February 2011


To do research requires a great deal of investigation from you. Once I read a poster that said “Stealing from one author is plagiarism, stealing from several authors is an investigation”. If you work with several works at a time, in the end you will end up with your own idea, your own thoughts about what you have read and your own conclusion you made after reading. If you have a burden to do research, you won’t notice how the list of the references gets longer and longer. So, you are asked to do research, think carefully before you choose a definite topic. Having found a topic of your interest, try to sum up as many thoughts as possible. The more you read about your topic, the more successful your final paper will be. Only on the basis of a thorough investigation one can give an awesome presentation. Giving a presentation is even harder than doing research. You should explain and show your process of investigation and explain what you get after it. Your thoughts can be mixed as much as you want during research. However, your final research paper should have clear ideas and conclusions. And your presentation should be clearer than your paper. If you are going to give a presentation make it more specific, but not too.

So, your presentation text is ready, but there are many other things you should pay attention to. The next step for you then is show your presentation in a way that will play ti your profit. You can do public speaking using ppt presentations, pictures, short video clips or different handouts. Also you can use board to draw what you are speaking about on.

Having prepared all the necessary data about your investigation and getting ready with your type of presentation, you should work a little bit with yourself. Yes, you heard right – with yourself! Among lots of fears glossophobia – the fear of public speaking – takes the first place. It means that thousands of people are scared to speak in front of the audience. Actually, they are not afraid of the audience, they are afraid of themselves. People, who are about to give a presentation, feel fear, because they doubt confidence about their words, body language. If you know there are dozens of “what ifs” that cause nervousness inside, which appears outside a second later.What if I forget my words? What if I lose control upon my voice? What if I am asked a difficult question? What if a computer won’t work? … If I don’t stop here, I will have my post to contain only what ifs. The length of the list depends upon the nervousness of a presenter. The more worried he is, the longer his list is.

What is interesting all these fears are the results of our false imagination. Sometimes false imagination helps a person so much. Imagine that you missed something important, and don’t know what kind of punishment you will get from the boss. In mind, you have already dismissed yourself, deprived your bonuses and so on and so forth. So, guilty and ashamed, you come to the office, and your boss asks you why you was absent. You offer excuses, try to explain away, but the boss doesn’t listen to you and simply says ‘ok’ with no reproach. And now compare what you thought during the way to the office and after this conversation.

However, only this kind of false imagination plays to your profit ( in the worst case, you will be made a remark), but if you think What if I forget my words? What if I lose control upon my voice? What if I am asked a difficult question? What if a computer won’t work? …, you, without noticing it, kill your confidence. And in the end, you will end up the way you thought and perhaps even worse.

Disarm your possible fears in advance: prepare remind-cards if you think you will forget the words; learn to control your thoughts, if you are afraid of making your voice tremble; you investigated this topic and you know more about it than your audience, so don’t be afraid of difficult questions; check your computer beforehand, so nothing would go wrong with it during your presentation.

That’s why you should learn to control your  feelings. Try to do the things you are afraid of. Learn to defend yourself from fear, learn to attack the fear!

Today I want to tell you about our ALZHIR trip to Malinovka ( a small village 27 kilometres away from Astana). ALZHIR is the largest Soviet women camp. During the Soviet time, when Stalin ruled USSR, many people were imprisoned and their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters were sent to ALZHIR. A.L.ZH.I.R is an abbreviation of the Russian language, it is a camp for wives of political dissidents. Most of them are writers, actors, actresses.

So today, having visited the museum I found more about that terrible camp that destroyed lives of hundreds of people. Actually, the museum we visited was opened by the initiative of our President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2007. May 31 is a memory day of all repressed people, and museum has different arrangements due to this date.

The museum includes information about people, who were repressed, about their relatives, and their destiny. There are wives of famous Kazakh writers as M.Dulatov, B.Mailin, T.Ruskulov, T.Zhurgenov, M.Zhumabaev, Zh.Aimauytov and many other heroes. Right now younger relatives of those, who were repressed during Soviet period contribute much to the development of the museum. They share their memories about the camp, bring things, which once belonged to the people of Stalin repression. Museum consists of two floors. As you enter the museum you can see a composition “The flower of life”. It represents a rose that comes from underneath breaking the tiled ground. It means that despite all hardships, the flower of life keeps on growing and the life continues. There is another less interesting composition above the Flower of life. It is called “Doves in captivity”. It shows 15 doves in mesh-ring. Some of the birds are captured, some are free outside. These 15 doves represent 15 countries that USSR consisted of. I don’t know exactly why the author of the composition chose doves to show countries, but I guess the reason was peace. As a matter of fact, a dove is a symbol of peace in our country.

(The photo shows a museum and a monument for all repressed women in a form of women’s headgear.)

The information on the first floor starts from 1822-1895 – the years, when Kazakhstan became a colony of the Russian Empire. The camp was opened in 1936 and worked up to Stalin’s death in 1953. According to the stats, there were 18000 women of 62 nationalities from all over the USSR. The first floor of the museum, mainly, contains info about people, who were considered Traitors of the Motherland. It gives you full information about the destiny of their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters. All these women were forced to do hard job despite the severe winter. If you go up to the second floor you can see the places, where these poor women lived and worked. They lived in barracks, they had straws instead of blankets, and lattice instead of the doors. Their rooms were poor lit, cold, small. They had letters to their children, photos of the family and relatives on the wall. Also we could see dress-maker’s room, a small room with a sewing-machine in the corner and a lamp. Women made clothes for themselves here.

(This photo shows a broken star as a fall of Soviet Union.)

I am Kazakh, I know much about the lives of our famous writers. Nevertheless, I found more information from our guides talk. For instance, Beimbet Mailin is a Kazakh writer, an author of “Myrkymbai” poems, “Shuga monument”, etc. His wife Gulzhamal Mailina was also imprisoned in the camp. They had 6 children, when the parents were sentenced, they were sent to an orphanage in Russia. They were taught Russian only, and later when a mother and children met together they had difficulties in communication. Their mother knew no Russian on the contrary. Thousands of children suffered from Stalin’s depression, majority of them lived in the orphan houses. Some of them even were born in the camp. Statistics equals their number to 1507 children.

I am grateful to our guide. Her names is Anara. She has been working in the museum for one year only, but she told us so many things I hadn’t even the slightest idea. She is a teacher by profession as we are. Colleague. She graduated from Kokshetau State Pedagogical Institute. What impressed me most about her is that she told us everything about the camp in the English language. It is very good, because not only Kazakhs and Russians visit the museum. As Anara informed us, during OSCE summit in Astana in December 1-2, Presidents of Latvia and Sweden visited the museum as well.

I am grateful to our President Nursultan Nazarbayev for making our country independent like one of the free doves in a mesh-ring we saw in the museum.

And, finally, I am grateful to a Person, who brought us the initiative to go there and arranged a trip to ALZHIR. It is a Person with capital letter for all PDP students. Thank you, our lovely PDP teacher!

You know that being a teacher means performing different roles at a time. A teacher doesn’t only teach a students, but she inspires, motivates, re-educates and rehabilitates. Being a teacher is a constant struggle, where majority of the things depend upon a teacher. A teacher should always be ready to solve every problem. There are lots and lots of them. Addiction is one of them. I am getting more and more about my profession with the help of PDP classes. It is especially important for young teachers, whom lots of difficulties await in future. PDP ( Professional Development Program) helps them to be ready to these problems and find a solution in advance.

February 21 is one of my usual PDP classes day. The significance of this day is two videos we watched today. Both of them relate to the problem of addiction. The first video clip shows a man, who easily get addicted to the machine. It is not a simple machine, it is a machine that brings you to the world of ecstasy. Once you use this machine, your brain is captured. Each time you use it, you get more and more addicted. Your will is ruled by machine. The plot of the clip is as follows: a man, angry and desperate, throws a case out of the window.  A passer-by (another man) runs into it, opens, closes, and takes with him. An angry man runs out of the house, trying to find what he has thrown away. He doesn’t find it and his story ends here, which in turn is the beginning of another story. A passer-by takes it home and tries it for the first time. He is horrified. Later this feeling vanishes and he enters the world of pleasure and ecstasy. The case, that he picked up in the street, is a powerful machine. The more he uses the machine, the more he gets addicted to it. As soon as he puts on the devices, he finds himself among dancing and tempting girls. Everything is about dirty pretty things. One day he wants to get more out of it (usual thing with addicted people), instead he is wounded by the girl of his obsession. He is wounded not emotionally, not mentally ( and emotionally, and mentally), but physically as well. The trace of woman nails caused real bleeding on his face. Angry and desperate, he throws the case out of the window. A passer-by ( the third man) runs into it…

What is strange is that what you brings you pleasure works only virtually, but hurts in reality. How many lives did addiction ruined? How many lives does it ruin? And how many will?

Another short video clip that is also about addiction is called “Addiction”. To tell the truth, I didn’t get the message until I read ” Addiction” in the end. It shows a man, who goes up by an elevator. He is on the third floor. He goes up again. He is on the third floor. Surprised, he goes up again and again it is the same floor. How much he tries, he appears on the third floor. In a horror, he seeks other ways out, he runs to every voice he hears, but there is nobody. Throwing down his arms, he sits on the elevator, and keeps going up and down, up and down . . until he sees a light. If you have already understood, it is the same thing that happens to addicted people. Reaching the highest point of their addiction, they still want more and more. But there is no more. So what brought them ecstasy at first, brings them misery till the end of his life OR until that light shows them a better solution of their problem.

You see, addiction is an actual problem of the society. Our ears got used to addiction to alcohol, tobacco,  and drugs. Addiction to computer games still seems to be ridiculous. However, it is also a big issue with difficult solutions. Children spend more time in the internet than any other places. Nowadays, nearly all the children in Kazakhstan are addicted to “Warcraft Game”. They meet together after the classes, but not for playing a football, going to swimming pools, but playing Warcraft in internet cafe. I want you watch the following documentary film on Warcraft addiction.

So such kind of things are massively addictive and have much harm for future generation. And we , as teachers, should do everything to prevent it from widening. Being a teacher means to be a mother, an adviser, and an instructor at a time. So, let’s be more attentive to our children, students, and followers!

As I have said before if you are a devoted teacher information resources will come to you themselves. It is what that happens in our PDP classes. As we have experienced guests, they try want to help us with our lessons. They always share what they do with us and are always open to help with computer devices. And it is very helpful I should admit.

Moreover Our guests are willing to help us in solving teaching problems. For instance, yesterday we had Chad as a guest speaker. Chad gave us so much information about teaching, languages and the way dealing with the problems. Yesterday he supplied us with more useful URLs and videos. I have watched and observed all his links and found them useful. Especially, the videos in youtube.com can be very useful for primary school teachers. Those videos introduce us with real-english.com and help to use their videos in English lessons. I watched the videos on introducing yourself and others and spelling the names, on Present Prefect Tense. Teachers can either show them to the students or make them listen to them. Of course, Chad, as a modern teacher, helped us to solve our potential problem. The school, where I teach right now, has UserGate on the computers and that’s why we cannot show online videos. To deal with it, Chad showed us a way to download videos. Though I know several ways of downloading videos from the internet, I have never worked with http://zamzar.com/url.  It is not only a means of video downloading, it also converts them into different formats.  The same I can say about MPEG StreamClip, another way of video downloading. Like zamzar.com it has an option to convert into MP4 or FLV. You should only choose what your computer opens.

Also in MPEG Stream Clip you can watch “how to make youtube videos load faster”. I think that Real English videos can also be used to learn English independently. I want to thank my teacher and our guest speakers for contribution to the development of the educational system in Kazakhstan.

Today we had a quest speaker from UCL to talk about multiple intelligences. As usual we were glad to see him in our classroom. Multiple intelligence was a new thing I learnt from our PDP teacher. When I studied at the institute I read something about it, but I didn’t pay so much attention to it, because it was not emphasized so much to use it with my future students. Actually, if I wasn’t introduced to it by Kristina and Josh, I wouldn’t come to it myself. Now I am glad to know more about MI than my teachers at the institute and at school as well.

I learned many new things from Josh’s(our guest) talk, but the most interesting info for me was implication of multiple intelligences to practice. It is good if you have an idea of students’ intelligences, it is better to put what you know into practice. A few days before Josh gave us URL to define our MI and 21 page reading to get deeper understanding of MI basics. In addition, we had him to speak in front of us and ask our questions. In what Josh gave us to read I read MI theory, IQ and eight intelligences, but today we found out one more intelligence, that is called existential – existence intelligence. In the beginning of his presentation Josh pointed out to three intelligences out of nine, that can be tested at school: verbal, logical and numerical reasoning. As a matter of fact, Gardner, a scientist, who investigated intelligences so much says that there are eight and a half intelligences.

During our conversation, I noticed that we called intelligences ‘skills’, ‘interests’, and even ‘abilities’. However, Josh explained that the word ‘ability’ cannot replace “intelligence’, because we have capabilities IN intelligences.
Further, Josh assured us that we shouldn’t take our results in MI test seriously and definitive for as Gardner said “No definite intelligence profile exist. And there is no need for them.”

Once you know the intelligences your students possess you can easily use the results to organize your lesson plans. It helps to find appropriate activity for your students. And one more thing that Josh told us about is that your lowest score in a definite intelligence. If you are weak in musical intelligences, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t study music. MI test is only a tool that helps to define your intelligences.
Once you give MI test to the students, you can find out their weaknesses and strengths. And here is an interesting moment: what do teachers usually do? If they know that students are good at Maths, they give them more and more mathematical tasks to further develop their ability. However, once you have your student’s intelligences in your hands, you should focus your attention on their weaknesses. That is what Westerners do with their students. They focus on weaknesses to turn them into strengths. It is a very good approach to cope with weak points of the students. In this way a teacher is capable of balancing their multiple intelligences.

Concerning the implication of MI to practice, every teacher should know that MI can be used in any context. MI cannot be used in isolation from each other.
That is what I got from Josh’s one hour speech. His speech is very understandable and his language is clear. He is young and lively, and he has a good sense of humor. His body language is very “sociable”, what he did and didn’t say he showed it with gestures. After Josh’s talk, I think we found out answer how to use it in the classroom. For me I am for trying it with NIS students and try to put into practice as soon as possible.

Later my PDP teacher wroteI noticed that you were doing very well in the end with the fill in the gap exercise. Wow! What a memory! Maybe that is an intelligence that should be added. Just kidding!” “Maybe, that we should tell about it to Josh. Let’s call it drilling memory intelligence. smileThen Aina and me possess this new type of intelligence well. ” I responded. So if in future scientists add a new intelligence ( memory drilling), simply keep mind a person, who first suggested this idea. 😉

When I studied at the institute and didn’t talk so much to foreigners, because there were a few of them. However, I am glad I have Teaching Listening and Speaking lessons at the university I study right now. And usually we have quest speakers invited by our teacher. It helps you to adapt to English that our quests speak. Constancy of such activities influentially improve your language comprehension.

Today we had an American quest, Chad,  who speaks Kazakh very well.  It is clear that Chad is a good teacher. He is modern, positive and open to students’ opinions. It was a pleasure for me to talk to him, he has charisma. When we introduced ourselves, Chad tried to remember our names by heart. After each introduction he pronounced our names, so he could remember us. While getting introduced he had a little chat with us, and during the conversation he called us by our names. That was his way to find a common language with people. Nothing sounds better for a person than his name. Imagine how you get happy when someone knows your name. Your answer will be: “Oh, you remembered me”.
Chad is sociable and you needn’t to try to say something to make him speak. On the contrary, he shared his life experiences with us and tried to get all of us free and comfortable. He didn’t ask to stop him in case we do not understand him. It shows he was sure he will find a way to our flow of ideas. The fact that he has a family of teachers surprised me, it is ok to have a family of engineers, businessmen, lawyers or something like those. I remember how my teacher used to tell me not to choose a profession of a teacher. She was tired of teaching, and it is clear she won’t let her child to be a teacher. Chad’s family is a devoted teacher family and the fact that he moved from his business to teaching can be explained as “a call of blood”.
Earlier I met Chad’s littles and didn’t even think that they might be studying in Kazakh schools. I think the teachers must be happy to have students like Chad’s children. I don’t know whether you experienced it or not, but it is a great pleasure to speak to little Americans. I do really like it. They are so sweet.
However, the most important thing I liked about Chad is the knowledge of Kazakh. His Kazakh is very good, I am saying not as a Kazakh,who is happy to see American speaking my native language, but as a person, who do really appreciate his knowledge. I watched the way he spoke Kazakh, and I admit that his Kazakh is perfect.
In an hour conversation, we felt so easy and relaxed that we didn’t notice the time passed. However, it is the usual thing that happen to us when we have a quest speaker invited.)))
Thanks to Chad for coming. I found out many interesting things from Chad’s talk.  The same day one of my colleagues introduced me with http://www.esl-lab.com. I found there the topic of my interest – study abroad. Randall ESL Cyber is a lab that links you with different useful websites on teaching. You can find what you need for the lesson. Teaching is very important part of the society, and internet is a good way to share your teaching ideas and find more new ones. I wonder how people handle their lessons without internet. They should do everything themselves. They have no internet to help them, no other things to motivate students. In a globalizing world what except a computer can motivate students to learn?! There are many URLs on teaching that we may not know about and I want to ask all teachers to share what we have with each other. I think everyone has noticed that there are a few ( even no) Kazakhstani websites on teaching. Isn’t it another factor to develop through sharing and learning from western teaching that keeps up helping us?!

It is interesting that many Western teachers pay a great attention to Multiple Intelligences. It is rather unusual phenomenon in comparison with Kazakh teachers. I don’t wonder even if there are teachers, who know nothing about these intelligences. I am sure that those, who know, do not take it seriously. After visiting Birmingham Grid for Learning and passing their MI test, I found out following intelligences in myself. My highest score is Intrapersonal, and it means that I am 100% myself smart. Next comes my visual/spatial intelligence, it equals to 25 out of 25. It is, definitely, like me, because sometimes I try to remember a thing or story drawing a picture in my head. It helps me a lot to remember necessary things I don’t want to forget. If I plan to do something, I imagine these tasks in a form of pictures. Sometimes, my one day actions form the whole museum of pictures.

The same happens with numbers: trying to remember one’s mobile phone number or service code numbers, I associate them with something I know well. For instance, I used this technique to remember 622047. I transferred it to the following sentence “Zhulduz is in bus #47”. (Recoding works like this: Zhulduz is my student, who lives in Room 622 and bus#47 is the bus that dorm students use most of all.) That’s why my logical intelligence stands before my interpersonal abilities, which are followed my kinesthetic and linguistic intelligences. The MI test proved again that I am not musical at all, and it is true. I can listen to music and that is only thing I can do with it. The results of MI test satisfied my curiosity about my multiple intelligences and I find them reliable to use in the classroom. It is ok to use it with our students, but it will be more interesting if a teacher tries to define her students’ MI by simple observation in a span of several weeks and later to compare own results with MI results. It is my point, however, I trust, but I always check it.

If you want to define the intelligences you possess follow the link
http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/questions/choose_lang.cfm

MI test is interesting even for us, adults, and that was the main reason for me to read MI Basics thoroughly. Reading the theory, we meet MI and IQ terms several times. As I have noticed these two terms compete with each other trying to prove importance of only one.
It becomes obvious from “MI theory challenges the notion of IQ in at least three significant ways. MI maintains that: (1) several intelligences are at work, not just one; (2) intelligence is expressed in our performances, products, and ideas, not through a test score; and (3) how the intelligences are expressed is culturally defined.”

MI test is a tool to define our MI, IQ is a tool to measure our MI.
We use different intelligences at a time. Concerning potential isolation, I think that it is impossible to isolate our intelligences from each other, they work well, when they work together. The problem of autism is very essential in MI. Yes, it is true, sometimes we see a boy, who is good at Maths, etc., but he is not so talkative at all. I define it as a process, where some intelligences are actively working, while others keep remaining passive and even come to die. What I like most about MI theory I read is explanation of all eight intelligences we possess. If you take MI test, and define your MI, you can read more about it (them) in the theory. You will ,definitely, get deeper understanding of your abilities after reading MI Basics.

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