Роль центров переподготовки и повышения квалификации педагогов в профессиональном развитии специалистов, изучающих английский язык в специальных целях
Шокирова Мукадас Мусахоновна,
Преподаватель английского языка Ташкентского химико-технологического института.
The role of teacher training centers in the professional development of esp teachers
Shokirova Mukaddas Musakhonovna,
Senior teacher of English,
Tashkent chemical-technological institute, Uzbekistan.
Статья посвящена проблемам обучения иностранного языка в специальных целях и их решениям. По мнению автора центры переподготовки и повышения квалификации педагогов играют важную роль в профессиональном развитии специалистов, обучающих английский язык в специальных целях. Кроме того, в статье речь идёт ещё об одном решении проблемы – о создании специального сайта в интернете для специалистов, обучающих английский язык в специальных целях.
Ключевых слова: обучение иностранного языка в специальных целях, повышения квалификации педагогов, центры переподготовки и повышения квалификации педагогов, коммуникативных методы обучения иностранного языка, терминология нефтогазовой отрасли, интернет сайт.
The present article is dedicated to the problems of ESP teaching and possible solutions to these problems. According to the author of the article the role of teacher training centers is important in the professional development of ESP teachers. Moreover, the author suggests another possible solution to this problem – the creation of special Internet site of Uzbekistan ESP teachers.
Keywords: ESP, teacher development, teacher training centers, communicative methods of teaching foreign language, oil and gas terminology, internet site.
Foreign language teachers for specific purposes have a lot in common with teachers of general foreign language. For both it is necessary to consider linguistic development and teaching theories, to have insights in contemporary ideas regarding their own position and role as well as the position and role of foreign language learners in education and to face new technologies offered as an aid to improve their methodology. The needs to understand the requirements of other professions and willingness to adapt to these requirements differentiate the foreign language teachers for specific purposes and their colleagues teaching general foreign language. ESP teaching presumes teaching of English as a foreign language regarding specific profession, subject or purpose. The present article deals with the importance of teacher training centers for ESP teachers in their professional career.
The teaching of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has been seen as a separate activity within English language teaching (ELT). It is believed that for some of its teaching ESP has developed its own methodology and its research draws on research from various disciplines in addition to applied linguistics – this is the key distinguishing characteristic of ESP. The theory of ESP could be outlined based on specific nature of the texts that learners need knowledge of or need-related nature of teaching .
At the present time there is paid a lot of attention to the development of foreign language learning and teaching in our country. As a clear example we can mention the decree of President Islam Karimov "On measures for further improvement of foreign languages learning" of December 10, 2012 which is an important factor in the improvement of foreign languages teaching in Uzbekistan. According to this decree today foreign languages are taught using communicative methods of teaching, which allow the learners to master any foreign language in a simple way and give them the opportunity to speak it in comparably short periods.
It also becomes actual to teach foreign languages taking into consideration the peculiarities of the fields that the learners are specialized in. As it was stated above, though there a lot of similarities between EFL and ESP teachers, still the latter one has its peculiar features. For this reason it is becoming actual today to prepare qualified teachers of foreign languages which are well aware of all the features of the field of study in which their future learners are specialized in. As there are no faculties in higher educational institutions which prepare ESP teachers, it is becoming urgent to organize teacher training centers of ESP teachers where they can acquire the knowledge of the peculiarities of any field in which their learners are specialized in.
At the present time I work at the Tashkent chemical technological institute and provide lessons for the students who are specialized in oil and gas technologies. First of all I should state that, I had several problems at the beginning of my career. This was due to the fact that at the university where I studied there is prepared ESL teachers. As a result, though I had good knowledge of English and knew the peculiarities of modern methods of teaching foreign languages, I had problems in understanding the features of the field that my students were specialized in.
As an example I can state a case when a student of mine brought an unknown text on oil and gas and asked me to help to translate it. In the process of reading I found several words the usage of which I couldn’t understand. Here are the first two words that I had trouble to explain as they had almost no connection to their major meanings:
1) Field - A geographical area under which an oil or gas reservoir lies.
2) Fishing - Retrieving objects from the borehole, such as a broken drill string, or tools.
The first word I explained as piece of land or a sphere of education and the second as the act of catching a fish. But when I came to the department and asked other teachers about them, I found out that I had made a mistake. Further I tried to learn the peculiarities of the field of oil and gas terminology. Though I could make good progress in a short period of time, still I was disappointed as my students sometimes asked me the questions to which I couldn’t find the answers.
Later I began to investigate the solutions to this kind of problems that ESP teachers are faced given in other countries and found out that in such cases it is important to organize teacher development centers. In most cases ESP teachers from other countries gave only positive opinion about such centers. Thus, it becomes natural to tell that such teacher development centers for ESP teachers are extremely important for their professional development.
Training of the teachers is very important for ESP courses because they should be well specialized so that they can meet students’ needs. Therefore, the staff or the teachers should follow some steps about themselves. According to M. Bracaj, we can discuss the following 4 steps of teacher development for ESP teachers :
1. Selection. It means that not every teacher can be specialized for these courses but only those who feel that they can do such a thing and they are ready to contribute for it. Thus, the first step is selection phase.
2. Continuing personal education. Teachers should be well-educated people. There are variations in how the trainee’s personal education is improved – either simultaneously with his/her professional training; or consecutively where first two or three years of study with no elements of training as a teacher are followed by the fourth year containing methodology of foreign language teaching or one year post-graduate course of teacher training; or, as in many countries, by in-service courses.
3. General professional training as an educator and teacher. This element involves what all teachers need to know regardless of which subject they teach. This means that educational psychology, social psychology, and the principles of educational thought are crucial and the elements lead the trainee to understand the nature of education, outline the organization of education, know and manage the different skills of students, and also understand the role of syllabus and teaching materials.
4. Special training as a teacher of a foreign or second language. This element is also important because special training of teacher make them understand students’ needs better, which is in fact very important for ESP courses because based on what they need the teachers can offer them the appropriate knowledge and this knowledge would be very helpful to them.
Industrialization and technological innovation are major aspects of national prosperity in many developing countries all over the world so educators are expected to cope with the changing needs of industry and society. Therefore, in many countries students are increasingly expected to participate in English-medium classrooms for at least some of their academic or professional careers. At a minimum, students may need to read some academic texts in English, though they may discuss or write about them in their primary language. This situation entails both the planning of new courses and the preparation of materials. And most importantly, as our research findings have shown, this situation requires language teacher training specifically designed to meet the new language requirements of those who will be engaged in science, technology and industry.
Using skills as a framework of ESP, ESP teachers are provided with the necessary knowledge and tools to deal with their own students’ specializations. It should be remembered - ESP teachers are not specialists in the field, but in teaching English, their subject is English for the profession but not the profession in English. They help students, who know their subject better than the teachers do, develop the essential skills in understanding, using, and/or presenting authentic information in their profession. A professional ESP teacher must be able to switch from one professional field to another without being obliged to spend months on getting started. He/she simply brings the necessary tools, frameworks, and principles of course design to apply them to new material. The material (the content) should be provided by the professors or experts in the subject. It should always be authentic (the main purpose of teaching skills is to enable students to deal with authentic information despite their level of English), up-to-date (the informational exchange is growing more intense), and relevant for the students’ specializations (they ought to be given the information representative for their target language use situation).
Our research findings have shown that this is not the case in Uzbekistan because there is almost no special training for ELT teachers so that they can teach ESP in Uzbekistan universities. Therefore, the authorities of higher educational institutions try to overcome this issue through employing either ELT teachers or content teachers who have had an MA or PhD study in an English-medium program. However, both groups of teachers are incapable of teaching ESP owing to the differences in terms of the knowledge studied and the language variety used in their undergraduate studies. It is obvious that different disciplines have different ways of viewing the world. Therefore, ELT teachers and content-area teachers teaching academic English have their own way of teaching but unfortunately neither can be helpful. Teaching language structures is possible only when it is meaningful for the learners, and teaching content through L2 is useful only when learners can give feedback in L2, too.
On this point we should mention the teacher development center organized at the Uzbek State University of World Languages, where professional trainees try to help the ESP teachers in order to achieve their professional development. Every year hundreds of teachers study in this center not only in order to get acquainted with the modern methods of foreign language teaching, but also they can get knowledge on the principles of teaching ESP.
Unfortunately, it becomes evident that ESP teachers often feel isolated both from professionals in their students’ specializations and their colleagues in other institutions. They also have difficulty in getting or exchanging information in the field. Though there appeared several teachers training centers for ESP teachers, there still exist various problems for them. Taking into consideration my own practice, I can say that it is very useful for young ESP teachers to contact with their skilled colleagues to have more ideas to solve their problems. But to our mind, it is not enough for young ESP teachers, as it is not always possible to contact with skilled colleagues all the time and everywhere.
Today the usage of modern technologies has already become an inseparable part of teaching. As an example, we can state the role of Internet in the process of teaching. Considering this fact, we can also use the Internet in the solution of the problems of ESP teachers. We suggest that there should be created special internet site for Uzbekistan ESP teachers, where they can talk to other colleagues and ask for an advice in the solution of the problems that they are faced in their lessons. Using this site they can write letters to their colleagues stating the content of the problem that they are faced and the skilled teachers can help their young colleagues and at the same time to help themselves to develop professionally.
Thus, we can conclude, therefore, that together with teacher training centers it is actual to form special internet site for ESP teachers where they can contact each other and find out solutions for the problems that they are faced together with their colleagues and get professionally developed.
1. Dudley-Evans, T. & Jo St John, M. Developments in English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge University Press, 1998. – P. 15.
2. Morena Bracaj Teaching English for specific purposes and teacher training. European Scientific Journal January 2014 edition vol.10, No.2 ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print) e - ISSN 1857- 7431. – P. 47.
Поступила в редакцию 13.12.2016 г.