Opening Ceremony of the English Language Program for Disadvantaged Communities in Ganja
Chargé d’Affaires Hugo A. Guevara inaugurated the opening ceremony of the English Language Program for Disadvantaged Communities in Ganja for 50 students from secondary schools No. 12, 14, 26, 32, 34, and 43. Parents, English language teachers and representatives of Ganja-Dashkasan Regional Education Office also joined the event. In his remarks, Chargé Guevara highlighted the U.S. government support for English language programming and leadership in the field of education. He underscored necessity to develop English language skills: “In today’s globalized economy, learning English is very important to acquire experience abroad and expand your educational and professional background.” He also emphasized the role of English and the importance of language in building bridges between Azerbaijan and the United States while providing youth with education and career opportunities.
Since 2018, the U.S. Embassy-funded English Language for Disadvantaged Communities Program has improved the English language knowledge of nearly 500 students in several regions of Azerbaijan. This year, the program will provide 120 students ages 12-17 in underserved communities in Ganja, Astara, and Sheki high-quality English language instruction based on communicative teaching methods, focusing on enhancing students’ conversational and comprehension skills, and is also an opportunity for students to learn more about American culture, community service, and critical thinking skills. The English language classes are led by a team of qualified alumni of U.S. government exchange programs. Students were selected after a competitive application process, including interviews and placement tests, managed by a U.S. Department of State-funded English Language Specialist. Classes started in November and will continue through June 2023.
This program is one of several projects in the field of English language instruction supported by the U.S. Embassy. Recently, 25 students from Aghdam, Zangilan, Lachin, and Jabrayil secondary schools based in Lokbatan and Bilasuvar celebrated their graduation from the English Access Microscholarship Program, a two-year U.S. Department of State-funded program that helps students acquire a solid foundation in the English language, improve their candidacy for university and exchange program applications, and guide them towards sustainable future employment. Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy works with North Carolina State University for the third iteration of the English Language Capacity Building project, an initiative that promotes the development of high-quality English language education at Azerbaijani universities and secondary schools through baseline testing, target teacher training, and strengthening the network of English-language teachers in Azerbaijan. The Embassy is also proud to support six Fulbright English Language Teaching Assistants and three English Language Fellows working with teachers and students in English departments at universities in Baku, Ganja, Mingechevir, Sheki, and Lankaran.