Yamalia English Language Teachers' Association Diverse Russia|Appreciating Diversity

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The Project Goals

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develop teaching materials and digital content to teach ethnic and cultural diversity of the Russian Federation through EFL classes;
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create a website with materials available that will be easily accessible by any ELT professional in Russia as well as internationally;
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create a network of teachers to collaborate in “Appreciating Diversity” projects and promote results in professional teaching community;
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conduct teacher-training workshops (online and face-to-face) to empower teachers with best practices to address the issues of diversity in their classroom tailored to the Russian environment;
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develop a positive image of Russia internationally and empower students with necessary skills to be cultural ambassadors in the global world;
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strengthen ELT alumni community and provide such alumni with an opportunity to share their experience and expertise;
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create a platform for even further development of the project – “world of diversity"- like regional, across the borders discussion.
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The Project Opportunities

If You Are an ELT Professional

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we invite you to collaborate in the domain of developing teacher resources for teaching cultural diversity at any level of education
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we offer you to learn to create innovative teaching resources (including those on the iBooks Author digital platform);
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we can collaborate organising seminars for your colleagues from educational establishments of your region;
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you can take part in the project contests or help to organise them;
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you can take part in designing and developing teaching materials devoted to teaching diversity to further distribute them through the DiverseRussia web site

If You Are a Student of English

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you can partake in the project contests;
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you can create media resources aiming at celebrating diversity of the nations of Russia and the whole world;
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you can initiate your own projects on the topic and implement them in your school / university;
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you can study cultural diversity of the nations of Russia and the entire globe with the materials developed by teachers taking part in the project;
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you can learn how to create wonderful e-books on iBooks Author platform through a series of on-line teaching seminars.
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Predicted Outcomes

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Teachers in at least 50 regions of Russia will become aware of necessity to teach ethnic and cultural diversity.
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Educators will have ready materials for all levels to use in their classrooms.
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The project activities will expand access to education of students from remote areas.
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Seven F2F workshops in seven federal administrative territories will empower teachers with best practices to address the issues of diversity in their classroom in the multiethnic, multi-religious and multi-linguistic Russian society as required by federal education standards.
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Teachers’ collaboration will start with student projects “Appreciating diversity” and continue in further exchange.
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Students will get the necessary skills to be cultural ambassadors in the global world including a tolerant attitude to other cultures.
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The project will strengthen Russia & the rest of the world ties through providing adequate information about Russian culture in a user-friendly form and develop a positive image of Russia.

So far the Project has successfully reached the following objectives:
1)  The project initiated the discussion of the need to introduce cultural diversity topics into the EFL classroom, the need to educate school children in foreign language to be cultural ambassadors in the globalized reality of our world through conferences and seminars throughout Russia;
2)  The first stage of student projects was completed through a nation-wide contest of presentations, videos and posters “Welcome to my Homeland”; The categories included primary school students, middle school students, high school students, teachers, ACCESS students, college and university students. About 300 works were submitted from 25 regions of Russia.
3)  The Project helped teachers develop and share their lessons on cultural diversity for different age groups as well as support materials using various digital techniques within the topics:  Cultures and traditions (history of Russia, diversity of languages and cultures, holidays, including religious traditions, tales and legends), Peoples of Russia (tolerance, enrichment, etc.); 
4)  The Project was publicized  through social media (Facebook) and globally through the State Alumni web site, as well as in presentations given at regional English teachers (ELT) meetings and at national ELT conference and by means of leaflets about the project aims;
5)   Thanks to the new FB group "Appreciating Diversity" (167 members) and the new website diverserussia.ru teachers can share resources on culture-related issues and use them in classes in all regions of Russia as well as abroad. So far it has information about the project activities, teaching tips, webinar recorded sessions. It will be a hub for resources on culture-related issues and on how to use them in classes in all regions of Russia as well as abroad
6) Two series of webinars were launched. 12 webinars were conducted on teaching culture in the EL classroom. About 80-120 participants attended each webinar.  The topics included Using Web Conferencing to Enhance the Learning of Language and Culture, Two Frameworks for Raising Cultural Awareness, Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking, Tolerance Through Languages Project, Lesson Development, iBooks Author Platform for Developing Lessons and Teaching Materials for iPads, Online Posters in GLOGs, Creative Ways of Teaching Culture

"Welcome to My Homeland" contest of videos, posters and presentations:
• 7 categories
• 291 works from 25 regions
• 64 winning works 
• 159 winners from 18 regions
• 33 jury members from 14 regions

• 2 series, 12 webinars, 
• 80-120 participants in each
• 1424 attendees alltogether
• 163 received certificates for 5 in 8 webinars and 3 in 4 webinars in the 1st and 2nd series respectively

Face-to-face workshops:
• 6 regions
• 295 participants
• 23 hours
Kolomna, Moscow region - September 25-27, 2014
Gubkinsky, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug - November 5-8, 2014
Astrakhan - November 27, 2014 
Vladivostok, the Far East – January 23-24, 2015
Arkhangelsk - February 9-10, 2015
Moscow, E-merging Forum 5, March 12-14, 2015
Yekaterinburg – April 15-18, 2015
Tula – May 14, 2015

Student projects:
• 5 blogs, 60 students (Tula)
• 20 research papers, 10 iBooks Author lessons (Tula)
• 180 contest works “Better World through Understanding” (Yekateringburg)
• 16 essays (ACCESS)
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