Aylar Reimova ’18 (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan/Fenton, MO) and Kerven Muradov ’17 (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan/Stamford, NE) organized and coordinated four virtual English teaching classes for nearly 50 people with disabilities in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in December. The project’s goal was to give participants the tools needed to learn and master English language, as it can help provide more professional opportunities to people with disabilities within the country. English can act as a steppingstone, opening up the doors to careers in graphic design, web development, architecture, and many more fields.

The project was divided into four classes; writing, reading, listening, and speaking, which were held every Thursday throughout the month.  Participants improved their English language skills through interactive games and exercises, including various creativity assignments. Aylar and Kereven prepared content for the classes and split it into small subtopics, which were easy for the participants to understand and remember. The focus of this content was to involve each participant in the learning process and demonstrate that everyone can learn English. At the end of each lesson, the trainers shared a list of free internet resources for them to practice and improve their English on their own.

By the end of the project, participants shared that they felt more confident speaking English and were eager to learn more. This positive feedback inspired Aylas and Kereven to continue teaching the group, and in 2021 they have continued tutoring participants and providing them with more free online resources.

Written by Ilyas Seisov ’09 (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan/Estancia, NM)