English for Specific Purposes in the Military by NIQe3C


									    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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