International Association of Teachers of English
as a Foreign Language IATEFL Poland

Report 6th International ESP SIG Event

by Anna Gałucka
Categories: English for Specific Purposes SIG.

6th International IATEFL Poland ESP SIG Event

The 6th International IATEFL Poland ESP SIG Event organised by IATEFL Poland ESP SIG and Lublin Region was held at the University of Life Sciences in Lublin on 26th January, 2019.

The Event was opened by Professor Zbigniew Grądzki Vice-Rector for Science, Implementation and International Cooperation at the University of Life Sciences in Lublin. The opening speeches were delivered by Joanna Rączkiewicz, Head of the English and Latin Unit, University of Life Sciences in Lublin and ESP SIG Co-ordinator IATEFL Poland and Sławomir Nowikowski, Honorary President of IATEFL Poland.

ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learners. It is an approach focusing on learners’ needs and objectives helping them to acquire knowledge of a foreign language and skills that will enable them to function in professional situations. In both English for Specific Purposes and English for Academic Purposes there is an increasing degree of specialisation as a result of the changing language needs in vocational and academic contexts. This is reflected in course design, methodology and course materials. It also affects the role of an ESP/EAP teacher. The diversity of their roles needs to be highly reflected in their practices to attain teaching objectives. It leads to the question as to how to acquire security and confidence teaching both language and content, meeting the specific needs and high expectations of the students. In order to provide a wider forum for an in-depth discussion of this question and to demonstrate the various roles of an ESP/EAP practitioner, the motto for the January 2019 Event in Lublin was

Interdisciplinarity in ESP/EAP (changing roles of the ESP/EAP practitioner)

Previous IATEFL Poland ESP SIG conferences held in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 gave practitioners the opportunity to present best-practice examples from their individual fields, and proved themselves as a forum for spreading innovative ideas on the teaching of English for academic and vocational purposes. This year’s Event drew attention to ESP/EAP practitioners themselves and the demand for their versatile development.

12 presenters from Poland and abroad (Great Britain, Greece, Ukraine) contributed to the success of the Event.

During the Opening Keynote Speech entitled ‘Roger that or Wiki-Wiki Way? How Needs Analysis Leads to Language Awareness in English for Military Purposes.’, Jarosław Krajka, Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Applied Linguistics at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland gave an overview of some current trends in the development of English, with a reflection of what they actually mean for ESP practitioners. He concentrated on such concepts as Reduced English, Globish, Business English as a Lingua Franca or World Englishes. A case study of English for Military Purposes showed how comprehensive needs analysis, coupled with teacher language awareness and careful selection of sources, leads to well-tailored materials development in teaching languages for specific purposes.

The following topics were discussed during the Event:

  • teaching specialist languages as a challenge for instructors in the era of ubiquitous globalisation,
  • the most effective teaching methods in engineering study programmes in English,
  • curricula in English preparing for professional situations in students’ future workplace, and cooperation between a specialist in the field and a foreign language teacher,
  • changing the role of ESP/EAP practitioners - from language specialists to the developers of academic competences.
  • aircraft maintenance English teacher, the best player or the best coach?
  • building trainees’ writing skills: organising writing for exams and writing professional emails.
  • quality assessment in the process of teaching English.

The Event was attended by over 70 teachers from Poland and abroad whose knowledge, experience and passion for teaching were shared during 10 sessions.

As in previous years, the invitation for participation in the Event was published in the local media which created a fabulous opportunity to familiarise the readers/listeners with the aims, mission and role of IATEFL Poland in ‘linking, developing and supporting’ English teachers in Poland.
During the coffee/tea breaks, all our guests were able to exchange ideas about teaching ESP or planning their future professional lives, whilst at the same time enjoying drinks and snacks.

Joanna Rączkiewicz, ESP SIG Co-ordinator,
Sławomir Nowikowski, Lublin Region Representative

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