December 28, 2016
Good afternoon Mr. President, colleagues and honored guests.
I’m very happy to be here today with our international and Ukrainian colleagues as we celebrate the conclusion of the Year of English in Ukraine.
The promotion of the English language is always a priority for the U.S. Embassy, and this year has been no exception.
Together with our partners, we undertook many projects, large and small:
In direct response to requests from the Ministry of Education, Peace Corps swore-in a total of 149 Teachers of English who are now working in villages large and small.
Three English Language Fellows and Specialists, and seven Fulbright English Teaching Assistants are also enhancing classrooms in cities across Ukraine.
We’ve also upped the ante on our English Access Microscholarship, expanding this life-changing program to 12 cities and touching the lives of 400 at-risk young Ukrainians.
And countless others, including many internally displaced people, have been able to take advantage of our Massive Online Open Courses and free English-language events at America House.
But the Year of English has also been remarkable for another reason.
It’s been remarkable because it brought together so many different groups working towards a common goal: the Government of Ukraine, non-profits, and foreign diplomatic missions – all showing what can be accomplished when we work together.
Go Camps and “Ukraiyina Speaking” are just two of the success stories.
And we should all be proud.
So what’s next for 2017?
In honor of 25 years of diplomatic relations with Ukraine, the U.S. will be doubling down on its commitment to support a strong and vibrant European Ukraine.
With that in mind, “Year of English” or not, the U.S. Embassy is preparing a full schedule of engaging programs – many of which will directly involve English language.
For example, Peace Corps plans to add about 100 more American teachers of English to its program, giving more Ukrainian students a chance to interact with native speakers
We also plan to train 1,000 Ukrainian teachers on how to best conduct English language summer camps. These trainers will then go on to work with up to ONE MILLION Ukrainian students.
Our hope is that slowly but surely, one million will become two, and two become three. Until Ukraine is full of tri-lingual European citizens. Ready to engage with their neighbors and the world, and equipped to build a peaceful, stronger, more highly educated and whole Ukraine.
This is not just about English. This is about building Ukraine’s future. A future we’re proud to support.
Дýже дякую, слáва Українi!