Saida Irgasheva

A graduate of Uzbekistan State World Languages University (UzSWLU) and teacher training courses in the University of East Anglia and in the London Metropolitan University.  A teacher and a teacher trainer at UzSWLU and Head Scientific Methodological Centre.

Until 2007, I thought that the British Council mostly supported English language learners, especially independent learners. In autumn 2007, I and my two other colleagues visited the British Council office in Tashkent, and learned about different programmes the organisation offered to language teachers.

Since that time I have been involved in seven projects supported by the British Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education. First, as a teacher I participated in the Development for Uzbekistan English Teachers project (DUET) to share my feedback on the sessions for this new in-service teacher training programme for English teachers developed by local authors. When the materials for the 144 hour-long course were ready, I was one of the trainers who piloted them at Andijan, Samarkand and Tashkent teacher training institutions. At that time I tried to conduct some very short, in many cases incoherent, training courses for teachers where I used to share my classroom teaching practices and behaved more as a teacher than a trainer. The experience of delivering the DUET course helped me move from the role of a teacher to that of a trainer and develop my professional training skills. Afterwards I was involved in other educational projects, working on the Pre-Service Teacher Training (PRESETT) curriculum reform, developing a trainer training course, writing materials for In-Service Teacher Training (INSETT) programmes, doing Quality Assurance in a university programme for managerial personnel, taking part in the Engaging Teachers product development project and, finally, working on the Researcher Connect programme for young researchers. All this experience motivated me to start working on my research work. 

As a teacher, you come across a range of challenges. The British Council Uzbekistan has created many opportunities for teachers to tackle these challenges and to mature both professionally and personally. In a friendly way the British Council offers us the skills, qualifications, experience, and resources that allow many teachers in the country to make progress in their career. What is also important is that the British Council offers resources, activities and courses for teachers and learners from different target groups and with different special interests.

I have been really lucky to have access to these resources and invaluable expertise, and I like to be mentored and inspired by top specialists, scholars and trainers. Taking part in all British Council’s projects facilitated my continual development as a teacher, trainer, curriculum developer, materials writer, project manager, a researcher and, most importantly, as a reflective practitioner.