Cooperation of the Department of Foreign Languages for Sciences Faculties with the British Council
The project “English for Universities” implemented by the British Council with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine started in the Odesa I.I. Mechnykov National University in 2015.
Objectives of the project:
- achievement of transformational change in levels of English in Ukraine’s leading universities of both University staff and Bachelor’s degree students (B2 CEFR level)/Master’s degree students (B2 CEFR level)/PhD students (C1 CEFR level);
- improvement of ELT methods and methodology at the university level through a stable professional growth of both ESP/EAP/ESAP teachers and EMI teachers;
- improvement of ESP/EAP/ESAP curricula, syllabi;
- development of the assessment techniques directed to students’ outcomes and observation/feedback techniques directed to classes observations;
- formation of values and competencies necessary for successful self-realization in the framework of both EL teaching and learning;
- regular updates and improvements in teaching methodology;
- involvement of the University’s scientific and teaching staff as well as PhD/Master’s/Bachelor’s students in effective cooperation with European universities in terms of international exchange programs;
- increase in the autonomy and responsibility of undergraduate / graduate / PhD students, that is, their ability to perform tasks and solve problems independently and be responsible for the results of their performance;
- raise the linguocultural awareness of undergraduate / graduate / PhD students to promote further Ukraine’s sustainable development and her European choice;
- assistance in heading of the project results to the society benefits, thus enriching the intellectual, creative, cultural potential of Ukrainian universities.
The results and recommendations of an extensional and intensive study conducted by the British Council with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine on the role and status of English in the fifteen higher education institutions of Ukraine in the framework of the project “English for universities” can be viewed on the British Council website.
6 teachers of the Department of Foreign Languages for Sciences Faculties (Table 1) participated in trainings, seminars, workshops and symposia of the British Council:
- ESP, English for Specific Purposes;
- EAP, English for Academic Purposes;
- ESP Syllabi and Modules Design;
- Classes Observation and Feedback;
- CiVELT (three cycles):
CiVELT 1 (understanding the professional needs of those who study the language, identifying the main sources of information when analyzing professional needs, understanding the importance of motivation and the effect of demotivation on the audience, creating a positive atmosphere during training, using professional contexts as resources);
CiVELT 2 (understanding the scope of future specialists in terms of language use; teaching grammar and vocabulary, using a functional language in teaching, introducing modern approaches to the formation of speaking, reading, listening and writing skills)
CiVELT 3 (development of a work program; presentation of new language material; errors and methods for correcting them; working with content, testing and evaluation; teaching practice in the classroom; determining the effectiveness of the course and its adjustment; continuous professional development).
Participation of Department staff in the British Council in Ukraine
trainings, seminars, workshops and symposia
|Trainings, seminars, workshops and symposia provided by British Council in Ukraine||Certificates|
|1. 72-hour ESP Teacher Development course (Summer school, Kyiv, 28 June -11 July, 2015);||Certificate|
|2. 35-hour ESP Course Module Design Training (Kyiv, 01-05 February, 2016);||Certificate|
|3. English for Academics course (Kyiv, 29 February – 03 March, 2016; 06-08 June, 2016);||Certificate|
|4. ‘ESP: Planning for Success’ Symposium (Kyiv, 16-18 February);||Certificate|
|5. ‘Impact of the English for Universities Project on the Internationalisation of Ukrainian Universities’ National Symposium (Kyiv,07-09 December, 2017);||Certificate|
|6. 10-hour British Council professional development module ‘Observation and Feedback’ (Kyiv, 07-09 December, 2017).||Certificate|
|1. 35-hour CiVELT (English for Specific Purposes) (Kyiv, 04 July 2015 – 11 July 2015)||Certificate|
|2. 35-hour EAP course (English for Academic Purposes) (Kyiv, 10 January-16 January 2016)||Certificate|
|3. ‘Professional Award in Teacher Development’ assessment training (Kyiv, 22 November– 02 December 2016)||Certificate|
|4. ESP course (teacher trainer) (Kyiv, 04 July 2015 – 11 July 2015)||Certificate|
|35-hour CiVELT (English for Specific Purposes) (Kyiv, 04 July 2015 – 11 July 2015)||Certificate|
|71-hour ESP Teacher Development course (Winter school 19-24 February 2018 in Lviv, Summer school 1-6 July 2018 in Kyiv)||Certificate|
|114-hour ESP Teacher Development course (Summer school, 14-19 July 2017, Kyiv; Winter school, 19-24 February 2018, Lviv; Summer school, 7-13 July 2018, Kyiv)||Certificate|
|35-hour ESP Teacher Development course (Kyiv, 11-15 January, 2016)||Certificate|
Table 1. Participation of FLSF Department teachers in the British Council in Ukraine Project (2015-2018)
In addition, leading teachers of major subjects from the Departments of Natural and Exact Sciences, who wish to give lectures or workshops in English, were involved in the British Council’s trainings directed to professional development of EMI teachers.
 CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
Results of cooperation with the British Council in Ukraine within the framework of the Project «English for universities»
- The professional development of the FLSF Department teachers and their activities within the project were aimed at:
- raising awareness of international standards in EL teaching, learning, assessment and CEFR levels in accordance with the requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;
- continuous development of teacher competencies and improvement of teaching methods;
- innovative changes and focus shift in the methodology of EL teaching from the traditional to student-centered approach aimed at deepening the students’ practical knowledge, strengthening the competence component in education, that will give students the opportunity to get a better workplace in the labor market, thereby meet the actual needs of both university graduates and employers;
- familiarization with the materials and recommendations of the study ‘The internationalisation of Ukrainian universities: the English language dimension’ carried out in the framework of the British Council’s English for Universities Project by expert UK consultants, Rod Bolitho and Richard West2;
- dissemination of knowledge gained at trainings (making presentations, seminars, workshops and lectures with innovative teaching methods implemented) in accordance with the British Council in Ukraine contract;
- development, piloting and monitoring of ESP Curricula and Syllabi for Bachelor’s degree students at all faculties of the Odesa I.I. Mechnykov National University;
- development, piloting and monitoring of ESAP Curricula and Syllabi for Master’s degree students at all faculties of the Odesa I.I. Mechnykov National University;
- development of “English for Academic Purposes: Academic Writing” Syllabus for PhD students, its piloting and results monitoring;
- placement of ESP and ESAP Syllabi on the FLSF Department’s home site as well as on the Natural Sciences Departments and Exact Sciences Departments websites;
- presenting and discussion of ESP/EAP/ESAP Syllabi implementation results at National and International conferences, in scientific publications, etc.;
- introduction of a student’s portfolio in the educational process for the purpose of: firstly, providing more autonomy at all levels of ESP/ESAP/EAP learning; secondly, developing and improving the competences of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students; finally, using the portfolio as an integral part of the assessment and analysis of the undergraduates’ and graduates’ professional and academic growth.
- Cooperation with EMI teachers of the Natural and Exact Sciences Departments of the Odesa I.I. Mechnykov National University
- EMI teachers needs analysis investigation; English level placement test for EMI teachers;
- teaching “English for Academics” course for the University staff; course was introduced in the framework and on the base EL trainings existing in Odesa I.I. Mechnykov National University since 2015;
- 32 University teachers including 15 teachers of the Faculties of Exact and Natural Sciences successfully completed a year-long «English for Academics» course and received a certificate in professional development (certified coaches: Elena A. Rumyantseva, PhD, Associate Professor (Faculties of Natural and Exact Sciences); Irina Yu. Onischuk, PhD, Associate Professor (Faculties of Humanities).
- Scientific and methodological work in the framework of the British Council project ‘English for Universities’:
- concentration of the ESP/ESAP/EAP teachers’ scientific interests upon the issues of monitoring, investigating and tailoring to Ukrainian universities’ needs the innovated methodology and methods of ESP/ESAP/EAP teaching, learning and assessment;
- planning and organizing the Annual All-Ukrainian Scientific Internet conferences on ELT methodology “Innovative ELT methods and practices: research and introduction into the educational process”.
The conference provides for online publication and discussions in the following categories:
- The newest methods of ESP and EAP teaching in Universities in accordance with the requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in HEI: problems and prospects.
- Professional discourse in linguistic-cognitive, linguistic-pragmatic and linguistic-cultural aspects.
- Actual translation problems of specific, academic and scientific literature.
- Problems of intercultural communication, cultural and linguistic variability in the modern world.
- Effective and engagement activities enhancing learning in ESP and EAP classes.
- ESP and EAP Syllabi design, logical structuralization and content development.
- Challenges in adaptation of the teaching strategies to ESP/EAP students’ needs.
- organizing and conducting, in collaboration with EMI teachers, the Annual University-wide Students Scientific Conference, the materials of which are presented in electronic format on the Department’s website: http://lingvo.onu.edu.ua/category/konferentsii-studentiv/
- Cooperation with students of Faculties of Natural and Exact Sciences.
According to the survey conducted at the end of each semester the students report:
- satisfaction with a new approach to teaching and teaching English in a special direction;
- interest in more functional language learning;
- great interest in tasks-based activities (role-playing games, team working, simulations, presentations);
- that the introduction of innovative teaching methods in conjunction with portfolio writing: firstly, will enhance mutual understanding between students and teachers; secondly, will provide students with more understandable assessment criteria and will give more chances to get the highest score during a term.
Photo 5. Dissemination of knowledge gained at trainings