A. Costa Lopes1, B. Rego1, S. Fidalgo1, V. Delplancq1, S. Relvas2

1CI&DETS - Viseu Polytechnic Institute (PORTUGAL)
2Viseu Polytechnic Institute (PORTUGAL)
The learning of a foreign language for specific purposes in Higher Education by students whose main field of learning and training are not foreign languages (FL) continues to raise many queries and problems, and requires readjustment.

On the one hand, good FL training is essential for promoting a solid overall general culture, and represents significant added value with concern to students’ forthcoming career paths. The practice of FL is, indeed, an increasingly important factor in terms of employability, for ensuring the competitiveness of companies and it is vital for mobility. On the other hand, Higher education has reached a stage where the search for new teaching-learning methodologies prevails, more in line with the evolution and needs of society and its public. Thus, with regard to FL, students need to be placed in real contexts to effectively improve their level of proficiency. Interdisciplinarity allows one to combine competences and make training more consistent.

This article describes and analyzes work experiences with undergraduate students of the Social Communication course of the Higher School of Education of Viseu (Portugal) in 2016/17 and 2017/18 within the scope of a curricular unit in FL, whose objective, among others, was / is to develop communicative skills closely resembling the ones that will assist students within their real forthcoming professional contexts, using the knowledge and know-how acquired in other curricular units and the potential of social networks and technologies.

French and English were /are the two target languages, combined with a view to achieving common objectives in terms of addressees. The role of teachers is clearly encompassed within an approach to tutoring and coaching. The aim was/is to place all students at B2 level with regard to vocational tasks.