Report on the “Exploring Language for Specific Purposes in Business and Economics at Tertiary Level” conference at Masaryk University Language Centre, Brno, 9 September 2022
This one-day conference included approximately 55 participants from language centres in six countries, and featured presentations in English and German. The broad theme of the conference allowed for a variety of topics, from LSP course design and assessment to the role of translation in teaching to students’ reactions to online teaching tools during the pandemic. The relatively small number of attendees allowed for lively and in-depth discussions following presentations and workshops.
The keynote speech, “Does Accuracy Really Matter? Interpreting the Results of a Corpus-based Analysis of Advanced English in Czech Tertiary Education”, was given by Dr Simona Kalová (Masaryk University) and showed how teachers can compile learner corpora, analyse them and use them to design study material which targets our learners’ weaknesses.
At the University of Zagreb, Croatia, Boglarka Kiss Kulenovic and Visnja Kabalin Borenic surveyed Economics and Business students on their reactions to online learning tools used in their Business English classes. The results showed that students preferred tools which afforded instantaneous feedback, immediate instructor presence and offered complex activities. The online learning tasks students preferred offered individualization and autonomous work instead of teamwork. Supervision from the instructor and rapid feedback were also highly regarded by students. Analysis of their results pointed to ways that online tools and activities can continue to be used in in-person courses.
The medieval city center served as a setting for further discussions after the conference. Last but not least, conference participants were treated to a fascinating guided tour of Brno packed with historical nuggets and anecdotes from Masaryk professor Dr Thomas Sparling.
Given the high quality of the contributions, all those interested should make a note of the conference. The organizers plan to hold this conference every two years.
Contakt: Theresa Gorman
Published on November 22, 2022