Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, is the place to live if you want stories that you can tell for the rest of your life. Just getting there is a challenge. It is one of the most isolated capital cities in the world. The majority of Dushanbe’s nearly 800,000 residents know only the modern peaceful city, rather than the chaos of the 1990s civil war. And while the country still bears some of the scars of that era, things are changing quickly. Architecture features Brezhnev era apartment-blocks intermingled with modern houses. In the last few years several modern grocery stores and malls have opened, making shopping much easier. But residents still need to filter their drinking water, and often endure power outages. Internet access is slow, but allows residents to disengage from electronics and enjoy the world-class hospitality of Tajikistan. New taxi services make travelling around the city easier. During the hot and dusty summers, people eat on a special table over a cool stream. Winters can be icy and the air filled with smog from power plants, but the snow-capped mountain views are one-of-a-kind. But none of that compares to the beauty of verdant, cool spring afternoons, the drinking of local tea, and the eating of freshly baked bread. Dushanbe has its challenges, but the potential among the people you will teach and influence makes it all worthwhile.
Host Institution: Tajik State Pedagogical University
The Tajik Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) specifically requested placement of a Fellow at Tajik State Pedagogical University (TSPU), making this a strategic position for a fellowship. While TSPU is the primary source of the country’s English teachers, language abilities are intermediate at best. But their enthusiasm for teaching makes up for much of what is lacking. Fellows here will find a ready audience. Typically following a Soviet style curriculum, students rarely receive assigned reading or written assignments. The Fellow will teach English language courses alongside regular instructors. While the Fellow will lead these courses, planning will be collaborative with Tajik counterparts. These partnerships will build language and pedagogical capacity among instructors and give students an opportunity to interact with a native speaker.
- The Fellow will co-teach four skills, grammar, and vocabulary classes at the Pedagogical University.
- The Fellow will participate in and conduct staff development sessions and serve as a mentor for teachers in the English department.
- The Fellow will teach TOEFL skills courses.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Conduct three-day English Teacher Mentor training sessions at the University of Central Asia’s Dushanbe campus
- Facilitate one two-week summer session for the ETM group in 2019.