LANGUAGE TRAINING FOR ACADEMIC STAFF OF AN ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY
Tomsk Polytechnic University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The Program for Competitive Growth of National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) involves activities aimed at improving the foreign language teaching system for academic staff as one of its top priorities. To this end, there are 10 advanced training programs for English, German and methods of teaching foreign languages at the university. Language proficiency makes it possible for TPU staff to take active part in international academic activities for further integration of the university into the international academic space.
Language training programs proceed from the premise that each lecturer or specialist willing to undergo training and improve their language qualification is not a mere object of pedagogical influence but a personality with their own professional and life path. Therefore, the goals and intended learning outcomes must not only meet the current teaching standards but also cater for consumer needs. In order to optimize the teaching process on an equal footing and as part of mutually productive dialog, the organizers of the courses regularly conduct surveys in the form of personal interviews with the audience.
The 2014-2015 survey findings helped us draw the following conclusions:
1. Profession-related programs aimed at developing foreign-language competencies in the field of scientific research are the most relevant to the audience (84%). According to their feedback, the developers of new courses should focus on the improvement of such academic communication skills as oral scientific speech (68%), listening comprehension as part of scientific communication (61%), electronic correspondence and online etiquette (55%), academic and scientific writing (50%), as well as skills in business and professional communication (61%).
2. In their teaching activities, the staff needs language proficiency to prepare for delivering their lectures, to conduct practical and laboratory classes in a second language for Russian and international students as well as to develop teaching aids.
With due consideration of professional objectives facing the academic staff of the university, the TPU advanced training programs fall into four main fields:
• TPU academic staff’s language proficiency improvement;
• Professional activities in a second language (teaching, scientific publications and speeches);
• Methods of English and German language teaching;
• Art of teaching at an engineering university: teaching specialized disciplines in a second language and using advanced teaching technologies.
The programs being offered involve the methodic practices and substantial aspects of the courses catering for the needs of the audience. They are also in line with the TPU development trend towards the integral training system at an engineering university.