English speaking Nomads

Advice from English Teachers

Our spoken practice at the American Center on Monday mornings hasn’t been attended very well and we are thinking about not continuing it into the second semester.  Does anyone have any comments about this?  Please tell us what you think : english@zereg.net

































March 2013 : School Number 7 English Teacher, Bayarkhuu, showed us her English Resource Room.  We were very encouraged to see so many great ideas all openly available for the use of students and teachers.  What we thought was really good is that most of the resources in Bayarkhuu’s English Room are relatively cheap and easy to make.  She made almost everything herself.  Any teacher, even working in the countryside, could use these great ideas in their own school.  Let’s take a look around. 






lesson plans
















         At our last spoken practice, we spoke with Tserenlkham, an English teacher at school number 3 in Hovd Aimag Centre.  She graduated as a Russian teacher from the Mongolian National University in 1985 and then in 1995 she took a 10 month Interchange English course at Hovd university.  She has had many teaching jobs teaching both Russian and English.  She loves to speak English and does a good job expressing herself in English.  Here is her advice about improving your spoken English.

                People have different ways of learning foreign languages – some are good at grammar, others reading - but if you never learn to speak, how can you really communicate in English?  Speak English!  If the goal of learning a foreign language is communication – then speaking is very important.  One thing I have noticed is that in Russian, grammar is very important.  If you speak Russian incorrectly, Russians will not be able to understand you, BUT English is completely different, it is quite easy to make yourself understood even if you speak incorrectly.  So don’t worry about making mistakes.  Even if you can’t speak in complete sentences, use the words you know and try to make yourself understood. 




Interview with School # 6 teacher, Nyamhuu


We recently talked to Nyamhuu, one of the English teachers at school number 6,

about her English Room. 


Hazel    - Hello, Nyamhuu.  When did you create  

              this room?

Nyamhuu   - I made this room 3 years ago.  At

                 first it just had a few shelves.  Last

                 year we added more shelves and



Hazel        - Did you do all this work yourself?

Nyamhuu   - I did most of it and Peace Corps

                 Volunteer, Suzanne, also helped me.  

                 Her friends and family donated

                 some of the books and games that

                 you see here today.  Some of them

                  I got myself.








Do you use lesson plans?  Personally, I (Hazel) find it difficult to remember what I am going to teach step by step without planning carefully beforehand.  Bayarkhuu’s lesson plans are neatly organized and carefully kept in folders for future use.  I wish I were as organized as her!  The tests Bayarkhuu has used in the past are also kept all neatly labeled in folders.  She also keeps all her ‘hand-outs’ in neatly labeled boxes on shelves in her English Room.  If you have time, go along to school number 7 and ask Bayarkhuu to give you a guided tour of her room.  You just might get some great ideas to use in your own school.



Kids love games!  Actually lots of adults love games too.  Bayarkhuu has made a great crossword board – games are a great way to learn English.  Have you ever written your own book?  Bayarkhuu’s students have made lots of ‘small books’ in English on various topics.  I used to love to write ‘small books’ when I was a kid.  It’s a fun way to review English.


Well, I don’t know about you – but I am certainly impressed, and one more amazing thing is that Bayarkhuu moved to Hovd from Ulaanbaatar just last year and left ALL her old resources there!!!  So everything you see in her room has been made since she moved to Hovd.  It just goes to show what can be done in a short period of time if you try.  Well done Bayarkhuu.  We are proud of you.






























First we noticed the brightly coloured flags on the wall.  Bayarkhuu found these flags online and printed them out – but if you don’t have access to the Internet (or a colour printer) why not have your students paint colourfulflags from different countries to decorate the walls.






Bayarkhuu keeps all her English books in small cupboards in her English Room.  She kindly allows students and fellow teachers to use her resources.






hand outs






small books

Talk with native English speakers as much as possible.  Improving my speaking ability has always been a priority for me so I always took opportunities to meet with native speakers.  I often invited them to my home.  I also hosted one young American man in my home for two years.  This really helped my English and it also encouraged my two sons to speak English too.  This has really benefited them in their studies and work.  I have always told my boys, ‘If you know English well, you will be able to get a better job’.  I like to tell people that my family is ‘an English speaking family’.  My sons watch English movies and TV almost every day.

If you improve your speaking ability, your grammar will improve too.  Increase your vocabulary by reading.  As you read write down any new words and look them up in a dictionary later.  If you can’t find the meaning in a dictionary ask a native speaker.  Always keep learning.  ‘Study, study and study again’ – if you stop for a while you will forget even what you knew before!

We want to thank Tserenlkham  for sharing her experiences and this great advice.






Hazel         - Who uses the room and what do

                 they use it for?

Nyamhuu   - Students and teachers both use the

                 room in their free time.  They can read

                 books, play games and do listening

                 exercises.  The computers have

                 Internet access and I also have CDs

                 that students can use with the

                 computers to do English exercises.  I

                 run an English club here twice a week

                 for 8th graders.  I started it last year

                 when they were in 7th grade.

                 Other English teachers at my school

                 also use this room.


Bob       - What plans do you have for the future

             for this room?

Nyamhuu     - We really need a CD player to use

                   for listening exercises in class.  Also

                   we need lots of dictionaries so

                   that students can use them to look  

                   up new words.


Hazel      - Thank you for showing us your

               room and we wish you much success.








Have you ever used a cabbage in your English lessons?  I’m not talking about a real cabbage (although that might be useful as a vegetable visual aid!), I’m talking about a paper ‘cabbage’ that can be pealed! 


The teacher prepares the ‘cabbage’ before the lesson by writing questions, or words onto pieces of paper – any kind of paper can be used - coloured paper – even old scrap paper – then the teacher takes one paper and squashes it into a ball (the writing should be on the inside).  Then the teacher takes another paper and squashes it around the first piece and so on with all the papers.  During the lesson (or English Club) the teacher gives (or throws) the ‘cabbage’ to one student.  He or she unwraps the first outer layer of the cabbage and answers the question (or translates the word).  He or she, then gives (or throws) the ‘cabbage’ to another student, and so on until the ‘cabbage’ is finished.


Bayarkhuu keeps all her old ‘cabbages’ in her room for future use.