University of Cambridge > > Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series > Trilingual education in Kazakhstan: challenges of pre-service teacher training

Trilingual education in Kazakhstan: challenges of pre-service teacher training

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The purpose of this paper is to explore difficulties encountered by teacher training institutions in setting up and delivering pre-service teacher education programmes to serve the needs of the emerging trilingual educational system and to identify good practices. The promotion of trilingual education has become one of the key elements of the language policy in Kazakhstan, as evidenced in the official rhetoric and strategic programmes. Kazakhstan presents an interesting case, where Kazakh is promoted as a state language whilst Russian has been widely used as a Soviet legacy. This is in parallel with the introduction of English as a third language. English, which has always been a foreign language, is seen as a language of integrating the nation into the global world. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, 10% of the teachers are expected to teach Sciences and Mathematics in English by 2015 and 15% by 2020. To this end, the Strategic Programme for Educational Development envisages teacher training and an update of the standard curriculum. However, this figure was only 0.15% among teachers of Mathematics and Sciences in 2014. Since 2008, several higher education institutions have been engaged in piloting preparation of teachers who would teach subjects in English. However, there is little clarity as to how universities are finding their own ways and developing their best practices. The research into the current practices is required in order to assist in setting up the envisaged national pre-service teacher training system.

This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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