An advocate for teaching and children’s literacy, Elyanora Menglieva (MA TESOL, 2019) was a 2022 Uzbekistan national finalist in the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards (Social Action category) and was awarded ‘Ambassador’s Choice’.
Why did you choose to study at Warwick?
In 2018, I was awarded a competitive Hornby Educational Trust Scholarship to study at Warwick. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) course offers a great opportunity for every English language teacher to meet excellent educators who love teaching and sharing their knowledge and experience with students. One of my most favourite memories is the help I received from professors and teachers at the Department of Applied Linguistics. The staff were always eager to help me and talk about my studies.
Tell us about your career journey since graduating from Warwick.
After graduating, I decided to contribute to the ongoing educational reforms of Uzbekistan using the knowledge and teaching expertise I’d gained over 10 years. I was involved in international educational projects, as well as several more locally to help the English language teacher community. I currently work as an Early Childhood Education Consultant for a US non-governmental organisation called Mercy Corps where I’m responsible for organising preschool teacher training, mentorship and reading corners in rural preschools to increase early literacy development, as well as parent-oriented campaigns on the importance of reading to children. I’m also the Founder of the Network of Teacher Researchers in Uzbekistan (https://netruz-project.blogspot.com). My main aim is to raise research literacy among teachers and show the value of classroom-based research.
What challenges have you faced during your career and how have you overcome them?
Challenges can occur at every level of your professional and academic development. They can be big or small obstacles but when you believe in what you do, these obstacles can be overcome. In my career, I’ve encountered various challenges (from temporary demotivation, denial of my ideas, to self-doubt of my strength).
However, I’ve always believed these obstacles aren’t permanent and may vanish if I gain more experience. Looking back, I’m happy I didn’t give up on my beliefs, but continued to follow my passion, which is to help English language teachers of Uzbekistan grow professionally and academically.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow a similar career path in education?
Be persistent and reflect. These two things I learnt from my studies at Warwick and through my professional experience. Reflecting on what you do, what you teach, what you investigate helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
As a teacher, I’ve learned to listen to my students and receive feedback. Any feedback you receive from students, colleagues, senior teachers and managers should be taken as constructive feedback and used to improve your weaknesses.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope that the Network of Teacher Researchers in Uzbekistan will prosper and benefit many teachers, not only of Uzbekistan, but in other countries too. I also hope to complete a PhD in English Language Teaching and Applied linguistics and become a leading researcher in the fields of teacher development and teacher research.