09ASTANA280, ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOWS IN CENTRAL ASIA: SURVIVING AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA280 2009-02-17 10:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4159
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0280 0481027
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171027Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4641
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1208
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0591
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1297
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0301
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2160
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2488
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0770
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0686
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASTANA 000280 
 
SIPDIS 
STATE FOR ECA/A/L AND SCA/PPD 
 
E.O.  12958:  N/A 
TAGS: SCUL KPAO PGOV SOCI KZ TI UZ TX KG
SUBJECT:  ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOWS IN CENTRAL ASIA:  SURVIVING AND 
THRIVING 
 
1.   (U) English Language Fellows across Central Asia are making 
solid contributions to English departments and communities despite 
the multiple challenges of living and working in Central Asia. 
Having visited all the Fellows at their sites during the past 18 
months, the Regional English Language Officer (RELO) recently met 
with all six of the Fellows in Central Asia at the American 
University of Cairo's 14th Annual TEFL Skills Conference and learned 
more about the Fellows' personal and professional experiences, 
including the successes and the challenges.  In often difficult 
circumstances, the Fellows are making a positive difference to 
thousands of young Central Asian lives. 
 
2.   (U) Khujand, Tajikistan, Success:  The Fellow in Khojand, 
Tajikistan, had over 50 cell phone numbers of new friends in his 
phone within a few weeks of his arrival.  His willingness to talk to 
anybody anytime anywhere has made him extremely popular.  His 
cheerful demeanor and desire to work with English teachers from all 
institutions has fired up the small but enthusiastic community of 
English-speakers in this important but isolated city in northern 
Tajikistan. 
 
3.   (U) Khujand, Tajikistan, Challenge:  Unfortunately, all of his 
original students were forced to pick cotton for the first six weeks 
of the academic year.  His classrooms were empty.  He managed to 
find other students and has become a fixture around town, drinking 
tea and chatting with eager Tajiks when not in class. 
 
4.   (U) Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Success:  The Fellow in Dushanbe has 
been a steady, calm, teacher-trainer and mentor to hundreds of young 
Tajik English teachers.  His wisdom and depth of experience have 
added much value to their pedagogical instruction and he is much 
sought after as a speaker and advisor. 
 
5.   (U) Dushanbe, Tajikstan, Challenge:  The Dushanbe Fellow was 
able to continue his work despite more than a month of no heat, 
electricity, or running water throughout the country during the 
worst cold spell in 40 years at the beginning of 2008.  The RELO 
watched him interact with pale, sick, and numb students who were all 
wearing their outdoor clothing in class because the indoor 
temperature was barely above freezing. 
 
6.     (U) Taraz, Kazakhstan, Success:  The Fellow in Taraz, a small 
southern town near the Kyrgyz border, has created a much-loved 
teachers' resource center full of previously unavailable 
English-language teaching materials.   In addition, she has revamped 
outdated curriculum and added spark and energy to the English 
department.  She has also teamed up with a local NGO for a village 
teacher-training project, bringing educational guidance and 
expertise to often-neglected rural communities. 
 
7.     (U) Taraz, Kazakhstan, Challenge:  One cold, rainy evening, 
the Fellow spent five hours crisscrossing town on a local bus, not 
knowing where she was, where the bus was going, or how to ask for 
help in the local language.  Fortunately, she eventually got off and 
found her way home.  She has since then managed to organize private, 
reliable transport for herself. 
 
8.     (U) COMMENT:  The Fellows across Central Asia are making a 
significant impact in the lives of young people and others.  English 
is widely considered the key to the future, and the Fellows, despite 
the many hurdles and logistical tangos of living in Central Asia, 
are bringing English and the best of American culture to thousands 
of people across the region.  This is an efficient and effective 
program that should be allowed to grow and thrive, just like the 
hardy English Language Fellows in Central Asia.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

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