The Project and the People Involved

About the Project

Empowering Language Teachers and Learners in Uzbekistan: Opening Doors through Formal English Reading and Writing Development

The aim of this project is to improve the levels of academic English reading and writing of students, teachers, and, ultimately, professionals in Uzbekistan, so that the country becomes better able to contribute to and benefit from English-medium professional and academic texts. The project aims to achieve this through an Academic English Interactive Mentor (AIM) Website and Teacher Training Workshops. These pedagogical tools are expected to raise the standards of teaching and learning academic English reading and writing in Uzbekistan.

The AIM Website

The AIM website contains a corpus of authentic student and teacher writing in English from the Uzbek context. The texts have been sorted by genre, digitised, reviewed and annotated with extensive feedback on various issues with writing such as idea development, macrostructure/organisation, academic style, lexical appropriacy, grammatical accuracy, spelling accuracy and punctuation accuracy. Learners and teachers are invited to identify the issues with academic writing and familiarise themselves with the detailed feedback offered on every issue. Each essay is supplemented with four interactive activities.

Teacher Training Workshops

An intensive and interactive teacher training workshop on academic English has been co-created with a small team of university teachers of English in Uzbekistan. The three-day workshop will provide instruction to teachers from different regions of Uzbekistan on aspects of academic reading and writing relevant to the Uzbek context. The workshop activities are organized around a set of challenges in the teaching and learning of reading and writing skills, identified through an online needs analysis survey which was conducted with more than 100 teachers of academic in Uzbekistan. Importantly, the workshop is designed to be self-perpetuating:  the initial workshop serves to train attendees how to pass on their new knowledge to teachers in their home institutions. This ensures that the impact of the project lasts well beyond its finishing date.

Principal Investigator

Dr Diana Mazgutova

Diana Mazgutova is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Linguistics and English language at Lancaster University. This ESRC GCRF-funded project, which aims to improve levels of academic English reading and writing of professionals in Uzbekistan, was designed by her with the support and guidance of her mentor Dr Tineke Brunfaut.

Dr Mazgutova holds a PhD in Linguistics and an MA in TESOL from Lancaster University. Her research interests are second language writing, academic writing, written corrective feedback, English for Academic Purposes and second language acquisition. Diana worked as a university lecturer and teacher trainer in Uzbekistan before she moved to the UK. In England, she worked as a teacher of academic English at the International Study Centre and as an academic coordinator and curriculum designer on the EAP and Study Start summer programs at Lancaster University.

Project Mentor

Dr Tineke Brunfaut

Tineke Brunfaut is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University and also the mentor of this project. Her research interests include second language learning, teaching and assessment. She is particularly interested in the teaching and testing of English for Academic Purposes and the skills of reading, listening, and writing. Her work, which has explored the impact of a range of variables on academic reading and listening ability, has been published in journals such as TESOL Quarterly, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Testing, and Applied Linguistics. In 2017, she received the ILTA Best Paper Award for research on the diagnosis of second and foreign language proficiency, and in 2015 the TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award for her professional activities and contributions to the field of language assessment.

The range of degree-level courses Tineke has taught include Academic writing, Postgraduate academic study skills, Reading-writing-speaking in English, and courses on the testing and assessment of these skills. She has extensive teacher training expertise and regularly conducts consultancy work for professional and educational bodies around the world.