Webster Tashkent Wraps English Summer School Grant Project

Tashkent English summer schoolWebster University in Tashkent has completed a U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan grant in operating the Pre-University English Summer School program this year. The summer school took place from June 28 to July 23 in the capital city of Tashkent, as well as in four regional centers: Namangan, Fergana, Bukhara, and Karshi. Of the 160 participants, 60 students attended classes in Tashkent, while the extended sites had 25 students each.

Classes were delivered to some students on site, while others attended remotely. Students were participating in the school four days a week for seven hours, including breaks. Teachers were hired both locally and among international specialists, including foreign Webster faculty. The total value of the grant was more than $99,000 U.S.

The grant’s purpose was to develop students’ academic reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills through engaging class activities. Students also had a chance to interact with native speakers, learn about American culture and history. They were introduced to academic and social concepts such as academic integrity and cultural diversity.

One of the students summarized their experience this way: “I learned a lot of things, met new people, [improved] my English and the most important thing [is I learned] about America.”

One of the students explained that this month-long training was not what they imagined, but exactly what they needed. The student drew upon the words of one famous American: “Once Henry Ford said that ‘If I ask from customers, "What do you want?" they say, "I want a faster horse."’ And [the summer] camp is like what we don't know [but] what we need.”

As the country introduces reforms, international and internationalized education is gaining significance among both the public and the government. Higher English language proficiency is becoming required entry criteria not just for international universities in Uzbekistan, but in national higher education institutions too.

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