TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES, DEMANDS AND OPPORTUNITIES
1 University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
2 Radio Communications & IT Department, Special Telecommunications Service (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The paper debates the topic of technical education in foreign languages at the Faculty of Engineering in Foreign Languages (FILS) from University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (UPB), the largest and the oldest technical university in Romania. FILS, a faculty where teaching is conducted integrally in three major foreign languages (English, French and German), provides for 25 years a multicultural learning environment for Romanian, European, African and Asian students.
The purpose of our study is to identify and assess the main advantages and drawbacks for students that learn in a foreign language (English and French), with accent on the students coming from outside the European Union. Romania is one of the first non-English speaking former communist countries that offered tuition and recruited foreign students, providing a rather wide offer of trainings taught in foreign languages.
Engineering is an expanding domain with great career opportunities in Romania, in Europe and worldwide. The research offers qualitative and quantitative analysis with the purpose of identifying main challenges and opportunities for our students. The qualitative analysis will refer to the degree of curricula internalization, adaptation problems, language, cultural issues, comfort and integration degree, as well as possible suggestions.
The quantitative part will follow the educational background and evolution for the surveyed students.
Using major foreign languages in higher education has certain globalization effects but those effects are present for both actors involved in the instruction process. Major foreign languages have a double role in the internationalization of university education: they are a vital tool for both academic staff and students, providing access to academic literature and communication, providing in the same time a model of international education with established European standards of teaching, proficiency levels, curriculum, assessment and professional competence.
We address the study starting from our own experience as academic staff at FILS, which face every day challenges and permanently have to adapt and search for educational solutions, methods and different materials in order to help students achieve better results. In the end we sketch a profile for non EU students that study in our faculty depending on the differences in: curricula, assessment, effort, adaptation, integration and language. Such an initiative represents an ambitious aim not previously investigated.
Keywords: Multicultural education, curriculum internationalization, foreign language, non EU students.