The York University English Language Institute (YUELI) is hosting two groups, each consisting of 16 Mongolian university instructors, between July 10 and August 25. The groups are visiting York to take part in a teacher training program sponsored by the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as part of a financing package from the Asian Development Bank. Mongolia is a landlocked country located in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and the People’s Republic of China to the south.
Above: Calum MacKechnie, director of YUELI (back, left), York VP Academic Sheila
The program is the direct result of the partnership agreement between York and the National University of Mongolia (NUM) signed in October 2005. Moving quickly, officials from York University and NUM got to work to ensure that no time was lost in translating the new agreement into action. According to the leader of this group, Batchimeg Namsraidorj, head of academic affairs, NUM, this is the first agreement that has yielded such significant results in such a short period of time. Batchimeg has been instrumental in introducing the concept of teacher training at York to the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science so that other universities can benefit from York’s expertise.
“The staff at YUELI is very excited about this new Mongolian connection,” said Calum MacKechnie, director of YUELI.
Operating since 1985, YUELI has extensive experience in English teacher training programs and is accredited by the Canada Language Council. The York-Mongolian teacher training program has been designed to give English instructors the skills to be catalysts for the continuing development of English Language Instruction and English as a Medium of Instruction education programs in Mongolia.
The participants staying at York’s Tatham Hall residence during the program will take part in a range of social and cultural activities designed to introduce them to Toronto and Canada. The first group of educators arrived at York on July 10 and will depart for Mongolia on August 6.
“We are all very excited to be here. The program is designed to explore practical as well as theoretical aspects of communicative language teaching,” said group member Erendoo Sainbileg. “The first week of instruction shows that we are going to learn a lot of useful knowledge which we will then disseminate in our country.”
For most of the participants, this is their first time outside Mongolia. On Tuesday, July 11, a welcome dinner was held in Founders College for the first group. York Vice-President Academic Sheila Embleton welcomed the Mongolian educators and expressed her appreciation for the hard work done on both sides to bring the groups to York so quickly.
The second group of educators arrived at York on July 17 and will return to Mongolia on August 25.