Vladimira Duka Military Academy Belgrade Conference Review English for Specific Purposes in the Military The training devoted to the Methodology of the English Language in the Military was held in Waldbrol, a small place near Cologne in Germany, 27-14 February 2005. It was organized by NATO, Partnership for Peace and PEP Project run by the British Council. This project aims to provide training for English language teachers employed in the Army and also to establish good communication between the countries cooperating with PEP in the project. The training was primarily designed for the teachers who were at the beginning of their career. On 27 January, the participants were officially greeted by the Belgian Major, Mr Jean-Pierre Kyndt who is in charge of organising training for the English teachers coming to Germany. There were also Major Staffe Palle from Denmark and Bohne Christian from Germany who helped Major Kyndt with various duties. Silvia Simane and Vita Valdmane, the facilitators from Latvia, also welcomed us at the beginning. The topics that we covered were various, ranging from Terrain Analysis, Convoy Procedures, Observation Posts, Giving and Receiving Feedback, NATO Alphabet, Vocabulary Practice and Activities, Setting Aims and Objectives, Criteria for Course Book Evaluation and Operation Order. The training gathered the English language teachers from Poland, Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Romania, Kazahstan, Azerbeijan. Two participants employed at the Military Academy in Belgrade were representatives from Serbia and Montenegro. The first introductory session was given by Major Kyndt, an experienced Belgium officer and trainer employed in Heidelberg in Germany and Major Palle who is also an officer from Denmark with a wealth of experience at peacekeeping missions. Their speech dealt with the emphasis on the changes in ELT Methodology in general. The main point was close cooperation between the English teachers and military personnel. After that, two facilitators from Latvia, Silvia Simane and Vita Valdmane emphasized the role of the English teachers in the military and the need to cooperate closely with the military personnel because of their military expertise. During the training there were many workshops and sessions which were held by both the facilitators and the military personnel. The facilitators held the sessions and workshops devoted to the ELT Methodology in the military. The military personnel held lectures on the military topics and helped the participants to understand the basic concepts of the military terminology and structures. The sessions dealt primarily with the theoretical aspects of ELT which were later put into practice during the workshops where the participants were able to actually simulate the situation of the real world and see how it would function in real life. It was highly interesting because of various backgrounds of the participants. The sessions that dealt with the Peer Observation were a good base for many discussions that developed because of different experience that each participant has in his/her specific working environment. In the last week of the training the teachers were given the task to prepare the whole class on the military topic that was set by the facilitators. It was interesting to see how other English teachers prepare their classes and manage the classroom. The teachers worked in groups and were given feedback by the facilitators. It was pointed out that ESP (English for Specific Purposes) professionals must be ready to develop courses that teach authentic language for many different fields based on accurate needs analysis and appropriate materials and methodologies. They must be ready to supplement additional materials and to adapt the already existing ones. In order to be able to do this, they must take advantage of training and professional development opportunities in ESP and to rely on the expertise of more experienced colleagues. In a nutshell, ESP is task-oriented and task-based. It offers unlimited opportunities for professional growth.
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