In considering the future of language centres, the most critical issue is undoubtedly their language teaching mission. Given the universal lingua franca status in the majority of international professions, the teaching of English is at the forefront of language centres in higher education.
The proposed paper therefore aims to discuss how the status quo can be challenged through the close collaboration of language centres and faculties, by developing students' language skills through English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses, and to a greater extent by enhancing their autonomous learning and professional development skills.
More specifically, the paper will discuss the procedure for developing the structure and content of an English for Rehabilitation course at the LC of CUT, which has been realized in collaboration with departmental academic staff, namely the Rehabilitation Department. This course is a good example of how this English Language course can effectively incorporate 21st century skills. The goal of the course is to increase students' linguistic competence to allow them to function professionally in English as independent learners in all four skills at an advanced (B2) level.
The course has been designed according to language parameters as defined by the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) descriptors at a B1-B2 level, bearing in mind students' future professional needs. These descriptors were implemented as activities which aimed at developing students' lifelong learning skills. In so doing, the course embodies the principles of situated task-based learning (Abdallah, 2011) through socio-collaborative interaction (Thorne & Lantolf, 2007), for instructors no less than students.
Examples of how the Cyprus University Language Centre has collaborated with the Rehabilitation Department will be provided, showcasing how tailor-made activities, such as attending academic staff lectures, writing summaries, engaging in critical analysis and argumentative writing, have been designed and carried out. All of these activities among others were carried out in English. The ultimate aim is to provide graduating students with the necessary English language competence to autonomously support and further their career paths. The presentation will close with examples from students' reflections on the activities and the nature of the specific course.
This is the real crossroads that language centers must face and the focus of this presentation.
Η προτεινόμενη παρουσίαση στόχο έχει να συζητήσει τη σημασία της στενής συνεργασίας των Κέντρων Γλωσσών και Σχολών στην ανάπτυξη των γλωσσικών δεξιοτήτων των φοιτητών μέσω των μαθημάτων Αγγλικών για Ειδικούς Σκοπούς και κατ' επέκταση στην ανάπτυξη και την ενίσχυση της αυτόνομης μάθησης και δεξιοτήτων για επαγγελματική ανάπτυξη.
Συγκεκριμένα, στην παρουσίαση θα συζητηθεί η διαδικασία ανάπτυξης ενός μαθήματος Αγγλικών για Αποκατάσταση, στο Κέντρο Γλωσσών (ΚΓ) του Τεχνολογικού Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου (ΤΕΠΑΚ), η οποία πραγματοποιήθηκε σε συνεργασία με το ακαδημαϊκό προσωπικό του οικείου τμήματος, δηλαδή του Τμήματος Αποκατάστασης. Θα δοθούν παραδείγματα δραστηριοτήτων που χρησιμοποιήθηκαν και που είχαν στόχο να αυξηθεί η γλωσσική ικανότητα των φοιτητών ώστε να μπορούν να λειτουργήσουν επαγγελματικά στα Αγγλικά ως ανεξάρτητοι μαθητές.
- Abdallah, M.M.S. (2011). Web-Based New Literacies and EFL Curriculum Design in Teacher Education: A Design Study for Expanding EFL Student Teachers' Language-Related Literacy Practices in an Egyptian Pre-service Teacher Education Programme. PhD Thesis. Graduate School of Education, College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter, UK.
- Thorne, S. L. & Lantolf, J. (2007). A Linguistics of Communicative Activity. In S. Makoni and A. Pennycook (Eds.). Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages (pp. 170-195). Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Androulla Athanasiou is an English Language Instructor at the Language Centre of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT). She holds an MA in English and Language Studies and Methods (2000), a PhD in English Language Teaching (2005) from Warwick University (2000), and an MA in Educational Leadership from the European University Cyprus (2012). During her teaching experience, she has engaged in course development and material design, both at an undergraduate and a postgraduate level. Her research interests lie in the use of technology in language teaching/learning, collaborative learning, the use of Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR).