SPEEDING UP STUDENTS’ MOBILITY BY INTRODUCING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL) INTO PROFESSIONAL COURSES

M. Krznaric, T. Horvat, S. Predanic

independent author (CROATIA)
Modern technology has wide opened its door offering various applications for all aspects of life including teaching, learning, and research and, in this case, introduction of a foreign language, i.e. ESL (English as a second language) into professional subjects. The paper deals with ESL students of electrical engineering at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. It refers to full-time students, ESL being an obligatory subject.

In order to meet the requirements of the Bologna process and its main goals such as academic mobility, employability and lifelong learning, together with the strong emphasis on foreign languages, it was crucial for foreign language teachers to accept and implement new technology into their work. Although earlier, a few decades ago, the only English (foreign) language teachers’ technology was a tape recorder and perhaps some other simple gadgets, their interest for new technology was inevitable, particularly at technical colleges and faculties, where colleagues, e.g. engineers of electrical engineering and informatics were available and willing to help. This cooperation allowed students, that, while acquiring new knowledge in professional courses in their mother tongue, they had the opportunity to improve their English by means of adequate text, presentations, and different applications, particularly when professional terminology and academic language are concerned.

The results of this cooperation, teaching/learning methods in both lecture rooms and during laboratory exercises, testing, and students’ assessment are presented here, as well as students’ growing awareness of their competitiveness in the process of mobility and employability throughout the European Union.