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The Most Common Problems for English Learners in Kyrgyzstan

The Most Common Problems for English Learners in Kyrgyzstan | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Nowadays, many people in Kyrgyzstan want to learn English. To enter university or find a better job. However, the learners here face some difficulties in learning.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate KWONG C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

First of all, the teaching hours of English in a local school is not enough.

English is the third language here, the secondary language is Russian. So the hours available for teaching English is not much in local schools generally. For example, some schools may just provide one hour of English lessons per week. Parents think that the learning hours provided by the school is not enough, as a result, they send their children to a private language center, to have an extra English class. But the income of people is not high here, not every family can afford the tuition fee for the language center, for a poor family, they cannot do so.

The financial condition of schools causes a challenge to learners.

In Kyrgyzstan, the salary for teachers is not high, good English teachers may not work at schools of Kyrgyzstan, they may teach in the language center or other countries like Russia. In a rural area, the situation is worse, good teachers may go to the city for teaching. So, learners in school do not have enough learning hours, and they may not be taught by good teachers.

There are not many good English books published in Kyrgyzstan, it is also expensive for them to buy books published by England or America. However, access to the internet is easy and not expensive, just the learners need to know which website can help them, and how they can use the computer to learn English.

In Kyrgyzstan, Russian is the secondary language and trade language.

Since Kyrgyzstan was ruled by the Soviet Union, so Kyrgyzstan is deeply influenced by Russian. The package of foods, most of the popular films, cartoons is in Russian. The grammar and concept of Russian are quite different from English, during learning English, they may mix up somethings with Russian. For example, in English, we say “I open the door.”, the order of words represents which one is subject and object. But in Russian, the word is a subject or object identified by the case of a word, they can say something like “Open the door I” if they translate the word directly from Russian without rearranging the words properly. They need to change the habit of speaking Russian while speaking English.

Kyrgyz (the primary language of Kyrgyzstan) and Russian are languages that can be pronounced by how it is written, so English is difficult for them in pronouncing and reading at the beginning. Kyrgyz is also a kind of language with multiple syllables. So they can identify the syllable easily. If they know phonetic symbols and use a dictionary, they can catch up pronouncing them easily.

Shame culture also affects the learners here, especially those for adult learners for business English.

For example, if a group of teachers comes for English conversation training, if some of them are in the lower level, they may not speak anything, as they are afraid other teachers know their English level, teachers among themselves, are also a competitor to each other in career. So it is important to group the teachers of a similar level, let them talk freely in the group

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As a result, the main difficulties of learners in Kyrgyzstan are teaching resources and influence from Russian and Kyrgyz. Better teacher resources, use of internet learning, and learning of phonetic alphabets can help the learners. They may be a shame to speak English, some grouping and rearrangement of the class can be helpful.

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