Paleocomponent in extracurricular activities in English. Meeting with renowned British palaeontologist Gareth Dyke

On the 11th of December, 2020 within the diploma work on the topic “Paleontological component in the out-of-class activities at the lessons of English” of the student of group ZIN-18-1k Makarovskaya Polina took place the online-meeting of the students of Gymnasium ¹ 45 with the famous British scientist-paleontologist Gareth Dyke.

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This meeting had several objectives:

1) to acquaint children with the professional activities of palaeontologists and, as a result, to popularise the profession;

2) to reveal the value of the palaeontological component in Kazakhstan;

3) give students an opportunity to communicate with a native English speaker and practice speaking the language.

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Gareth Dyke is a palaeontologist whose work is concerned with the evolutionary history of birds and their dinosaur relatives. He kindly agreed to give us an interview this summer, during which he confirmed the importance and relevance of our research, and also noted the enormous interest in all things related to palaeontology in Kazakhstan abroad, and the lack of interest locally.

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This meeting made a significant contribution to the practical part of our research. Gareth Dyke spoke personally about the connection between dinosaurs and birds, shared his experience in palaeontology, and of course paid particular attention to his expeditions in Kazakhstan.

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Gareth Dyke noted that there were many opportunities for the younger generation to develop in the field of paleontology in Kazakhstan, as our territory was famous for the diversity of flora and fauna, especially those belonging to the Cretaceous Period – the last period of the Mesozoic era.

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The concluding session gave the students an opportunity to ask the famous scientist their questions in person. Gareth Dyke answered each question in great detail, noting that the questions were both important and interesting. After all the questions were asked, Gareth Dyke said goodbye to the children and promised a personal meeting in the spring of this year, which certainly pleased the guys. A recording of the meeting can be seen by clicking here

Then the children shared their impressions of the meeting. Some noted that it was very easy to perceive Gareth Dyke’s speech, some were glad to have had the opportunity to practice their English skills with a native speaker, as well as to share interesting facts, such as from a scientist learned that China is the best place for paleontological excavations, or what tools are needed for excavations.

The work will continue.

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