University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6200-6207
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
The paper we submit to ICERI2011 presents the work developed by one of the Teaching Innovation Teams at the University of Valladolid (Spain). The paper reveals the initial results of a project on The English Language as a resource of cross-curricular learning in the Degree Studies of Social Education, beginning in 2010-2011, which aims to improve the quality of the teaching-learning activity through the development of the student’s competence in English as a FL from a professional perspective.

The TI Team is formed by five lecturers belonging to different areas of knowledge: Theory and History of Education, Didactics of Social Sciences, Philosophy, Sociology and English Studies. As a consequence, several Degree courses are involved in the innovation project in a cross-curricular way. This interdisciplinary project is currently running in both of the Degree programmes in Social Education on the UVa campuses of Palencia and Valladolid.

The project’s main targets are:
1. To use English as a cross-curricular and professionalizing resource of knowledge.
2. To encourage the exchange of scientific information between lecturers to provide benefit from the knowledges and methodologies specific to the disciplines involved and, therefore, get a wider overview of the Degree.
3. To find and exchange teaching resources in English: real (i.e. not created with teaching purposes) written and recorded documents connected with the courses they are taking which can be used as professionalizing learning material.
The project is mainly being developed in the Basic Instruction Module courses together with other competences specific to them. Within the framework of the ECTS structure (i.e. lectures, practice sessions and seminars) it intends to provide one conceptual body in which English is used as a comprehension tool. This implies that students will need to improve their linguistic competence in English to such extent that they are able to deal with specific discourse in English in the professional scope.
Bearing in mind the different disciplines involved in the project, the Team is making a compilation of material to be used in the courses: European or International written documents, video-clips, newspaper articles, and other documents connected with the Social Educator’s professional field. In order that teachers and students can easily get at the material provided, the team has created a Wiki to which the documents are being uploaded.

The students’ average level of satisfaction as regards the use of English in their undergraduate courses, and their expectations towards this novel way of working, have been assessed through a survey which was passed over to first-year and second-year students of the UVa Social Education Degree programmes. Some of their first results are that undergraduate students:
- are aware of the scarce amount of discourse in English they read
- are interested in English but do not trust their linguistic competences
- lack specific instruction to deal with professional discourse in English
- do not feel competent enough to use English in the professional domain
- think it is important to use professional English in some of the Degree courses
- think that they need English to get updated information
- think that English will facilitate their access to the labour market