of fantasy, with a homeless orphan and a spoiled wealthy girl.

(For further information follow the link Film Festival in Astana)
Each of those films showed children and their situations from different perspectives. However, combined all of them managed to make people understand that children need our attention and care every time and everywhere. Perhaps, people felt it for majority, who came to watch the film, didn’t want to leave the cinema even when there were no places and they didn’t. I guess, they enjoyed the first day of the children film festival despite discomfort they were forced to deal. (The film festival is free of charge and people were ready to watch it even sitting on the stairs.)

Personally, I was glad to see so many viewers in the hall for it means that there are people, who are not indifferent to the children destiny. Of course, I want to believe that those people didn’t come just to watch a film for free and spend their usual evening with “something not boring”.

The films were so real that I felt compassion to those children. Their life and their destiny was so cruel and it became even worse when the life faced them with the loss of a closer person, fatal disease, coerced act of carrying weapons and shooting, and eking out a living by gathering cans and metals all day long. Doing all these things children are deprived from the childhood. They cannot play outside, they cannot go to school, they cannot feel themselves safe . . .

Sometimes, looking at children playing, I miss my childhood. However, I feel pity for them at the same time.In our childhood our friends were not online, they were outdoors, in the yard. We didn’t call our friends to play by mobile phones, we shouted under their windows calling them for game. We didn’t play computer games all day long, but such games as hide-and-seek and etc. Comparatively, our childhood was real. Still adults can make childhood of their children bright, enjoyable and memorable.

A few days ago I had my oral report of practice at school.

Everything has changed along with the rapidness of the development and changes occurring in a country and society, drastically, changed teaching approach at schools. Students and teachers as well. There were many things to do during the practice:  sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed. When I failed, I tried to learn from my mistakes. But all in all, I made a huge advance toward maturity.

The most important moment for me was getting acquainted with the school and students and teachers. I learned many things, but everything we accomplished together with the students. What could I do alone? Of course, nothing. We learned a lot, we created, sang, danced, organized show programs, watched movies and developed. Also we slept in the lessons, we drank tea, played croquet and talked with Cheshire cat, but those happened in Alice’s  Land of Mystery.

School life taught me to construct lessons correctly, to realize all difficulties of teaching, difficulties of working with students of different age groups. It was a pleasure to experience something new every day.

However, there were moments when I faced definite difficulties in working with the students. Especially, during rotational lessons. When you come to a new class and begin teaching them, you will notice some students, who are too active and even noisy. I had the same difficulty while teaching the eighth grade. I never used to work with that grade before and that’s why I didn’t know how to work with then individually. It is always necessary to have a special approach to every student. At the same time, a teacher must be able to control the discipline in the classroom, regardless the students group age.

However, practice gave me a lot. These four months spent at school effectively influenced to my professional growth and development. It was a good experience, at the same time.

I like role playing, but when I studied at school I used to take neutral roles, which required less emotions, actions and so on. Every time I used to be an author, who read passages between episodes. However, now I am not against for some theatrical performance. Most of all, I like to watch my students acting. Especially, if it goes in English.

Why am I telling you this? The matter is today we role played Alice in Wonderland with the ninth grade students. It was not so bad for the first time. As I was told it was their first experience when they role played episodes from literature work. That’s why they were glad when I offered them to act Alice out. At the beginning I thought that they won’t like it for they always act something in the classroom. On the contrary, they were tired of everyday situation role playing and wanted to perform something serious.

I just suggested to role play Alice in Wonderland because they watched the movie by Tim Burton in the lesson. In addition, it is one of many books worth reading it. I was glad to find that students knew the difference between book version and movie one. Telling the truth, when I was in the ninth grade, I did know nothing about the English literature. But since that time many things have changed totally. Along with the development of the country and society as well, old things are replaced by new and innovative ones. Regarding the case of teaching, we can say the same. Now old methods, programs of teaching and books are replaced by modern ones. Even the requirements for teachers are quite different in comparison of those, which were important some decades ago.

Role playing was good. Students showed three episodes from Alice in Wonderland. The first episode shows Alice and her sister during History book reading. The second one shows Alice, who somehow appears in Wonderland and finds herself in a company of Mad Hatter and White Rabbit. As you know, they celebrate their Unbirthdays. “Merry unbirthday!” as they say to each other. Then she meets with Cheshire cat and seeks way to get home, instead finds herself in the Kingdom of Queen. The last episode shows the meeting with Queen and playing croquet.

Personally, I liked their acting. Of course, there were some mistakes. But I think, by and by, they will improve their acting. We didn’t prepare any costumes, but decided to make emphasis on the faces of the characters so that people would recognize who was who. When I asked students what they liked or perhaps disliked in own performance, they said that understood that there were moments when they forgot their words and were forced to improvise. Also, they wanted to role play more and more stories. My supervisor was glad. They also wished to show their performance for a wider audience. Unlike me, they are not afraid to act at all. It seems not me and my supervisor, but students liked role playing most. I think, role playing is a good way to learn story better and remember it.

So, I advise if you want to remember a story just role play it. It will work!

It is strange to watch the way your life changes. Sometimes, we dream about one thing, but instead have totally another one. However, sometimes, it goes vice versa. Don’t understand me wrong, but the changes in our life occur constantly and every day. There are small ones and hardly people notice them, especially in the rush of modern life. If the life wants, it  can and changes your way of being absolutely in another direction.

Having graduated from Pedagogical Institute in West of Kazakhstan, I thought about the ways of finding a really good job with future career perspectives. At the same time, I applied for one-year program, having no idea if I would be admitted or not. Telling the truth, I didn’t make so much about that program, but strongly wished to be admitted. And now, I have already completed that one-year program and going to have a good job. That is the direction I went being admitted to that program. As a matter of fact, that exact program gave a chance to come to the capital city and live and work there.

Having all these things happened in a year, I can hardly imagine the way my life looked being NOT admitted to that program. Certainly, being not sure of the success of my application, I worked on finding a job, at the same time. Actually, it was not so difficult for me to find a job. I am a teacher. However, that time I didn’t want to work at school.

Thanks to God, but my life in the capital city is full of many memorable things. Still one can feel the difference between the places, if one has lived there for a while. Now I can feel this difference. You have more perspectives in a big city. First, it seems unusual to you, but by and by you get used to it and began feeling yourself comfortable.

Looking back, I see that I am going up the ladder of prosperity and development. How is it strange, but all these changes are somehow connected with the places I live. At first, I lived in the village,  moved to the town, then to the capital city. my friends often hear me saying “I have found my place in Kazakhstan, and now I should find my place in Astana.” However, I still dream to go abroad and live there for a while.

Here I want to mention that the life of a person depends upon his/her ambitions. It is ambition that defines his path of life. Indeed, people say “If there is a will,there is a way out.”

I just remembered, a few days ago a mature friend of mine told me that I was in a rush to reach my goals. She advised me to slow down and let the things go by themselves. She might be right, but the fact is that I cannot let some things pass by. The life is given us to feel it. I can feel it only, when I do something that is mine. Mine inside. I admit that there are many people, who agree and disagree with me. Everything is up to a person. And should be! Whatever you do and say, it is important to have your own profile. Cause it is your life, right?

Today we watched “Devchata” (“The girls”) with a group of girls. “Devchata” is a Soviet comedy. All the same, my father is right. He says that how many you watch Soviet films, especially comedies, so much you laugh. He says that the majority of today’s comedies is one-day-effect comedy. Very likely, I agree with my father.

Having watched “Devchata”, I understood it again. In addition, remember famous Shurik series, “The brilliant hand”, “12 chairs”, etc. All of them are full of quality fun.

The film is about Tosya and her roommates, that’s why it is called so. You can watch love stories of all girls, and Tosya’s that is more detailed.

A young girl joins a brigade and moves to the dorm. She has just graduated Cooking specialized college and is supposed to work as a cook. She is very positive, nimble and outgoing. The picture shows the episode when she has just moved to the room and is going to refresh her inner man with bread and jam.

An interesting thing about it is the food is not hers. She has four roommates, but they are not at home to ask their permission. Such a girl is Tosya.The picture on the right shows her roommates.

Here is Tosya at work. Behind you can see a young man (Iliya), number one worker in the brigade. The day, when Tosya joined them, they had a dance evening. That was the first place they met each other. While other girls were fond of Iliya so much, Tosya stayed indifferent to everything he did. She even showed a strong character to his actions in front of the other people. Knocked all of a heap, Iliya was forced to accept a dispute of a man from the brigade (Filya). He had one week to change her attitude to him. Everything went well, they even felt in love with each other until …

One day Tosya found that everything was about dispute. In hatred, she exposed both of them, Iliya and Filya. She congratulated Iliya with victory for she had totally changed her attitude to her (she felt in love with him) and asked Filya to keep his promise and give him a cap they disputed in case of Iliya’s victory.

After came dramatic episodes, because a game burned a flame in Iliya’s heart. Their attitude to each other was mutual, they both loved each other. However, Tosya won’t forgive him. He presented a golden watch, asked to forgive many times, followed her at work. In vain! Tosya was firm in her decision. It lasted until Filya made them friends again. The man, who “helped” them to fall in love – later destroyed their relations – helped make them friends again in the end.

So, happy and happy, they are together again. Watch it and you will have a lot of fun and pleasure. You will see the life in Soviet time and way people have changes since that time.

My practice at school is coming to its end. And, as a result of it, I had rotation lessons this week. It was intended to check what you had learned in span of several months at school. Rotation lesson is a lesson that you organize in another grades you never taught before. First, when I was about to have rotation lessons, I thought what it could give me. However, I couldn’t think so much about it.

I liked the result, though my lessons were not perfect. I understood that there were even many things to learn. As my supervisor said “Experience comes by years.” At first, I had my first rotation lesson with the eighth grade. Everything is different when you teach different-from-your-students students. Each class has own stars, little “hooligans” and really want-to-learn students. But if you teach the class for the first time, you will spend the whole lesson to find out who is who. That’s why it is difficult to keep a strong discipline among them. At least, for me. Why am I writing about discipline? For it was a thing I failed to control during the lesson. The teacher of the eighth grade suggested me to pay attention to that fact. According to her words, I gave a leeway to the students and that’s why some of them were relaxed too much and didn’t treat the lesson seriously. It is true, sometimes I could notice it myself. All is about the discipline, except it I liked my lesson. I should admit, it was a good experience for me.

Secondly, I taught the fourth grade. Again, different ages, different students and, consequently, different attitude to the lesson organization. It is a pleasure and difficult to work with primary classes. The first reason is they are small and need a lower flow of teaching with detailed explanations. A bit difficult. The second reason – they are lovely and it is a pleasure to work with them. While teaching different age groups, it is necessary to change your language accordingly. It means thinking and speaking their English language. There is no need to use your English for the ninth grade for primary classes. Sometimes, it is difficult to switch from your adult English to a simple one, but it is necessary.

As I have concluded for myself, everything comes with mistakes. We learn better, when we see our mistakes and not repeat them on and on.

One more thing I want to share with you is resemblance between an intern and supervisor. The people, who have observed me lessons and know my supervisor’s lessons, say that my teaching style resembles my supervisor’s. On my part, I want to say that I just teach the students the way I  and they like. As a matter of fact, all students like my teacher’s style of teaching. For our schools it is not the newest, but new ways of teaching.

However, it is better to create your own teaching style. Everyone is individual, and everything he/she does should be unique. As one English proverb says, “Experience keeps no school, it teaches her pupils individually.” That’s why people of the SAME profession are DIFFERENT.

As you know, this year is considered to be Korean year in Kazakhstan. And due to it, there are events are organized in our country. As a matter of fact, I had a chance to watch one of such events in Kazakhstan Concert Hall, Astana. A friend of mine invited me to the concert a month ago, I agreed though I was indifferent to everything connected with Korea. On the contrary, my friend is fond of Korea, she has been learning the Korean language for 2-3 years. In addition, she likes watching Korean films and “soap operas”. And you know, there are a great deal of them. Three of all Kazakhstani TV channels show these films, and as I have found out, after the concert, it is not in vain, but for youth.

Moreover, Koreans did their utmost to make that day memorable and grandiose. Actually, it was colossal. Driving to the concert hall an hour earlier, we had some difficulties in entering the hall. The square in front of the hall was crowded, so was inside. Everybody wished one thing: to get seats as close as possible so that they would be able to see their favourite singers and actors better. That’s why there was a rush, there was a crush.

And only then I realized that there was much to expect from the performance of Korean people. To tell the truth, I thought it was supposed to be one of those boring events that people like to organize just for “check and tick”. I was wrong. I was glad that I was wrong for I did really enjoy the performance. It was bright and lively. Of course, it was representatives of Korean show business, who made the event memorable. Frankly speaking, I do not watch Korean films, do not listen to Korean songs, that’s why I don’t know any of the Korean stars. However, I can say that popularity of the stars invited to the concert was  conspicuously perceptible. The audience exulted and screamed every time someone appeared on the stage. However, the most interesting thing that I have noticed was popularity of the Korean film “F4” among out youth.

When a quartette of boys-singers appeared on the stage, “the hall exploded”. Everybody welcomed them with blusterous whooping. As I was informed soon after, one of the singing boys played in the film above mentioned.

By the way, when I studied in Aktobe, lived with the girls from Atyrau. They were fond of the Korean films and never missed any series. I remember, one of them even used to watch THREE different films a day. Every day. In addition, her phone was full of those “F4” boys. What a love!

Looking back now, I realize that there are even more people, who likes Korean films in the same way. As “an independent expert” (a person, not fond of Korean films and stars) I can say that the concert turned out well. So why does Kazakh youth love Korean stars? … because they watch Korean films the whole day.

At least, I am on holidays! I am happy to have three weeks of leeway so that I can enjoy my time of doing nothing and nothing. As a matter of fact, doing nothing for me means doing something, but not in a harsh. Actually, I have a project to think of, some VIDs (very important documents) to analyze and many others things to do. Having three weeks, I decided to reflect on every change that happened to me in a span of last 7-8 months. It is clear that everything is taking another direction in my life and I am feeling it now more than I have ever felt. Perhaps, that is the reason I am feeling myself like a guest even at home. I was absent for nearly a year, in addition, there are four years of city life. All these short periods off the village made their contributions to the changes in all. Not only me, but everbody is noticing it. I might have got too used to city life. But nevertheless, I am happy to be at home again.

Being there for three days, everything I have is guests to come or guest myself. I hope, these holidays will, somehow, help me to forget everything connected with study, job and work, job and work.

Getting too used to the University food, still cannot switch to cooking for myself. My parents are happy to have me at home and that’s why say nothing about it, but my relatives say that I became too lazy. I do not deny, it is true.)

Continuing yesterday topic about peer reflection, I would like to post some of the works done by my students. It is all about the comic book presentation they have watched before. All in all, I have 11 students in my group, and would like to share with you all their opinions.

When I saw my work posted in my teacher’s blog, I was glad so much. I even wrote that “it was like a reward for my little trying”. I hope, when my students will see these posts and find their own writing published, they would definitely feel the same.

And now, today I want to show you some other papers – reflections on the comic book presentation they have watched before.

One of my smart students writes,

1. Today we saw the comics book of Nazym, Balzhan and Zhanat. It is the story about mastermind, whose name is Mr.XXX. He wants to create new generation of new people, and kill the present generation. But team of NIS will save the planet. I like this comics, it has good design, attractive heroes, funny villains and a nice robot. There were so many explosions, fightings. Nevertheless, kindness defeated evil.

2. It was a classic story. There was nothing that surprised me, it was sometimes even predictable.

3. If the small robot have had a big power and could hypnotize people, it would have been more absorbing. Nobody knew that the robot was the main villain. But robot fell in love with one of the superheroes and became kind. The love saved the world!

A very good interpretation of the story, as we say, “so many people, so many minds”.

Here is another flow of ideas from my another student:

1. I liked the main idea and the way of making their comics, also their superheros. It is a very interesting and fascinating comic. The cartoons with superheros like “XXX man” are my favourite ones. They have done their comic in a very funny way, it was very colorful. Also, I liked the name of the comic ( It was called “2012”).

2. However, they have told shortly about their work. There were only five superheros. I think, it is not enough for a meaningful story.

3. Maybe, I might have changed the scenario of the story. I advice them to make comic more meaningful and complete. Altogether, it is ok for the beginning. I hope, there will the next edition of  “2012” Comic book. =)

The ideas and suggestions for the book presentation are different, but all of them have something to tell about the book.

As I have told you before, just a few days ago we practiced creating our own comic books. As a result of it we had one group ready with their book to the end of the lesson. If you had read my previous post, you’ll see, we had some time left so I asked the students reflect on what their classmates had done. After they had watched a book presentation, they were given papers to reflect on the presentation. Today, having all their papers in my hands and analyzing, I found out that there are many good ideas they have to say.

Actually, here is one of my student’s work.

(If you remember, there were three points to write reflection: what they liked, what they disliked and what they might change.)

1. Assuredly, I liked this comic, because there are a lot of bright colors. What I liked most is that they imagine themselves in characters of superheros in comics. I liked the design of a mini book and location of the main characters in the pictures too. Also, I liked that there was no death, because I prefer some peaceful stories. I was surprised when I heard the following in their story. For example, a robot called Mr. XXX (Mr. Egg) wanted to kill someone.

2. Really, I didn’t understand the main idea. Comic is incomplete. I haven’t seen activities or bad things from “evil sight”. When they demonstrated comic book, I was a bit bored, because it was a little bit not interesting. For example, if I saw it on the shelf of magazines, I  wouldn’t buy it. I disliked special effects, because there were a huge amount of them. In my opinion, it would have been more interesting if they have  included more actions to the story.

3. If I were the author of this comics, I would include more actions (Something like bad activities or fierce plans of Mr.Egg) and active protection of superheros. Also, I want to see supernatural abilities of them.

But in all, I liked the presentation, because it is difficult to imagine your own story, I think.

I don’t know how other teachers would have assessed this work, but I gave the highest point for the reflection and for the ideas, paying no attention to any grammar or vocabulary mistakes.

Still we will see what other students have written about the same book presentation, and hopefully will put it on my next blog posts.