MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO POSTGRADUATE TEACHER EDUCATION – CASE STUDY
Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland
The paper presents a case study into a multidisciplinary teaching approach used in a postgraduate programme offered by Kozminski University and called Business Studies in English. The course lasts for one academic year and has 180 contact hours. It is accompanied by an e-learning component of approximately 150 hours of study and another 150 hours of independent self-study. All the didactic materials used in the programme are tailor-made, with the two major handbooks being based on corpus studies into authentic business language. Moreover, the development of these materials followed a rigorous methodology of quantitative analysis of input language in terms of its terminology index (Lukszyn 2008). The programme is targeted at language teachers who graduated from the departments of English philology and applied linguistics. They are taught not only business English but also fundamentals of management, marketing, business law, finance and banking. They acquire transferable business and managerial skills, learn about corporate social responsibility (CSR), business ethics, business communication (including cross-cultural communication) and corporate culture. By analysing case studies students learn how to understand business and economic processes and mechanisms. As a result, in addition to acquiring linguistic and communicative competence, they are able to develop a more advanced (according to Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive process 1956 ability to analyse, interpret and critically assess business processes and operations. The curriculum also includes a substantial component of business writing, with special emphasis on developing students’ sociolinguistic and pragmatic competence. This multidisciplinary approach to teaching business English to advanced students in tertiary education has proved to be more effective than traditional language teaching. In the opinion of both students and instructors of Kozminski University this approach significantly increases student satisfaction, involvement and motivation. The paper analyses and compares the most important aspects of content-and-language integrated learning (CLIL) with traditional language teaching and with the multidisciplinary approach. It also discusses the need and rationale for preparing customised materials for postgraduate students, which are indispensable in the multidisciplinary approach. It explains how such materials can be designed and discusses the importance of corpus studies as a prerequisite in identifying core business terminology, phraseology and collocations. It also presents the terminology index as an effective instrument in measuring the didactic relevance of teaching materials, particularly the input of specialist business terminology. Finally, it focuses on some challenges facing instructors of the postgraduate programme and highlights the importance of continuous life-long teacher education.
Key words: Postgraduate teacher education; ESP; Business English; Multidisciplinary approach; CLIL.
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How to cite this article: Jendrych, E. (2016). Multidisciplinary approach to postgraduate teacher education – case study. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 9(1), 65-76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.29302/jolie.2016.9.1.5
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