Learner autonomy is considered to be both an important skill and attitude of learners, which involves responsibility for and control of the learning process. A key notion in autonomy is interdependence, developed through collaboration and which results in heightened awareness. Precisely, this concept lies at the core of technology applications, which facilitate interaction and collaboration at a distance. With a growing number of online ESP situations, more attention needs to be paid to virtual classrooms and the development of learner autonomy through collaboration.
In the context of a distance EAP course, this chapter examines how students carry out a collaborative language awareness task, considering that peer interaction can be an appropriate setting to develop language awareness, whether in face-to-face or online situations. Based on the framework of 'community of inquiry' (Garrison et al. 2000), this study looks at how group members interact through forum posts and wiki edits, showing how students initiate, manage and carry out the task, together with the social, cognitive, and meta-cognitive processes that are generated. Given the nature of the task, creating a language learning activity, special attention is paid to students’ focus on and discussion of topics related to language and learning. From these observations we can derive implications for online language teaching and materials design.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40956-6_13
There is a lack of research on the impact of study abroad (SA) on the development of L2 English when students study in non-anglophone countries. The aim of the present study is to fill this gap by examining 39 Catalan/Spanish students who, as part of an Erasmus exchange, spent a term at universities in non-English-speaking European countries. In this context, English was used as the vehicular language for their studies and in their daily extracurricular activities when interacting with other students. Our research focuses the impact of this specific type of SA on students’ L2 English proficiency, and in particular their writing skills. Before and after the SA, students completed the Quick Oxford Placement Test (a general measure of L2 proficiency) and also drafted a short written paragraph in English. Their writing was analysed for syntactic complexity, lexical complexity and subordination. The results show that participants improved significantly after their SA on two out of the four measures: general L2 proficiency and lexical complexity. Though threshold levels of general proficiency have been posited for students’ ability to benefit linguistically from SA, in this case, L2 proficiency at the outset of the SA experience was found not to influence the development of writing skills, except on the measure of subordination. Implications are drawn for further research and pedagogic practice in developing English as a lingua franca skills in a European context.
Universities in Catalonia are committed to internationalization, which mainly focuses on student mobility and the use of an international language (mostly English) as the language of instruction. Within the international dimension we find that the concept of Internationalization at Home (IaH) merits special attention, in the sense that it is a way of providing an international experience for those students (the great majority) who do not take part in mobility programs. Within IaH, this study looks at specific courses that promote internationalization, whether because they include international/intercultural contents or because they incorporate the foreign language either as the medium of instruction (i.e. in some way involving the integration content and language, CLIL) or as a tool for international communication (namely languages for specific purposes, LSP). Specifically, this study analyzes the websites and public curriculum/course descriptions for ten different bachelor’s degrees across seven public Catalan universities, identifying those courses that can be classified as IaH according to the criteria above. Regarding intercultural/international content, degree/course descriptions are analyzed to identify the presence (and prominence) of such international topics. CLIL courses are classified, following Greere and Räsänen (2008), in terms of percentage of foreign language use (namely those with less than 25% of foreign language use, as opposed to those with 25% or more of foreign language use). The analysis of the presence and status of LSP courses also sheds light on the international dimension of the curriculum, inasmuch those courses are intended to develop students’ competence in international academic and professional communication. The results of this study, combining information from different types of courses across ten different degrees and universities, can provide a picture of how Catalan universities approach IaH within their curriculum design and whether international policies that are usually enthusiastically embraced by institutions are clearly reflected in actual curricula.
The international engineering education programs must guarantee that a graduate possesses the attributes to work
effectively within a global environment. It is therefore necessary to establish the competencies required for this effective
working within an international context. The International Design Project Semester (IDPS) program integrates technical
knowledge and professional engineering skills from a point of view of multidisciplinary and international teams. The
preliminary results shows that it is possible to integrate international students in the classroom using the model role playing
(each team has his own role and it is necessary share and collaborate with other teams) and next, observe the acquisition of
skills of the engineering students (creative thinking, interact with others, dealing with conflicts, positive attitude).
In a context characterized by the increasing presence of CLIL programs in universities with a tradition of ESP courses, we analyze the case of a university in Catalonia (Spain) with regard to the position of CLIL and ESP. As CLIL programs are promoted to improve students' language proficiency in English, we explore the importance of language learning in these programs and the implications derived for ESP. Data were obtained from institutional documentation, class observation, and lecturer and student views on CLIL expressed in focus groups and a questionnaire. Findings show imprecise guidelines for CLIL implementation. Although we can observe an institutional shift from ESP to CLIL, the latter courses do not generally include language support. Lecturer and student perspectives provide useful insights for action that can be taken by ESP course designers to adapt courses to make them more relevant to students' discipline-related needs. Faced with these findings, we propose engaging in collaboration with content lecturers to develop graduates' proficiency in English. This collaboration can take place both through the integration of language in content courses and through the integration of content in ESP courses to make them more relevant to disciplines' communicative needs. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In a first-of-its-kind international collaboration, technical writing classes in Spain and the US matched engineering students with international technical writing students to coauthor procedural instructions. These were then tested for usability by students in Finland and the US, and subsequently translated and localized by students in Belgium, France, and Italy. The coauthors faced challenges in gaining expertise, communicating clearly in a lingua franca, handling differing cultures, testing for usability, and managing differing semester schedules and time zones. Insights from these experiences yield recommendations for instructors who wish to replicate such collaborations.
Maylath, B.; Musacchio, M.; Isohella, S.; Minacori, P.; Arno, E.; Palumbo, G.; Mousten, B.; Vandepitte, S.; Schell, T.; Verzella, M. European Symposium on LSP: languages for especial purposes p. 71 Data de presentació: 2013-07-10 Presentació treball a congrés
El objeto de la siguiente ponencia es presentar una experiencia que hemos llevado a cabo en la Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ingeniería de Vilanova i la Geltrú (EPSEVG) durante el curso 2012/2013. Dentro de la estrategia de internacionalización de la Escuela se quiso impulsar un programa que integrara a los estudiantes del European Project Semester (curso diseñado para formar a los estudiantes de tercer año de ingeniería para trabajar en equipos internacionales) con los estudiantes de la EPSEVG. Esta acción ha permitido que nuestros
estudiantes de grado pudieran desarrollar la competencia intercultural y el aprendizaje y la práctica de una tercera lengua en el entorno universitario mientras ayudaban a los estudiantes internacionales a integrarse en nuestra comunidad.
Catalan universities are committed to internationalization, as evidenced by the publication of their internationalization policy documents. Taking curricular internationalization as one of the university internationalization dimensions (Wätcher, 2008), it is observable that Catalan universities have implemented curricular internationalization processes, ranging from the selection of competences dealing with foreign language command in the syllabi, to the implementation of these competences through subjects taught through the medium of English. Building on previous research (Mancho-Barés 2012), this paper examines tensions but also good practices within the curriculum internationalization of seven public Catalan universities. Our data come from the public webpages of the degrees and the subjects offered in the last academic year (2011-12). A quantitative analysis is carried out in order to identify competences in foreign language (FL) command from ten degrees in seven universities; and to classify subjects taught through the FL, according to Dalton-Puffer et al.’s (2010) definition of EMI and ICL/CLIL
Preliminary results show that 45% of the degrees includeS the FL competence in the syllabus and wordS it in terms of English communicative competence or practice of specialised discourse. Moreover, 39% of the degrees examined include subjects which have English as the language of tuition. However, only 5.4% of these subjects qualify as ICL/CLIL subjects, as the course objectives and content explicitly include the language component of ICL/CLIL. With these low numbers, little can be done to help students attain FL competence. Consequently, universities should try to raise these numbers, for example by fostering onsite teacher training programs.
Arno, E.; Rueda, M.C.; Soler, A.; Llurda , E.; Romero, J.; Armengol, L. International Conference on English for International and Intercultural Communication Data de presentació: 2011-06-03 Presentació treball a congrés
With the new European framework, as EAP lecturers in an engineering college, we are reappraising our teaching and the
position of our courses. From the perspective of engineering education in the 21st century, we believe that EAP teaching can focus
not only on language and communication needs, but also on developing critical thinking about science and technology in its social
context. Considering these premises, we present the rationale for the development of an online learning environment (Quantum
LEAP, Learning English for Academic Purposes) which integrates EAP with interdisciplinary content, in order to encourage
reflection on social, historical, economic and ethical issues related to science and technology. Through a pilot study of learners’
initial reactions, we present their perceptions of this tool for critical thinking on STS contents and for promoting lifelong learning.
The implications for EAP course design are then discussed in the context of 21st century engineering education. In sum, this paper
questions the position that for the integration of language and content, the EAP teacher can only teach language and that content has
to be taught by specialist teachers. Rather, we argue that EAP teachers can address both academic communication and interdisciplinary
content in order to engage students in critical thinking.
In the new European framework, university teaching emphasizes student learning and
the development of different competences. This paper presents an ESP course for engineering
students which integrates competences related to language and communication
with competences related to the social, ethical, and humanistic dimension of the engineer.
The course “Academic communication in English: science, technology, and society”
aims at developing students’ communication skills in English alongside their critical
thinking skills, through the exploration and discussion of topics related to science,
technology, and society. This paper presents the rationale for the design and teaching of
the course, which draws on several strands: the integration of content and language, EAP
teaching, and the development of critical thinking skills. It is organized in the form of
thematic units, each focusing on a topic related to the impact of technology on society.
Each topic thus serves as a point of departure for dealing with content and academic
communication in English. This paper tries to show how an EAP course can be related to
the interests of engineering students, helping them develop their capacity for academic
communication as well as for reflecting on issues related to science, technology, and
As EAP lecturers involved in the development of teaching materials and IT (information technology) projects, we have been working on the creation of a web-based learning environment. Our aim is to develop a flexible tool for university students with different levels of English, learning styles and academic interests, which can be used both for blended learning and in a self-access mode. Our interuniversity team1, coordinated by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and including lecturers from Universitat de Lleida and Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona), has created a virtual learning environment called “Quantum LEAP: Learning English for Academic Purposes.” It is a hypermedia project that seeks to help university students improve their communicative skills, both in speech and writing, in situations related to academic contexts. The materials created for the project are based on authentic written and oral texts, involve authentic language use and the integration of skills. In keeping with the guidelines of the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF), this web-based learning environment allows for a wide variety of learning routes, including tools to promote autonomy and monitor progress. In this paper, we will present the rationale behind the project and examples of the materials and tools designed. We believe that the lessons learned in the creation of this project can be relevant to other EAP lecturers using IT for the design of courses and materials.