>> Global Connections & Exchange Digital Youth Dialogue << MAY-JUNE 2011DYD is a program of the United States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. GCE is a program of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
IN THIS ISSUE: www.irex.org Student from Kyrgyzstan DYD Journalism Club Update: Invited to International In January, the 22 talented and Leadership Summit in promising students were chosen to Washington, DC participate in Digital Youth Dialogue’s (DYD) Journalism, Technology, and Leadership Win- ter Camp, where they developed their techni- 88 Tech Age Girls cal and professional skills through sessions on Semifinalists Conduct IT IT, journalism, conflict mitigation, and leader- Training for 450 Individuals ship skills. Read on for details of some of the young journalists’ achievements following the Internet Enabling Students to camp at the following schools and libraries: Enhance English Language Learning with Self-Paced • Aitmatov School, Osh Tools • Adyshev School, Alay • School No. 14, Jalal-Abad Three Tech Age Girls Become • Alay Public Library Finalists of Future Leaders • Kyzyl-Kiya Library Exchange Program DYD Bokonbaev School Estab- lished Online Dialogue with Partner Schools via Skype TAG Alumna Takes Language Courses at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana Local Training Enables Educa- tors at GCE school to Improve Their English-teaching Skills
www.irex.org and non-profit sectors, and will collaborate inStudent from Kyrgyzstan Invited to project planning workshops, where the partici-International Leadership Summit in pants will further hone their skills to implementWashington, DC change in their home communities.This summer, Aijarkyn Aisakhunova will have the Aisakhunova learned about IL2L opportunity fromchance to visit the United States for six days the TAG alumni listserv and her participation in itthanks to skills she developed as a participant in is closely linked to her success in TAG: “I am trulythe Tech Age Girls project. thankful for the TAG project,” she shared, “because thanks to this project I gained the skills that are helping me now to achieve my goals. TAG will always be a part of my life.” After the summit, Aisakhunova plans to pass her new skills to others in her community by training students and young girls on leadership, goal set- ting and community needs assessment, at the lo- cal “Leadership” youth volunteer organization. 88 Tech Age Girls Semifinalists Conduct IT Training for 450 Individuals Aijarkyn Aisakhunova sharing her community project ideas at the TAG In 22 Schools and three libraries across Kyr- conference gyzstan, 88 Tech Age Girls semifinalists conducted ICT training sessions for 450 members of theirAs one of three finalists selected from Kyr- communities including parents, friends, neighborsgyzstan’s 67 applicants, Aisakhunova will be tak- and classmates. Participants developed new un-ing part in the iLive2Lead International Leadership derstanding and skills in using video calling, andSummit, held in Washington, DC on July 17-23. email services, conducting internet searches, andIL2L provides intensive high-level leadership train- working with audio, video, and photo applica-ing to young women from around the globe, im- tions.mersing its summit participants in a curriculumstudying leadership styles, networking skills, pro- Gulayum Aimanova, a resident of Naryn, was veryject management, and the use of media and the grateful for the training she received from TAGweb to organize social change. In addition, sum- semifinalist Nazgul Abdykerimova. She shared, “Imit attendees will take part in meetings with suc- really appreciate that these girls shared the skillscessful female leaders from the private, public, they gained during their project. I never thought 1
www.irex.orgthat internet could be so useful. I always talk to with a social networking functionality, connectingmy son abroad over the phone and it costs so users to native speakers of the language beingmuch money. Now I learned about Skype, and by studied. For most students in Kyrgyzstan, GCE’susing it, I can even see my son…! Thanks to TAG online projects and internet connectivity hasfor giving the girls such a great opportunity to given them their first opportunity to communicatelearn new technology.” with fluent English speakers, taking language learning out of the textbook and into the real world of communication and interaction. Using the American English File, the students are ac- TAG semifinalist Nazgul Abdykerimova teaches computing basics to Gulayum Aimanova in Naryn Ninth-grader Mavluda Muratjan kyzy of Bokonbaev School uses her school’s internet connection to study German on language learning communityInternet Enabling Students to Enhance site Livemocha.comEnglish Language Learning withSelf-Paced Tools cessing English learning resources, and then put-As the school year winds down, 35 students at the ting them to use on Livemocha in writing, readingBokonbaev Boarding School in Bazar-Korgon have and speaking exercises, chats with native speak-been using the internet provided by the Global ers, and discussions of culture in English-speakingConnections and Exchange program at their school countries like the United States.to enhance their education, making use of self-paced language-learning tools online. Ninth-grader Ainagul Kaldarbekova is grateful for her ability to use internet at school in order toThe students have been using Livemocha and the guide her own learning: “Since I’ve been usingAmerican English File websites to practice their Livemocha, my English has developed a lot. MyEnglish skills; both sites have been useful tools in favorite activity on the site is chatting with Eng-language study thanks to their internet connec- lish speakers… I learn new English words fromtivity. Livemocha, with 9 million members in its them and find out about [where they live]. I cancommunity, pairs interactive language lessons also study Geography through the site. There are 2
www.irex.orgmany great pictures and a lot of information lish language. All these skills helped me become aabout the countries and their cultures there. Be- finalist for the FLEX program.”sides, I develop my computer skills, and can typea little bit faster now.”Teachers have been very supportive of onlinelearning tools to maximize their students’achievement: Speaking about the American Eng-lish File, Aigul Dzhumagulova, an English teacherat Bokonbaev, noted that language websites “area really unique opportunity for students to de-velop their English. When they visit the site theydo not feel like they are studying, it is just funfor them. I usually make students practice exer-cises on [American English File] after they have a Saikal Murat kyzy conducting TAG outreach.new grammar point or vocabulary. The students Murat kyzy is one of three Tech Age Girlswho come in for extra English use the exercises selected this year to participate in the Future Leaders Exchange program.on the site frequently. Consequently, they haveachieved good results in English.” Administered by American Councils for Interna- tional Education, FLEX gives secondary studentsThree Tech Age Girls Become Finalists of the chance to live with a host family and attend aFuture Leaders Exchange Program U.S. high school for a year. During their time in the United States, the girls plan to keep in touch with their peers in Kyrgyzstan via GCE’s educa-Tech Age Girls 2010 alumni Saikal Murat kyzy from tional portal and educational network, includingKarakol and Yuliya Prokofyeva from Kyzyl-Kiya, video conferences while abroad.and TAG 2011 semifinalist Aizahan Tazabekovafrom Naryn recently were announced as finalistsof the US Department of State funded FutureLeaders Exchange (FLEX) program. DYD Bokonbaev School Established Online Dialogue with Partner Schools via SkypeThey are now preparing for their trips to theUnited States, as they await news of their desti-nations and travel dates. The skills they devel- On May 12, thirty-eight students from Bokonbaevoped in the TAG project, they agree, had a great school in Toktogul and School No. 2 in Talas par-impact on their ability to succeed in applying for ticipated in a constructive discussion on democ-the exchange program: “Thanks to TAG, I gained racy, and formed new friendships with their fel-leadership skills, IT skills and developed my Eng- low citizens via Skype. 3
www.irex.orgThe call, held entirely in English, was a welcome experiences in decision making process. And ofchallenge for the participants – they began prepa- course rule of law should work in society too.”ration two weeks ahead of time, learning newwords, reading material on democracy, and prac- Thanks to the GCE and DYD programs, schoolsticing using the Skype software to make the con- from the north and south of Kyrgyzstan were ablenection. to communicate virtually and have a discussion about very relevant issues, while becoming friends with each other in the process. At the end of the call, the students shared their e-mail addresses and Facebook accounts, hoping to continue their correspondence. TAG Alumna Takes Language Courses at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana Students in Talas and Toktogul take part in a Skype discussion on democracy Tech Age Girls 2010 alumna Janara Asizova got the opportunity to visit US for two months, thanksRather than tackle democratic development in the to skills gained during her participation in the pro-country as a whole, students approached the topic ject. Asizova was selected as one of 120 studentsin a way more applicable to their daily lives: stu- from around the world to participate in the Un-dent government. Every school in Kyrgyzstan has a dergraduate Intensive English Language Study Pro-student president and parliament (the equivalent gram (UIELSP) of the Office of Academic Exchangeof a school’s student council in the United Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cul-States), an institution aimed at teaching students tural Affairs (ECA).the basic elements of governance. During the call,the discussion focused on students’ understanding The eight-week program provides English languageof democracy as it relates to student government, practice, leadership skills building, and civic edu-how to make student elections more transparent, cation and engagement. While the primary focusand include democratic principles in these bodies. is intensive English language coursework, pro- grams also include components on leadership, andFollowing the call, participant Jibek Akmatova, a participants will be involved in volunteerism and10th grader at School No. 2 in Talas, shared community service projects that focus on relevant“citizens in democracies need to know their issues such as public health, wellness, environ-rights but also with it they need to know their mental conservation, and sustainability.responsibilities.… This is especially important inKyrgyzstan, where young people will be responsi- Asizova shares, “All of my achievements areble and can take part with their knowledge and thanks to TAG project; skills that I have gained 4
www.irex.orgduring TAG helped me to realize my goals. One The rigorous training program built new skills inof my biggest achievements is the participation in the students with a number of important tools forUIELSP, thanks to the leadership skills provided at effective modern journalism, including layout,the TAG conference.” photo and multimedia editing, interview tech- niques, digital storytelling, and publishing. Fol- lowing the camp, the participants founded new journalism clubs at 11 schools and expanded the activities of one existing club. Details of some of the young journalists’ achievements are high- lighted below: At Aitmatov School in Osh, DYD participants Barchinoy Ishonhonova and Muhaye Gapirova re- turned to their existing Asizova, in 2010, at her internship as a TAG finalist. Now an alumna, she recently journalism club and was selected to visit the United States on a vastly expanded its ca- leadership program. pacities; their newspa- per, Tengdos, now publishes in Kyrgyz, Russian,Asizova is studying at the Center for the Study of Uzbek and English cross-publishing in four lan-Languages and Cultures of the University of Notre guages takes a significantly bigger staff, and theDame in Indiana. While in the United States, she students met that need by generating new inter-continues to share her experience with the other est in the club with new members, training 10 re-Tech Age Girls via Facebook and Skype, in addi- cruits in the skills they learned at the Wintertion to holding videoconferences with TAG final- Camp themselves. In April, Tengdos’s editorsists to answer their questions about life in the shared their experiences on Kyrgyzstan’s Educa-United States. tional Portal. Aizada Tynchybek kyzyDYD Journalism Club Update and Nurdariya Jooshbaeva from Adyshev School in Alay, studied videomak-In January, the 22 talented and promising stu- ing and digital storytel-dents were chosen to participate in Digital Youth ling, and produced theirDialogue’s (DYD) Journalism, Technology, and own videos while attend-Leadership Winter Camp, where they developed ing the Winter Camp. Upon their return, theytheir technical and professional skills through ses- founded the school’s new journalism club andsions on IT, journalism, conflict mitigation, and launched Knowledge, Adyshev’s newspaper. Theleadership skills. paper features regular articles about the school, 5
www.irex.orgas well as poems written by students. has been engaging in additional video journalism projects, reporting on the use of internet at Adilet Azimkanov and school, Karbyshev School’s achievements at a lo- Jamilya Tashtanova of cal cultural festival, student life, and daily life in School No. 14 in Jalal- Kyzyl-Kiya in a several pieces, all available at Kyr- Abad started a ten- gyzstan’s Educational Network. student Journalism club upon their return to Jalal- Though currently taking a break from their new Abad and began work on lives as young journalists while on summer vaca- the school newspaper, tion, the journalism clubs impacted by DYD’s Win-titled Teenager. The newspaper covers all aspects ter Camp will begin again in the fall, getting rightof student and youth life in the community, and back to work at informing their peers on the newsfeatures articles about Nooruz, the Central Asian that’s important to them, and will be doing soNew Year, and International Women’s Day, in ad- thanks to the skills they worked hard to develop.dition to publishing useful resources for students. Digital Youth Dialogue is a Program of the UnitedThey are currently working on their second edi- States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan.tion and continue to train new members of theclub. Aisuluu Abdubaly kyzy and Minura Begishbek kyzy re- turned to their commu- nity’s Alay Library to form a group of 10 local stu- dents and created a news- paper called School Mes- senger, which has informa- Follow us online!tion on Alay’s local Otunchiyev School. In the pa-per, the club reports on school contests, upcom-ing holidays, important information regarding stu-dent examinations, and even launched a “Teacherof the Year” competition. @GCEKyrgyzstan Bahrom Tursunov and Baimurza Abdubaitov, rep- resenting youth patrons of the Kyzyl-Kiya Library, used the IT and journalism http://bit.ly/gcekg-fb skills they gained to cre- ate Karbyshev School’s Our Newspaper. Tursunov 6