AzETA South Branch is an organization of English teachers in the southern regions of Azerbaijan.
The Lankaran region, far south in Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea, is a rural area that has had little access to continuing education courses for English teachers. Also, Lankaran is one of the largest cities in Azerbaijan and a regional hub in the South. The principle goal of an AzETA branch is to provide support for English teachers with more frequent professional development training, as well as by providing teaching method materials to use. It was also an educational imperative to create an AzETA South Branch and join the other AzETA branches in Baku, Ganja, Khachmaz, Mingechevir, and Sheki.
Until November 2007, Lankaran had only 3 AzETA members. Thanks to Kathy Taylor, an English Language Fellow who was assigned to teach English as a Second Language at Lankaran State University in 2007-2009, more male anfd female teachers from the region joined AzETA South Branch who has been taking an active role in AzETA since then. She recruited 8 people to attend the 4th AzETA International ELT Conference held in Baku on 10-11 November 2007. She also helped facilitate a series of workshops held under the Outreach Teacher Training Project in 2007-2008 funded by the Open Society Institute - Assistance Foundation. One of her main goals while in the Lankaran region was to increase membership in AzETA. Thanks to her efforts membership grew. There were more than 30 AzETA members in 2009.
However, in 2010 South Branch faced some management problems due to loss of office premises at School #4. This affected decrease in membership and failure in attending AzETA regional and international conferences held in 2010.
In early 2011 some active members of the South Branch held negotiations with the management of School #6 and achieved a room for office in the premises of the school. After that they started regular meetings and developed an action plan, sent to AzETA Head Office in Baku. They closely co-operate with Peace Corps Volunteers to improve their teaching skills, as well as, organisational management skills.
Workshop by Mason Wiley, Peace Corps Volunteer
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EVENTS AND PROJECTS
With the financial support of the British Council, AzETA implemented English Global Products Promotion Projects. South Branch was included in the list of regions for Promotion Project 2.
Training in Lenkaran was organised on 21 June 2010. 17 teachers attended the training.
Training in Lenkaran
Below is the feedback by the trainers:
The sessions were based on the Global English Product. The trainers presented the ways and methods of teaching English with young learners. They especially forwarded information teaching speaking which is lacking at schools today. During the sessions there was hot discussions on the problems of teaching speaking in the classroom. There were different activities, mostly group and pair work activities where the teachers tried out activities on 4 skills and their integration. There were lively, friendly talks during tea break. After the seminar the teachers wrote feedback. Below is some feedback by the teachers:
- We learned much. We need this kind of seminars. Lt is very important for us.
- Ithink that this Teacher Training seminar will be useful for me during school year.
- The activities presented were interesting. We enjoyed it. Thanks
- The training was very interesting. I’ve learned more new information for teaching young kids. I really enjoyed it. Everything was great. Thanks.
- I must admit that it was really interesting and useful for us - EFL teachers. I’d like such kind of workshops to be held quite often. Thank you. For your interesting activities.
- This training was very interesting And I think I’ll use for my children. Everything was very interesting and important.
- Thanks for coming. You did a good job. I highly evaluate the activities that you taught us today. I have one suggestion You should talk about how watching movies or reading extra books can help students to develop their language skills. Your job appreciated. Thanks once more again.
- It was very great. I enjoyed it. I had a very good time I got some information that would help me. In teaching English. So thank you for your coming from far. I would like you to come and teach us smth new again. Thank you.
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On Saturday, April 18, 2009, AzETA South Branch held an Open House commemorating its First Year Anniversary at the AzETA Office in Lankaran School #4. There were 21 members of AzETA South Branch in attendance, along with several AzETA members from the Baku Executive Board, as well as Mingechevir, Sheki, and Ismayilli. Special guests included Ragsana Mammadova, Executive Director of AzETA–Baku, Nuraddin Zulfugarli from the local department of Education, Akif Khaligov, Director of Haftoni District, and Yegana Askerova, Director of School #4. Other local guests were invited, with the number of guests and members totaling 52.
The following presenters provided information regarding our event:
• Introduction by Kathy Taylor, AzETA South Branch Advisor
• Lala Aliyeva, Branch Manager–overview of AzETA/ introduction of branch officers
• History Video of South Branch–Alim Aliyev and Sevda Salayeva
• Use of an agenda at the Branch business meetings-Aygun Dadashova
• Testimonies-Narmin Mammadova, Nurana Radjabova
• Description of Special Events– Aysel Aliyeva and Khalisa Alaskarova
• Resource Center- Qabil Ashirov
• Membership-Gulnar Bayramova
After the presentations by the members, Lala Aliyeva and Kathy Taylor presented Yegana Askerova, the Director of the school and Nuraddin Zulfugrali, South Branch contact person at the Lenkaran Education Department, with certificates of appreciation.
The open house gave the Branch members an opportunity to learn how to organize this event. Many of the members had never been on a committee before. This was a great opportunity for them to have this interaction and work together with their fellow members.
All in all, one more success story was written to the history of AzETA thanks to its dedicated members and invaluable friends.
Please read more on the South Branch activities at: