Being a member of the Council of Europe places Georgia in a culture and language-wise diverse environment, thus without knowing foreign languages, full integration and realization of one’s own potential is nearly impossible in this environment. That’s why enhancing foreign language teaching at Georgian schools is one of the top priorities in the MoES strategic plan. Some changes have been introduced to the National Curriculum in this respect since 2011, namely teaching English as a first foreign language has been made obligatory from the 1-st grade, whereas the second foreign language is taught only from 5-th grade. National Curriculum also provides the opportunity of teaching the third foreign language.
The system is facing certain challenges due to the above mentioned changes, namely improving pedagogical and modern resources application skills for teachers. Emphasis is placed on foreign language fluent knowledge for communicative purposes.
In response to the above mentioned challenges, a project was initiated by the MoES in 2010. A group of volunteers enrolled in the project visit Georgia annually. Volunteers live with the host families and are employed in public schools. They’re actively involved in school and community life via collaboration with local foreign language teachers and other community members.
Collaborating with foreign colleagues assist the local foreign language teachers to realize the importance of communicative approach, effective use of school manuals and the importance of searching for additional teaching materials based on students’ needs. The volunteer teachers’ job entails 3 major dimensions:
- Collaboration with the local teachers and contributing to their professional development in the following aspects of foreign language teaching : listening, reading, writing, speaking, effective ways of teaching, intercultural dialogue and communicative approach;
- Enhancing the foreign language knowledge in students;
- Organizing intercultural, educational and creative activities (school clubs, summer camps, etc).
Some more foreign language teaches will engage in the project alongside with English language teachers from 2015, in order to contribute to enhancing the knowledge of different foreign languages, exchange of cultural and social values in students, teachers and other community members that is the prerequisite for social integration in the global environment.