The aim of the project is based on the study “The Baseline study on the Teaching of English at Slovak Vocational Secondary Schools” with the subtitle “ESP – English for Specific Purposes – Need for Change”.
It describes and analyses the present situation in these schools, specifies problems in this area …
The research found out the most important stakeholders’ needs and views to identify the needs of teachers and learners of English, and how the efficiency of teaching English could be improved.
The research revealed the weak points in ESP teaching. 35% of requested claimed they have never had ESP lessons, about 40% considered ESP important for their future profession.
There is an access to PC and to Internet at many schools but there is a lack of suitable software and ESP literature.
The product, a multi-medial CD-ROM, which is also able to test the learner progress, is to be foremost among those students, employees … and/or English language teachers who are dealing with a job performance or occupation. Besides multimedia CD, the on-line website (dynamically supported and sustainable in future years) will be created. The target group is not limited by the age, gender, nationality nor the kind of occupation.
While the product is designed primarily for self-education, it may be also used by a teacher for a group of independent learners in a classroom. In this case, the role of a teacher is changed from teaching to supervision.
Three lexical units form an ideological purport of the product: language performance, occupation and measurability. The first one stands for a cognitive tool, the second for a matter of cognition.
The last one stands for innovation:
Measurement is an effective means of raising learners motivation both in the diachronic (concerned with the process of cognition and communication development over time) and in the synchronic (…at present time) dimensions.
Simply, a self-taught learner may check up on his/her own progress during the course of time or compare him/herself with a mate (class with class, school with school, country with country).
Measurability stimulus is to be reached through the following line: the text/article – relevant questions – preassingned answers (multiple-choice) plus software that provide learners with opportunities to purchase “crutches”. Their cost – graduated in dependence of a scope of assistance – afflicts the learner’s evaluation.
The multi-medial CD-ROM, a diagnostic-didactic tool, is designed like a sandwich – composed of the common English layer core (French, Spanish are welcoming) and the national languages layers (crutches). The layers are arrayed.
Such technical arrangment is due to the most effective extension of the product into other European languages. (to attach other national language layers only)
Most of the European countries face significant weakness in basic, and intermediate, craft and technical skills. They also face weaknesses in the capacity to exploit new technologies. US productivity is 30% higher than that of Europe. We are reliant on the skills of our workforce.
Career education is a merchandise and the Global market of career education is a reality. Goods are bought and sold in English. The need for English for the sake of getting skills and doing a job is clear.
English knowledge of career school students and technical workers lags well behind their colleagues from high schools and offices : In Slovakia, English is taught 2 lessons a week at vocational schools and 6 lessons a week at grammar schools.
Mobilities for vocational school students, apprentices in order to partake in practical exchange stays and work based trainings; workers, trainees in their lifelong learning activities in order to partake in work based training programmes; educators, skills providers, members of trade associations, guilds, craftsmen uniting bodies, small and medium scale firms, etc. in order to enhance their capacity in recognising their common needs in getting technical skills.
Certified Technical English Language test is a pendant which strategy is to be fully developed successively in a close future.