We are always very happy about the success of the participants in the "Build Your Own Business" competition, as this is an indicator of our correct choice of the most worthy among hundreds of applicants. A good…
QazaqStudy project appeared thanks to successful adaptation of the Canadian experience in Kazakhstan. The founder of the project Konstantin Orlov having seen sharp need of the population in the Kazakh language study I began to study that the market offers, what methodology are used in teaching, what structure of lessons. By good fortune he managed to find the new interesting language teaching methodology developed by the Canadians learning the Kazakh language. About a year ago having adapted a methodology under requests of the market the first center of Qazaq Study on the Kazakh language study was launched, six months later the Qazaq Study project became the finalist of the competition "Build Your Own Business" . Thanks to the received grant, authors of the project began work on creation of the online platform for the Kazakh language study which in the future will allow to cover the whole Kazakhstan and to provide the most advanced teaching methods without leaving home.
About development of the project
The idea was surfaced when I understood that there is huge demand for a study of the Kazakh language by the population. And training is not available to a large number of people in Almaty, Astana and other cities as it is rather expensive. It is expensive also to learning centers as they need opening of their locations in the cities. It is necessary to buy furniture, to rent locations, etc. Then I thought why not to make the good uniform website on training in the Kazakh language? That we could scale to all Kazakhstan, without opening of separate centers in each city.
About the Kazakh language as priority
I know the Kazakh language well. It always helped me with business trips, at different meetings. Friends often said to me what it would be good if we had a good center of training in Kazakh. There are separate tutors and it is necessary to find them, but there is no such place where it is possible to come, to register and learn Kazakh. Because, at the majority of language centers Kazakh is offered as an additional product. First of all English or some other is taught. I wanted to make reverse that our center was focused on a Kazakh study. It was supposed to be our main product and service.
I began to carry out the analysis across Almaty. To look what there are centers, who is working on this and understood that we don’t have a good separate center on Kazakh study with interesting, effective methodology. All training comes down to some boring textbooks, exercises and so on. I wanted to introduce in it more creative, to create interesting lessons. That the study of Kazakh was not hard to people, but for pleasure.
About the Canadian methodology
Further I began to look for interesting methodology, teachers. I had the good fortune to get acquainted with foreigners, they were Canadians who lived in Almaty and studied the Kazakh language for a long time. They have lived here during 8 years, studied quite in depth Kazakh, wrote their own language teaching methodology.
Having compared their methodology, to those that are taught at schools and the universities, I understood that it differs a little, it is more interesting, more various and cheerful. Our guests from Canada were going to leave Kazakhstan, and there was no one to leave their methodology. Therefore the people who created this methodology gave it to me and were glad that I will use it for training of new people. The only thing that they asked me - not to sell a methodology in other centers. They wanted me to teach people, let it will be for a fee, but that there was an effect of teaching. So our first center appeared. We opened it in June, 2016. Before opening, about 3 months we carried preparatory work, looked for good room, teachers, finished a methodology because in some places it seemed to us dampish and not absolutely adapted for our people. So first center of Qazaq study has appeared. Today we have branch in Astana, we also teach corporate clients. Everyone speak very positively about us. It is pleasant that people call us and thank for training.
About methodology improvement
We are always in the move, always improve our methodology. Two experienced methodologists having large work experience at schools and the universities work for us. Working on the development of a product is permanently carried out.
About a mobile application
Together with programmers we created the Qazaq app mobile application. We use it that people could strengthen their knowledge of Kazakh at home. It was made before a grant. By the way, I presented our mobile application to representatives of Saby Foundation on protection of our project during the competition.
We recommend to our clients to use application at home, in the bus, in the taxi for repetition of the words learned at a lesson. The mobile application is created interestingly, simply, in a playful way. People get many pleasant emotions.
About an involvement in the competition "Build Your Own Business"
When we made the decision to participate in the competition "Build Your Own Business" , we trained the Kazakh language more than 150 people. The trainees were happy with results. But the question of how to increase further, how to scale the project on other cities was the most urgent task. Then we decided to participate in a competition of Saby Foundation. We understood that we need to design the website, the online platform on a Kazakh study that we could provide education all over Kazakhstan, and not only Almaty and Astana.
For the competition final we prepared the specification for creation of that website which was necessary to us. There was an arrangement with programmers. There was a clear vision of what website functionality should be.
I am glad that we managed to convince the jury of our project competence and to receive a grant in the competition "Construct your Business". Thanks to a grant we could start development of the website at once. Actually we had a hitch with developers and the project deadline increased for 1-2 months. Fortunately, we managed to resolve all these issues and we are actively working on creation of our website.
About readiness of Qazaq Study website
It can be safely assumed that about 50% of our website are ready. The main functionality is almost implemented, there is a homepage, the processing system of requests have developed, an administrative part of the website is ready. The work on the main functionality is now carried out. The work on design and design of the website will be the completing part. Also we finish work on implementation of own chat, pupils will not need to come into any analogs, like Skype, to see the teacher. Everyone will work at the website. They will be able to see the teacher, exercises, words, which they need to repeat, will be displayed at the same place, online payment module will be.
We assume that the demo version of the website will be ready by the end of September. We plan final start of the website for the beginning of November. It was planned to make it a little earlier, but because of change of developers, the works has been slow a little.
About the prospects of online project
From the moment of opening and until today about once a week 10-15 calls arrives from the different cities with a question: "Do you have online training?" The population has a great need of distance learning the Kazakh language. Thanks to implementation of our project we will be able to satisfy this need.
Besides, we concentrated on online training because it is easier for us to control it, easier to conduct qualitative lessons. It will become clear to us negative or positive comments from clients. Since in our project it will be available a remote access function to any lesson. We will be able to come and see: how the teacher gives this or that lesson, when the lesson began, whether the teacher was too late, there were any time delays. We will adjust such function that after each lesson the client will be able to leave a comment about a lesson. Backward communication from the client will go more often, more qualitatively and arrive directly to us.
Now in offline centers in Almaty and Astana I, as the director, should interview clients myself to receive the correct, honest assessment of the lessons. Thanks to an online service, it will be much more convenient to us to react to responses and to improve service.
About quantity of learners
In the nearest future we will begin marketing activities for attracting the clients to online training. By the end of the first month of the website work we plan to take 70 people who will study the Kazakh language. This figure is not baseless, it is quite objective as from 50 to 70 people monthly study in our center. And it is only Almaty, only our local clients ready to come to our center for training. If we take all Kazakhstan, then I think, by the end of the first month this figure is quite achievable. By the end of the year we plan to reach figures of at the same time studying clients - about 700-800 people. It is our most negative outlook. Online training will be much more scale and more demanded, than offline training.
Now we are constrained by the location, time, the schedule. In the online project there will be many teachers with their shifts and pupils. At present center we are constrained by the number of places in an office. There are 5-6 people maximum at the lesson. Time of our lessons is not convenient to everyone. I hope that all these limits will be lifted with the emergence of the online training system.
About a jury’s opinion
I managed to communicate to Kenes Rakishev during the awards ceremony. I saw that he has a definite interest in our sphere. I understood that he is also interested in development of the Kazakh language learning by the population. Including, thanks to such online platforms as ours. I hope that in the future we will even manage to cooperate.
About social responsibility
During protection of our project in Saby Foundation, I offered and ready to keep this word that after start of the website we will be ready to teach the Kazakh language poor children or children with disabilities. Also we would like to help with employment of the young teachers or people who speak Kazakh powerfully, having any difficulties in life, for example orphans or low-income people, who could be in our center and teach people the Kazakh language if they perfectly know it. We are ready to train them, to explain a methodology. As for all teachers within the first two-three weeks we provide internal trainings. We teach the methodology, how you have to give classes, etc. Our project gets on feet and I am sure that as soon as we get stronger, we will understand our forces, we will surely look for opportunities to be useful to society.