On March 18-22, 2016, the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) organized an educational outreach trip to Khovd and Uvs provinces. During the visit, the team met with local educational, cultural, and government officials, representatives from civil society organizations and NGOs, and Peace Corps Volunteers. English Language Fellow (ELF) Ms. LaTasha Simms visited Mongolia from Chengdu, China to join the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) McKenzie Milanowski and the PAS staff on the trip.
In each province, the PAO gave public talks about exchange programs available through the Embassy, as well as information about funding opportunities through PAS grants. The PAO’s schedule also included visits to cultural and educational organizations such as NGOs, language centers, local museums, libraries, and colleges, where she discussed PAS’s plan to significantly expand collaboration with rural partners, in order to bring more cultural and educational programs and other opportunities to the provinces. The PAO also met with heads of cultural and educational departments from both provincial governments and many other high-ranking government officials.
The English Language Fellow, LaTasha Simms, came to Mongolia to organize methodology trainings at the request of the Education Department of Uvs Aimag. The request was made in relation to the implementation of new core curriculum, new textbooks, and new laptop use in English teaching, as well as in conjunction with a symposium held in the provincial capital for teachers from all of the soums in Uvs. More than 200 English teachers participated in the trainings in Khovd and Uvs. The training focused on ways of using technology in the English language classroom and encouraging English learning through communicative teaching strategies as well as formative assessment. The teachers in both provinces found the training effective and informative, with useful tips and recommendations of different tools and resources, as well as up-to-date information. The teachers appreciated the practical session later in the workshop that enabled them to plan lessons for the semester.
LaTasha Simms also gave a public lecture on “College in the U.S.” at the American Corner in Khovd province. The lecture focused on the research and application processes. The audience was engaged and interactive during the lecture and they asked many questions that lead to interesting discussions.
The local media covered the outreach events and the Embassy’s delegation members gave television interviews. The outreach trip was a great success and effectively promoted U.S. Government goals and programs to rural audiences.