American Councils Moldova Inspiring Stories

June, 4 2015

Nicu Gaibu - an expert in projects promoting youth volunteering and active participation

Nicu Gaibu is one of the most active ambassadors for the FLEX Moldova alumni community. In 2014-2015 Nicu initiated and successfully implemented a series of large-scale projects involving dozens of youth from various regions of Moldova and has won several Small Democracy Grants offered by US Embassy to Moldova. His most successful initiatives include: "About Moldova", "Hello and Win Charity Ball", "Education Network Conference", "EcoMania 2015". During 2014-2015 he succeeded to organize three big FLEX alumni reunions, and there were over 30 FLEX alumni of different generations who attended each of the meeting. At the annual Alumni Congress organized by the Creative Development Association of Moldova and US Embassy in November 2014, Nicu was one of the 5 most active alumni in our country and received an award from US Ambassador William H.Moser for his "active involvement in projects encouraging youth volunteering and active participation".


"Working for American Councils Moldova gave me the opportunity to have a job while balancing other aspects of my life, I mean student life. It kept me busy and used my skills, without overwhelming me but giving a great pleasure to work with FLEX Alumni Community in Moldova. By being under American Councils umbrella, FLEX Alumni Community has always been part of me. Thus, American Councils is part of me too."


Marina Chirnițcaia - the coordinator of "Modern Trends and Resources Journal"

Marina Chirnițcaia is the volunteer coordinator of American Councils Moldova first academic publication, "Modern Trends and Resources Journal" registered with Moldova National Book Chamber since January, 2014, which focuses on a variety of cross-disciplinary interests in three languages: English, Romanian and Russian. Marina managed to successfully coordinate, publish and share 7 digital editions (58 articles and lesson plans from 37 authors from 4 countries: Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, USA), a challenging job which involves putting together regular detailed action plans regarding the number of issues for the academic year, deadlines for submitting articles and lesson plans as well as planning the ways and places of spreading the information about the Journal (English Teaching Resource Center, educational institutions around Moldova, American Councils website, social networking, personal emails, etc.). Marina is planning to turn the Journal into a truly international publication, as starting with spring 2015, the editing committee will be enlarged among whom two foreign experts from India and the USA.


"Since joining American Councils Moldova in 2010, I have been involved in language instruction and project coordinating and I have had great opportunities and challenges to take advantage of which enhanced my professional development and boosted my motivation and creativity. I truly love the culturally diverse atmosphere with most people switching between English, Romanian and Russian with ease which allows people to go beyond social barriers, form long-lasting understanding and benefit from ongoing cultural enrichment. Working alongside with professional team of language instructors, project coordinators and alumni gives inspiration and promotes team spirit, responsibility and professional growth."


Retcu Diana - the manager of the first regional American Language Center office


In 2011 Diana Retcu started working as an Access Microscholarship Program regional teacher in Ungheni. Even though at the beginning she was very confused and everything seemed difficult for her, in a very short period of time she managed to become an inspiration for her students and project colleagues alike. She enjoyed using the new teaching methodology designed by Access Microscholarship Program and successfully coordinated a series of major educational projects in her home city, such as Youth in Action, Save Horses, Reduce Reuse Recycle and Access City Quest. Diana became an innovational teacher due to American Councils and the US Embassy to Moldova, which offered her the opportunity to attend a series of trainings, courses and summits on teaching English in the 21st century, such as the ELT Professional Development Training in Ukraine in 2012, the online teacher training course from the University of Oregon in 2013, the International ACCESS Summit in 2013 in Ukraine and various English summer camps organized every summer for ACCESS students and teachers. This inspired Diana to open an American Language Center regional branch in Ungheni in 2012, which registered about 40 open enrollment students.


"I came to the conclusion that English should be taught in Moldova for the following three reasons: finding a high-quality job, communicating with the world outside Moldova, and accessing different international resources for educators. All these I could do with the help of the two American Councils Moldova programs: ACCESS Microscholarship and American Language Center. This is why in 2012 I opened the first American Language Center regional brunch in Ungheni. The new approaches of teaching English, such as Content-Based Learning, Project Based learning, Inquiry-Based Instruction brought to better results. From my experience, I can say that it is very good for students to study a sufficient amount of hours, especially for students who have never been to an English-speaking society. The necessary amount of English classes will, of course, depend on the individual and our ALC classes can give a good opportunity to choose the most suitable number of hours and increase the knowledge of English. This was the main premise to open an ALC branch in Ungheni. We hope to develop the Ungheni ALC branch increasing the number of groups and its quality. We came to the conclusion - studying English is very important and it is better to study a few more weeks, than to fail an important course later. Now I understand better what are the teenagers' needs and interests, how to interact with them and their world to get better results. In conclusion I could say that American Councils helped me learn how to use the most modern methods of teaching. Moreover, having learned and practiced so many useful things in such a short period of time makes me feel more confident and proud. Thank you to all American Councils Moldova people that gave me this opportunity!"


Corina Ceban - becoming a highly experienced international educator


Corina started working with American Councils when an ACCESS group of students was opened in Balti, in the northern part of the country in 2010. Her professional growth at the international level started with iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) projects done with ACCESS students. A bunch of digital skills and a huge desire to work and integrate online tools in teaching English as a foreign language were the background of her research work entitled "The development of cultural competence during English classes" in 2013. Using blogs as a teaching tool motivated her to apply for an international project launched by the Ministry of Education and Korean Embassy in Moldova that aimed to deliver Smart Boards in national schools in order to increase students' digital competence. The lessons are now more interactive by using a smart board. When ACCESS Balti students graduated, she discovered new perspectives for her career. In 2014 she became an innovative teacher within the TEMPUS-SMHES - INOVEST: Eastern Partnership in Pedagogical Innovations in Inclusive Education, coordinated by University from Karlsruhe, Germany and the Ministries of Education from Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. This is a way of implementing new educational software and training regional Moldovan teachers on how to use it. She continued working with American Councils Moldova office and represented Access at international events such as: International Summit in Kiev, International Seminars in Sevastopol and e-teacher courses at the University of Oregon. Her experience as an ACCESS regional teacher encouraged her to apply for a Master's Degree and in 2014 she received her MA in Educational Management. All these competencies she developed while working for American Councils Moldova office helped her elaborate successful local and national educational projects. For example, Corina was one of the trainers within the EFL Blogging School Project administered by American Councils Moldova and financed by US Embassy and US Department of State. Corina was invited to evaluate students' books as a member of a team or national experts selected by the Ministry of Education and Peace Corps Moldova in March- April 2015. Her experience with Access helped her win the SUSI scholarship (Study of United States Institutes for Secondary Educators). As a result of her participation in the SUSI Program will be the elaboration of a new curriculum that will help language teachers from Moldova to integrate new technologies and online tools while teaching the US culture and civilization.

"I could never imagine that teaching English in Moldova could give the chance to find a high-quality job, to communicate with teaching community outside Moldova and to access so many different international resources for educators. I realized that American Councils has always been opened for innovation and new opportunities. It is a powerful team that can attract active, creative and hard-working people. These five years of working with American Councils, made me understand my value both as a teacher and a friend. I could prove my desire of changing the world through inspiring activities and kind attitude towards all the teachers and students I met. No one knows where his road of life leads. It was my chance to meet the right people at the right moment. Working with American Councils Moldova I have got the possibility to live the pleasure to meet the US Ambassador in Moldova, to get acquainted with RELO and ELF's that could influence my teaching and lifelong learning."


Olga Morozan - the heart and soul of Access Microscholarship Program in Moldova


Olga Morozan is the heart and soul of Access Microscholarship Program. She is a true innovator and an inspiring educator who managed to bring the civics component into the English as a foreign language classrooms in more than 20 districts around Moldova. Ever since she started coordinating the program, hundreds of young students from various regions of Moldova were actively engaged in community development projects benefiting children from orphanages, unemployed youth, and social vulnerable families. Her most successful projects were: "Making Changes through Social Theater", 'It is Write or Right? "," Give Your Toy a New Life", and "I Want to Go to School", "Dogtober". Recently, Olga has coordinated the "Innovation in English Language Teaching" training aiming to train 10 Access teachers and teacher assistants from 5 regions of the country (Ribnita, Grigoripol, Causeni, Hincesti, and Edinet) on the up-to-date EFLT methodological topics, referring to integrating technology, media and interactive activities into Access teaching-learning-evaluation process. This way, as a coordinator she always tries to strengthen the Access teachers' status of the 21st Century Educator; thus increasing the quality-based Access students' instruction.


"Working for American Councils Moldova I have got the possibility to live the pleasure to teach students of different ages, especially Access adolescents, whose inner world is so rich and unique. ACCESS project is a good way to combine all my skills into a single field: the experience as a teacher, as a psychologist, and as a coordinator, which contributes in achieving good results in teaching teens from all over the country."

Dorina Calinovscaia - establishing highest teaching standards at American Councils Moldova

Dorina Calinovscaia has been teaching English at American Councils Moldova since 2001. Being one of our most experienced and professional teachers, holding a Teaching Certificate issued by Open World House, another one by School for International Training in Vermont, USA, as well as the one signed by Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages ( CELTA), Dorina was the first to launch and coordinate the American Councils Moldova Teacher Certificate Course in July 2013. Since then, Moldovan teachers from around the country have had the opportunity to learn the basics of teaching English at the highest level from American Councils Moldova experts. Another innovation Dorina has brought to American Councils Moldova office was the administration of Standardized Tests, such as TOEFL and GRE. Being one of the few IBT test centers and the only one GRE test center in Moldova, we support international mobility of students so that they can pursue education and document their achievement on international level. At the same time we have been providing excellent original short- and long-term test preparation courses for main American and British Academic tests ( IELTS, SAT, Cambridge First Certificate/CAE/Proficiency ) facilitating students' and scholars' admission to U.S. and European educational institutions.

"Working for American Councils Moldova has brought a lot to my professional life. Almost 15 years of belonging to this organization gave me not only the opportunity for close cooperation and dialogue with people of high level of expertise and different cultural backgrounds, but also a challenge to set and achieve more and more far-reaching goals. One of the most important areas I have been engaged in is the administration of Standardized Tests, such as TOEFL and GRE. As a language instructor, I feel my involvement, have the possibility of continuous professional growth as well as enjoy the results and achievements of my students."



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