From the left: EF English First’s CLLS Russia Country Manager, Mr. Edward Baldakov; CLLS President Cristoph Wilfert; Mr. Thomas Bertelman, Ambassador of Sweden; Mr. Albert Gilmutdinov, Minister of Education in the Republic of Tatarstan and Ms. Irina Romanets, Deputy Mayor of the City of Sochi
Moscow, 20 October 2011. EF Education First (EF), the world leader in international education, today signed an agreement with the Russian Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan. EF Education First is to start a large-scale language education program covering more than 3,000 current and future English teachers, heads of Ministries and agencies of the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as volunteers and all the Republic’s schoolchildren and students.
The official signing ceremony took place in EF’s new central office in Moscow, with the participation of the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan Albert Gilmutdinov and Edward Baldakov, Country Manager Russia, EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions. The signing and opening ceremony of EF’s new office was also attended by, amongst others, Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation; Anatoly Pakhomov, Mayor of the City of Sochi; Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of Sochi 2014 Organizational Committee and H.E. Tomas Bertelman, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to the Russian Federation.
EF’s large-scale education project is supported by the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. During the first stage of the project EF will start training all the Tatarstan English teachers with the help of the largest online English language school in the world, EF Englishtown. Today Tatarstan’s developed IT infrastructure allows innovative projects to be implemented across its education system: all teachers have personal laptops and all the schools and universities will be provided with wireless Internet access. 3,409 teachers will take a special one-year course ‘EF Englishtown for professional teachers’; the innovative online school will allow the results and progress of each program participant to be tracked. Based on the results of the online training, the 300 teachers with the best records will be sent to the international EF language centers in Great Britain and the USA to take an advanced training course and obtain one of the world’s most prestigious certificates, the Cambridge Teacher Knowledge Test. They will form a pool of highly qualified teachers in the Republic of Tatarstan, with the highest possible level of English proficiency attested by international educational organizations.
The heads of Ministries and agencies of the Republic of Tatarstan will also study English with EF within the framework of the project. The overarching goal of the cooperation between EF and Tatarstan is the creation of a favorable base level of information in order to increase people’s interest in learning English. That is why EF is providing a one month free trial of access to the EF Englishtown online school to every student in Tatarstan, which amounts to about 273,000 persons. EF will hold an English language competition for all the Republic’s schoolchildren. Following the English teachers, it is planned that the teachers of other subjects will also start learning with EF.
Albert Gilmutdinov, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan: “Tatarstan considers developing English a priority. Our republic invests significant amounts into developing education and information technology, and that’s why we have chosen EF Education First – the recognized leader in online education – to implement the education program. EF’s innovative solutions and the talent of our teachers will soon allow Tatarstan to make a great leap forward in its knowledge of English, which will substantially increase our population’s competitiveness in the local, regional, national and world markets.”
Christoph Wilfert, President of EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions: “We are proud that our company was chosen by the Republic of Tatarstan to implement such a large-scale education program. EF offers the region a multi-layered strategic approach to improving people’s command of English. EF Education First is continuing to develop quickly in Russia. We are sure that Tatarstan’s cutting-edge experience will be a model for other regions of Russia.”
EF Education First is actively increasing its presence in Tatarstan. EF plans to open an office and several schools in the Republic. Moreover, EF is proposing that its experience of preparing for large sport competitions, such as the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 and Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, be used to teach English to volunteers and personnel of the Student Games in Kazan in 2013.
About EF Education First
The international company EF, founded in 1965 with the mission “to break down barriers of language, culture, and geography”, is the world’s leading education company. EF has helped more than 15 million students to learn new languages and travel abroad. EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions specializes in teaching languages to corporate and private clients, in studies abroad, cultural exchange programs and in obtaining international certificates and has served more than 1,200 companies. EF is the official provider of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games 2014 in the City of Sochi in the “Foreign Language Teaching” category. EF is also teaching 80,000 persons in Brazil in preparation for the World Football Championships in 2014. More information is available at EF Colaboraciones y Patrocinios.
The results of the EF English Proficiency Index, an innovative piece of research and the first index to display the practical English skills among the adult populations of different countries, are published at www.ef.com/epi.
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