I have never attended EAP sessions before as I work with secondary school children, but as a student studying an MA course I deal a lot with academic issues, for example, academic writing. I learnt a few tips during this workshop that will definitely help me in writing m thesis!  

Prof. Vera Zabotkina, a vice president of Russian State University for the Humanities made it clear to me that the road to success in EAP is long but not entirely impossible if we learn to do things with a different approach. 

What re the most essential skills for the 21st century?
According to a survey undertaken by OECD the three top critical skills required for the most innovative jobs are:

  • an ability to come up with new ideas
  • willingness to question ideas
  • an ability to present ideas in audience

So, there is a tendency nowadays to adopt a new model of generation to transfer knowledge through intersection of technology, information and language. A language here is seen as the “new oil”, which means that language is everything, and it is given the central attention in all spheres of our daily life. So, academic success is not only about communication, it’s being able to communicate on a written language bearing in mind that English is a completely writer-responsibly language. So, when you are writing an article in English, put something new in it, make the reader want to read it!

Are you skeptical about small talk? Nonsense! It’s fun!
If you work in business environment, this bit of information is just for you! Small talk is useful in many respects:

  • it establishes rapport
  • it’s a gesture of respect
  • it helps to build relationships

Not persuaded? Elena Matveeva, the speaker at this section didn’t give me a chance to have second thoughts! Small talk is an investment with no initial cost.
Do you want to be successful in small talk? Here are a few tips for you:

  • find common ground
  • show enthusiasm
  • focus on the positive

And don’t forget to use your body language and make an eye-contact. No staring though! In some cultures it might be taken as an offence!

Note to teachers

1) Remember that with teaching adults you should be careful about choosing an appropriate topic to avoid causing an offence. The same goes for telling jokes or storytelling, because it’s a very sensitive issue for some of people. You don’t want to break any taboos in your class, do you?

2) Teach them reaction phrases, so that they can show and express interest in what the speaker is saying and don’t forget about phrases for exchanging opinions.

3) Small talk is a gift rarely found in nature! Have you got it? If yes, become an inspiration to your students!

The day is coming to an end and for those of you who are about to fall asleep, it’s time to wake up and do some exercise with Tony Prince , programme manager of presessional and insessional course at University of East Anglia!

Being a tutor on these courses, he shared his experience of running them.
For those of you who might be wondering what appeared first, EAP or ESP, there is no need to search for the answer any longer. According to various research, ESP is considered to be a big “daddy” and EAP appeared later emerging from needs analysis.

So, on their courses tutors start by asking what students are worried about by carrying out surveys and interviews because it’s an aspect of their culture. Basically, they ask students what their problems are. Recognizing the problem, then, leads to understanding the course and its requirements.

Tony focuses on the subject of academic writing where students are taken from the bottom level of listing the word to higher levels like defining the word, explaining and comparing it. It really does sound a bit like Bloom’s taxonomy!

Being a tutor is a hard job I suppose, they serve as a model to us, a kind of authority students always look up to. But being a student is also challenging, therefore they are in constant need of support from their tutors. So, tutors at University of East Anglia have moved from English language support to English language assessment support where they actually put students into their shoes by making them analyze models of works done by other students where they see the tutor’s feedback.
Finally, not only students need feedback, but tutors think it would be helpful as well if students gave their feedback to them. In most cases, students give feedback to their friends who are also students.

Wait a minute! Have I ever given my tutor any feedback? I am afraid, no! Must go! Back tomorrow with more inspirational experience!

Posted by blogger Natalia Alatyreva

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