Cross-Center English Festival in Mongolia

The little magicians learnt many skills during the festival
The little magicians learnt many skills during the festival

Bringing a language to live is essential when teaching English. Several of our learning centers in Mongolia managed to exactly do that: during the English Festival from November 4-7, students from BOOKBRIDGE learning centers in Arvaikheer, Dalanzadgad, Khentii and Mandalgovi got to practice their English skills during many activities and games making it a very successful event. Read the impressions of the organizers of the English Festival and watch the videos the students produced themselves:

Uuganaa Gantumur, Community Hero of Arvaikheer Learning Center:
BOOKBRIDGE Festival and BOOKBRIDGE camp have been a dream of mine since I established BOOKBRIDGE learning center in 2008. Thanks to the Community Heroes of other learning centers who worked hard with me, great benefits and successful team work were possible. I appreciate BOOKBRIDGE Quality Fund for their valuable support to strengthen our cooperation.

We had an immensely effective 4 days all together in Mandalgobi under the BOOKBRIDGE Vision. I am grateful for the Peace Corps Volunteers, who were so excited to work with the kids while having fun bringing back their own childhood memories of Harry Potter. For students it was an amazing time to socialize with each other and share experiences. This event was much better than the English Olympics, which only involves the best English students, while the rest of the students are left out. BOOKBRIDGE English festival gave a lot of opportunities for students to improve their leadership, participation, speaking skills, solving problems and team work.

See what participants think about the English Festival:

The divination session introduced challenging community problems and students used problem-solving skills. There were 6 houses with attractive activities that were explained by Battuul: Quidditch and Capture the Dragon egg were completely new games for Mongolian kids. All BOOKBRIDGE students and teachers were very delighted to share cheerful moments together in the same space with one purpose. We will organize this even again next year and include more Peace Corps Volunteers and learning centers from different Mongolian provinces. Now we have a lot of precious experiences and hope to keep on working together in the future under the BOOKBRIDGE Family. Think globally and act locally!!! We love BOOKBRIDGE and I am always proud of being a teacher at there.

Participants of the English Festival
Participants of the English Festival
Esunmunkh Saikhanbayar, assistant teacher at Arvaikheer Learning Center and Uuganaa’s son
My very first year as an assistant teacher brought a considerable amount of experience for me actually. I thought it would be either difficult or impossible for me at first. Using some other themes like this year which has been used in Mongolia, not like that much, showed few advantages as I see. During this festival, I observed that mixing students from different age classes, provinces, abilities in different ranges and activeness was the absolutely right idea.

Firstly, I thought it would be absurd because everybody would be shy. Also students would most likely be afraid to make a wrong step at anything. But other members of their houses (groups) helped each other and tried to approach the top with the help of their teammates and teamwork. All the activities and schedule created by the volunteers and BOOKBRIDGE teachers were admiring. I am sure that if this kind of festival occurred annually, it would improve everybody’s abilities both individually and in teamwork. Since it is just solo Olympiad’s antithesis. So for me, I really appreciate that I had a chance to be in a part of this program. Thank you BOOKBRIDGE.

Battuul Alyeksandr, Community Hero of Dalanzadgad Learning Center
Hey, I am Battuul, who works at Dalanzadgad Bookbridge Learning center and I appreciate so much that I was a part of the BOOKBRIDGE English Festival in Mandalgovi with other Community Heroes. It has been completed well supported by 4 Community Heroes and Mongolian and American volunteers. The festival included a variety of programs and activities during the four days. All students were very active and motivated by each other. The first part of festival included writing Hogwarts acceptance letters, a placement hat ceremony and house crests. It was very interesting for students who were a new member of a new team and the team was included students from four different learning centers. All students sang a BOOKBRIDGE song together. It was a really mixed team and they made friends and attended all activities all their best and helping each other.

Team of Dalanzadgad learning center
Team of Dalanzadgad learning center
The next day, all teams started their adventure trip including Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, Marauder’s Map, Transfiguration. The goal of this activities was to know more about Harry Potter and its secret as well as new explorations. Even though Harry Potter is not known very well among Mongolian kids, it was very attractive for them. For me I worked with Perrin at Potion section. All teams came and gat instructions on how to make potion to stop death. Each team did three potions and wrote the results of their experiences. Some of their potion didn’t work but most of them did very well and surprised me to make it correct. During the activities they were communicating, helping and discussing with one another. At the end of the day, we watched a movie about Harry Potter.

The second day was very fun and all kids were enjoying the games such as Dragon Egg and Quidditch Capture and Dragon Egg. The first rounds were a little bit confusing to play because it was really new for students. But they learned very fast and the following rounds were well played and they enjoyed it very much. Children were divided into six groups and Quidditch Capture was played indoor sport hall and Dragon Egg was played outdoor football field. Each of the team members had their own responsibility to play to reach their goal to win the game. At the end of the day, we had a special dinner with all participants together and the award ceremony was held there. It was the most exciting part. After the awards’ ceremony, we danced and exchange gifts.

Organization team: Esuu, Nangaa, Uuganaa, Ulzii, Ankhiluun and Battuul
Organization team: Esuu, Nangaa, Uuganaa, Ulzii, Ankhiluun and Battuul
On the last day of the festival, we visited Mandalgovi learning center and there were some amazing speeches which had smiling, laughing and some happiness tears for me. Older students who came from Arvaikheer and Khentii shared their experiences of their learnings and achievements as well as how they enjoy to learn at a BOOKBRIDGE learning center. They made special friendship with teachers and students.

Community heroes worked well with Peace Corps volunteers and we made quick decisions together and managed all activities. Community heroes supported and inspired one another. I owe special thanks to Uugantsetseg Gantumur who always inspires us to do more and to make the right decision and to keep working hard. Our friendship is getting stronger and closer day by day. Understanding each other is very important for us to make a bright future in our hometown. This English Festival was great both for teachers and for students to think something important for our lives in the future. Every activity teaches us many things and motivates us to correct our mistakes the next time. Even there some mistakes we can change it future together. All in all, special thanks to BOOKBRIDGE Foundation and BOOKBRIDGE Mongolia to support our festival. Without your support we wouldn’t have done it.

Ulzii presents one of the Harry Potter tasks
Ulzii presents one of the Harry Potter tasks
Also thank you to the other three beautiful and optimistic Community Heroes who are Uugantsetseg Gantumur, Ankhiluun Davaa, Narangarav Jambaltseren and 5 great volunteers who are Michael Cramer, Megan Plourde, Cristina Fonz, Tessa Casper, DeAndre Lester and two young leaders who are Esuu and Ulzii from Arvaikheer. You are such a great example for me. I am so proud of your contribution to make it happen well. I hope that our next project can be successful and we can do it together and Let’s make a bright future together. Thank you all of you.

Ankhiluun Davaa, Community Hero of Chinggis Learning Center
Through our festival students were motivated so much. Even parents start to understand the value of BOOKBRIDGE. Through this activity, pupils are learning by doing through friendships and they are knowing each other more and more. Students always learn things when they see, feel and touch. Also, this was a good marketing activity.

Watch more voices from the English Festival:

One thought on “Cross-Center English Festival in Mongolia

  • Tobias Wassmann says:

    Wow, congratulations to all of you! Sound like a really great event! I particularly like the fact that the festival is open to students from different age groups and skill levels. This certainly leads to the right mix! I watched all the videos too. Really well done! It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces! Keep up all the good work, I am really proud of all of you! Kind regards, Tobias

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