THE CURRENT CHALLENGES OF TEACHING ESP
(Kamianets-Podіlskyi National Ivan Ohiienko University)
THE CURRENT CHALLENGES OF TEACHING ESP
Анотація: У статті розглядаються основні методи навчання та викладання англійської мови за фаховим спрямуванням, увага зосереджується на розвитку комунікативних, пізнавальних, професійних та соціально-культурних компетентностях студентів. Розглядається використання різних сучасних освітніх технологій, що розвивають мислення студентів та допомагають усвідомити особливості системи вивчення іноземної мови загалом.
Ключові слова: англійська мова за професійним спрямуванням, комунікативний, пізнавальний, компетентність, мотивація.
Summary. The article deals with the basic methods of learning and teaching English for specific purposes, and focuses on the development of students’ communicative, cognitive, professional and socio-cultural competences. The use of various modern educational technologies that develop students’ thinking and help them to understand the peculiarities of foreign language learning system in general is considered.
Keywords: English for specific purposes, communicative, cognitive, competence, motivation.
In general, ESP teaching focuses on developing students’ communicative, cognitive, professional and socio-cultural competences. In a career context, good language skills can affect credibility, improve relationships with co-workers, increase chances of being promoted, help to create a good impression, improve ability to persuade others (which is a valuable skill in the working world) [1, p. 5]. The main task for the teacher is to select studying materials skillfully, prepare programs for achieving the desired learning outcomes, and support students’ motivation. Great variety of current challenges in learning and teaching ESP was envisaged in the works of J. Gilbert, B. Hutauruk, N. Kern, L. Klobuchar, G. Motteram, B. Paltridge, C. Pim, M. Shea, G. Stanley, J. Richards, N. Roberts, R. Stannard and others, who investigated digital innovations, integrating technologies in English language teaching, practice-based exploration of technology enhanced assessment, development and extension of student’s understanding of language learning and technology, etc.
Perfect language training is impossible without the use of modern educational technologies. Chris Pim observes emerging technologies and denotes that “technology has a significant role to play in enhancing the delivery of English language teaching and learning in the primary sector” [3, p. 39]. Author adds more: “the range of technologies now available can support teachers in a variety of ways both inside the young learner classroom, but also increasingly in the home environment and while learners are on the move about their daily lives” [3, p. 39]. Teachers should always use modern technologies, such as professionally oriented foreign language training, project work, information and telecommunication technologies, work with educational computer programs in foreign languages (multimedia system), distance technologies, Internet resources, learning a foreign language with computer environment (forums, blogs, e-mail). “Technological use is clearly ‘situated’, dependent on context and predicated on the notion that what works in one context may not be entirely replicable in another. However, creative practitioners will always be able to see the potential for an idea and are particularly adept at customising approaches to meet the individual needs of their learners” [3, p. 39].
The main teaching methods are communicative and interactive. Bertaria Sohnata Hutauruk notes that ESP students “have some acquaintance with English and are learning the language in order to communicate a set of professional skills and to perform particular job-related functions. An ESP program is therefore built on an assessment of purposes and needs and the functions for which English is required” [2, p. 8]. Modern communication methodology offers a wide introduction to the educational process of active non-standard methods and forms of work for better conscious assimilation of certain material. In teaching practice, scientists have found a sufficiently high efficiency of such forms as individual, pair and group work. “With the continuing reduction in manufacturing costs, greater coverage and increasing speeds of communication networks and the development of a ‘read/write Web’, English language teachers have an unparalleled opportunity to ensure their curricula and teaching styles genuinely meet the needs of their 21st century learners” [3, p. 39].
We should point out the main and effective forms of control of knowledge acquisition, namely abstract, annotation, drafting a thesis plan, essay, analysis, synthesis, comparison, summarizing the facts, patterns stated in the printed sources of information, in order to prepare the answers to the questions raised before the table, visualization (illustrations, graphic works), exercises, translation, synopses of educational or scientific texts, creative tasks, tests, complex exercises, use of case-methods (situational tasks), group projects (methodical, bibliographic, analytical), scientific reports, informative independent work, oral conversation, checking of notes, dictionaries, vocabulary dictation, vocab tests, verification, dialogues, individual testing, interviewing. They can be carried out also through the writing of lexical dictations, execution of control works, grammatical and lexical testing or creative work. Students can be offered to search for various interesting information, proverbs and sayings, preparing messages with illustrations, preparing recipes, solving crossword puzzles, riddles, etc.
The introduction of modern technologies in combination with visualization and multimedia contribute to the improvement of students’ pronunciation, create communication situations, close to foreign languages, and provide communication between group representatives.
- Basic English Language Skills. Die Boord, Stellenbosch : Oxbridge Academy, 2015. 59 p.
- Hutauruk B.S. English for Specific Purposes. Pematangsiantar: FKIP UHN Pematangsiantar, 2015. 200 p.
- Pim C. Emerging technologies, emerging minds: digital innovations within the primary sector/ Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching. London : British Council, 2013. 17–42.