ERIC # ED353810 AUTHOR Cirtautas, Ilse TITLE Kazakh: Language Competencies for Peace Corps Volunteers in Kazakhstan. INSTITUTION Peace Corps, Washington, D.C. PUB DATE 92 NOTE 159p. PUB TYPE Guides - Classroom Use - Instructional Materials (For Learner) (051) EDRS PRICE MF01/PC07 Plus Postage. DESCRIPTORS Alphabets; Classroom Communication; Competency Based Education; Cultural Context; Cultural Traits; *Daily Living Skills; Dialogs (Language); Family Life; Food; Foreign Countries; Government (Administrative Body); *Grammar; Independent Study; *Intercultural Communication; Job Skills; Monetary Systems; Non Roman Scripts; Phonology; *Pronunciation; Public Agencies; Transportation; Turkic Languages; *Uncommonly Taught Languages; Vocabulary Development; Volunteer Training IDENTIFIERS *Kazakh; *Kazakhstan; Peace Corps ABSTRACT The text is designed for classroom and self-study of Kazakh by Peace Corps volunteers training to serve in Kazakhstan. It consists of language and culture lessons on 13 topics: personal identification; classroom communication; conversation with a host counterpart or family; general communication; food; money; transportation; getting and giving directions; shopping at a bazaar; reception by a host family; workplace language; medical and health issues; and interaction with officials. An introductory section outlines major phonological and grammatical characteristics of the Kazakh language and features of the Cyrillic alphabet. Subsequent sections contain the language lessons, organized by topic. Each lesson consists of a prescribed competency, a brief dialogue, vocabulary list, and grammatical and vocabulary notes. Many sections also contain cultural notes. Appended materials include a translation of the dialogues, glossary, word list, and brief bibliography on Kazakh language, history, and literature and culture. (MSE)
Dear Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan: This Kazakhstan language text is a very important tool for properly preparing Peace Corps Volunteers for service in Kazakhstan. Your time of service in Kazakhstan will be of great benefit to the people of that vast and historic land. Knowing the language is of course a key element in our programs everywhere and I hope that you keep this text with you for quick and easy reference at all times. This text is designed to put you at ease in the Kazakhstan culture by making you as conversant as possible, as rapidly as possible, with the most immediate and day-to- day kinds of language situations you are apt to encounter in your tour in Kazakhstan. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your service to Peace Corps, the people of Kazakhstan and the people of the United States. Your gift of yourself is truly appreciated. Sincerely, Elaine L. Chao
This book is one of five Peace Corps language texts prepared under
the supervision of Nancy Clair in mid-1992. It is hoped that this
draft will be helpful in the initial language training for Volunteers in
Kazakhstan. Most language text books take years to complete; this
text was planned, written, and printed in less than four months.
Working at a great distance from the country where this language is
to be learned and spoken by the Volunteers, the authors have gone
to great lengths to provide authentic language and as much useful
explanatory material as possible. The book will certainly benefit
from revisions, additions, and improvements in subsequent editions,
but we are proud to have this volume ready for use by the first
group of PCVs to serve in Kazakhstan. It is the result of work not
only by the author, but also by Nancy Clair and staff at Peace Corps
Washington headquarters, especially, Toni Borge and Janet Paz-
Castillo, Training Officers for PACEM. The textbook project was
initiated by PACEM Regional Directory, Jerry Leach. I have been
responsible for editing the English prose and providing technical
Douglas F. Gilzow
Language Training Specialist
Office of Training and Program Support
The competency-based approach is particularly well-suited to adult learners, who bring many advantages to the language classroom. First, they are experiences learners whose cognitive skills are fully developed. This means they can make generalizations, understand semantic and syntactic relationships and integrate the new language into their already developed first language. Second, adult learners are self-directed and independent. They have strong feelings about how and what they need to learn, and they take responsibility for that learning. Finally, aduly learners - especially Peace Corps Volunteers - are highly motivated. They understand the importance of being able to communicate in the new language in this new endeavor they have undertaken.
The competency-based approach takes advantage of these strengths that adults have as language learners. First, it is designed to be relevant. Because lessons are based directly on the needs of the learner, there should be no doubt as to their usefulness. Those which are not relevant should be omitted, and any essential competencies which have been overlooked should be added. (It is expected that further needs assessments will be conducted in order to plan revisions to this text). Second, basing instruction on competencies means that goals are clear and concrete. The learners know what success will look like from the start and can assess their own progress toward master of the competencies. Third, competency-based language programs are flexible in terms of time, learning style, and instructional techniques. There is no need to linger over a lesson once mastery of a competency has been demonstrated and, within program constraints, extra time can be devoted to more difficult competencies. Lessons can - and should - be taught through a variety of techniques, since different learners benefit from different kinds of approaches. And there is always room for experimenting with new methods, combining them with more familiar ones.
It is hoped that, with the help of trained Peace Corps language instructors, this book will provide the basis for interesting, relevant language instruction which will enable new Peace Corps Volunteers to function effectively in their new surroundings and to begin the process of continuing their language learning throughout their time of service.