The Pet Mailbox: Letters from Your Colleagues

I would like to express my appreciation for the hardworking teachers from CTF.  The overseas project between CTF and MFTU has lasted for seven years. We would like to thank the team from Canada for their hard work. This summer from 14 July to 15 August four teachers- Melonee Collins (team leader), Edwina Arbuckle, Dawn Trask, and Yasmin Kahn – came from Canada to train Mongolian English language teachers for a month. This summer training course was attended by 74 teachers from UB and Central province.  

During the summer course we learned very interesting, helpful and new kinds of teaching ideas from our Canadian counterparts. Also we had workshops on reading strategies, parental empowerment programs, gender equity, and AIDS, which were organized by this team.

Besides that our writing team- Urgamal.U, Sarantsetseg.P, Bayasgalmaa.J, Sarnai.D, Saingerel.E, Tsetsegmaa.G, and Tungalag.D- have finished writing the textbook for the 1 Qth grade.

 Also, four teachers worked with the Canadian teachers as co-tutors: Altantsetseg Z. from School #18, Enkhtsetseg Ch. from School #1, Asemgul B. from School #1, and Erdene D. from Orchlon. 

            Again, we would like to express our deepest gratitude from the bottom of our heart for the Canadian teachers' hard work and effort and for sharing their experience, skills and knowledge.

Z. Altantsetseg, Ulaanbaatar, School #18

Dear Editor,
I am writing from Zereg soum, Hovd aimag. My name is Purevsaikhan. I graduated from the Hovd branch of the Mongolian State University in 2004. I am an English - Russian teacher, working at the secondary school in Zereg soum, Hovd aimag. I've been teaching English and Russian for over one year. I am very happy to read your journal and I enjoy reading the articles and teaching methods. When I was studying as a junior in university I started to read P.E.T journal. I think that this journal is very useful and affective for students and teachers.

In our school there are five English teachers. Two of them are foreign teachers. Their names are Robert and Hazel Keroack. Robert is American, and Hazel is English. The other three are Mongolians. We learn many things from the foreign teachers. I have been training under these two teachers since last year. I think they are very kind, helpful, intelligent and very hard working. Together we are learning how to improve our English speaking, listening and writing skills.

I would like to say a little about my training. I have three kinds of training with my foreign teachers: group conversation, professional development and lesson plan review. My professional development training consists of three parts. There are grammar, oral and listening sections. I have professional development about an hour and half each week. I show my weekly plan to Robert and Hazel. We all have conversation practice together. Because Hazel and Robert have come from different English speaking countries, their accents are different and they even sometimes use different words to express the same things. During our conversation practice this is a big advantage for us. Also some weekends we watch interesting movies in English and spend a special day all together. In school our study condition is very comfortable, but sometimes it is a little cold in the winter. Our training events are exciting and interesting, and we enjoy them so much. I am improving my English language skills. My speaking and listening skills are especially better than they were before. During our study we use useful grammar books and dictionaries from the English Language Center. This leads me to want to write a little about another addition to our foreign department.         .

Our two foreign English teachers have been helping to organize this English Language Center (ELC).  It is on our school’s first floor. Sork, one of our Mongolian teachers, helped to build this room. The boys’ crafts teacher, Batjargal, made a nice big wooden book cabinet with glass doors. Some friends of Robert and Hazel from different countries also helped us to develop this room by donating money and books. The ELC and teaching materials are wonderful to have.

You might ask what is the ELC really used for? It is used for learning English more intensively. The classes taught there are in addition to and separate from the school's regular English lessons. They involve students, teachers and even adults of our soum who want to learn English. The main goals are to teach the basics of English and to improve listening, writing and reading skills. Nowadays every secondary teacher must learn English, so all of our teachers should be involved in learning English. This can be done effectively in our ELC. As for the students, they learn how to use dictionaries, prepare for competitions, and more importantly they also get ready for university entrance exams. ELC is open and working every school day. The work is implemented steadily. Some students are even coming to the center in their spare time. Twenty teachers have been studying English with Robert and Hazel in the center. Along with other adults in the soum, they now make up five different levels of study.

I hope that ELC will be changed next year. We will name it The Foreign

Language Centre because this year our students are studying English and Russian. In my opinion maybe next year the students will learn other foreign languages.

I hope that ELC will be a foreign language centre next year. In our school there are five foreign language teachers who are teaching foreign languages. Robert and Hazel teach only English. The other three teach Russian and English. Some hope that our aspirations will be fulfilled.

Sincerely, Purevsaikhan