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project description

The project was conceived and then carried out by a group of participants of the Hornby Summer
School 2002 in Pecs, Hungary, English for the World of Work. The participants, who made up
the project group, come from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine.

Stage 1 of the project started in November 2002, when the preparation of the workshop for the
project participants began, and finished on February 5, 2003, when the workshop in Lviv,
Ukraine, came to a close. The major outcomes of this stage were that international teams of
partners – English teachers from different universities – were formed and their students’ project
frameworks were developed.

The dates of stage 2 of the project were February 5, 2003 – June 19, 2003. By its end all the
student groups had finished their work and presented the results to their teachers and fellow
students. The teachers wrote reports and collected feedback form their students (the number of
participating teachers was 14, students – 124).

Participating institutions:
Lviv National Ivan Franko University, Ukraine
Lviv ‘Polytechnika’ National University
Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
University of Miskolc, Hungary
Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Russia
Saint Petersburg University of Refrigeration and Food Technology, Russia
St. Petersburg State University, Russia
Krasnoyarsk Technical University, Russia

Students’ opinion of the project. Those students who did project work through correspondence
with peers abroad found the task unusual, interesting, useful and productive. They appreciated
the opportunity to communicate with peers overseas and to learn new things in the areas of their
professional interest. The students reported that they had developed written communication skills
and improved grammar and vocabulary as the most important outcomes of their work, they
pointed out that they had enjoyed the process more than simply doing written tasks at home or
writing tests. Some students also mentioned that they could use e-mail and the Internet better as a
result of the project. Asked if they would like to participate in a project like that in the future,
about 80-85% of the students said that they would. They expressed interest in contacting peers
not only in English-speaking countries but also in Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Chili, China,
Poland, Slovakia.

The project team learnt that for joint work to be successful it is important to have as partners
like-minded people who are truly interested in achieving the result, who are prepared to be
patient with and tolerant of colleagues and students from a different country, who are
professionals devoted to what they are doing. We also feel that meeting each other in person at
the beginning of collaboration makes it far more effective.

This academic year can be considered the 3rd stage of the project. Most of the teachers, who had
conducted international writing projects with their students last year established contact in
September via the WOW-English Yahoo group, are ‘writing across borders’ again with new
groups of students. The project geography has expanded, too, – our partners have become
colleagues from China, Japan, Spain. There are plans to link our ESP writing project, so far
largely an exercise within an ESP course, more closely to our students’ research work organized
and lead by their specialist departments. This will involve negotiating with professors of
disciplines other than English and planning comparative studies in collaboration with them.

Ludmila Kuznetsova
St. Petersburg State University

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