Urgench is in western Uzbekistan and is the capital of the Khorezm Province, on the Amu Darya River. The history of Urgench began in the second half of the 18th Century; the city should not be confused with Konya-Urgench in Turkmenistan. Urgench is a 30-minute drive from the ancient Silk Road city of Khiva, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. Khorezmians are renowned throughout Uzbekistan for their hospitality. The most recent Fellow notes that the local people are “unfailingly kind, open and hospitable.”
Host Institution: Urgench State University
Urgench State University (UrSU) is the only university in the remote Khorezm Region, which has a population of over 1.5 million people. UrSU has 10 different departments and confers degrees in 35 specializations. Over 8,000 students study at UrSU. The Philology faculty hosts nearly 700 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees. This faculty employs 126 teachers, who are highly motivated to develop professionally. In the words of a former Fellow, “Working at UrSU was a remarkable, life-changing, and deeply significant experience.” There is a large cafeteria at the main campus. Internet is also available at the main campus and at the information resource center.
- The Fellow will enhance the English writing courses and improve writing skills of 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students majoring in English Language Teaching and Education. According to the PRESETT curriculum developed by the British Council and adopted in Uzbekistan in 2013, writing should be taught once a week over semesters 1 and 2. By the end of Year 1, students should be able to write a coherent paragraph and adapt appropriate writing styles to various audiences. In semesters 3 and 4, writing is also taught once a week. By the end of Year 2, students should be able to write different types of essays such as compare-contrast and cause-effect, be able to emphasize decisive points and include supporting details. They should also be able to write summaries of articles on topics of general and special interest.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Lead a weekly writing club open to all students. The club will provide a learning environment to those seeking to improve their academic writing skills.
- Organize a bi-weekly or weekly conversation class or a workshop on academic writing for 10-12 English faculty teachers.