BETA

Olivia Chirobocea-Tudor

Olivia CHIROBOCEA-TUDOR, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Faculty of Letters (Ovidius University of Constanta). She teaches English for Specific Purposes to students enrolled in natural sciences and agriculture programs. She has published several English courses for ESP students, a specialized bilingual dictionary of viticulture and winemaking as well as many research articles on topics related to ESP teaching methods, terminology and specialized translation. She participated in numerous international conferences, edited scientific journals on topics of English teaching, collaborated as reviewer with international journals and is a member in several professional associations in the field of philology. In 2022 she became director of the Centre for Research on Specialized Languages from a Multidisciplinary Perspective within the Faculty of Letters (Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania), where she coordinates teams of researchers in the field of languages for specific purposes. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2850-3094.

AI and language teaching. Tackling the controversies and taking advantage of the benefits

Plenary talk

After the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022 AI has mostly become associated with the controversy surrounding chatbots, these and “smarter” and user-friendly configurations of AI. However, AI is not a new concept and immersing oneself in this world is truly going through the rabbit hole because once you start to explore it, it seems never-ending but ever expanding in complexity. The new chatbots seem to have radically changed our perception of AI as people from all walks of life, from leaders of industry to amateurs are either commenting about its benefits or warning about the dangers of AI. While some envision catastrophic scenarios involving AI bringing about the apocalypse, others see it as an invaluable tool in industry, education and most other fields. In the education sector, as many articles and webinars have shown throughout the years, but especially in 2023 and 2024, teachers are wary but, at the same time, very interested in using AI for their daily activities, whether dedicated to small children or to university students. This presentation will endeavor to explore this topic, from the controversies to the numerous advantages it has in language teaching.

Using AI to generate word lists for ESP

Session presentation

ChatGPT and other types of AI can be very useful in creating teaching materials for English for Specific Purposes in particular. Generating word lists or glossaries for domains that are not very common, such as branches of agriculture and horticulture is particularly useful. They set a basis for the specialized vocabulary to be taught and for the further generation of teaching materials such as texts and text-related activities, vocabulary and grammar activities, speaking, writing or listening activities. There are numerous advantages but also a number of shortcomings in using AI for the creation of these materials. This presentation will point out some of these and also ways to avoid problems.

Nadežda Stojković

Prof. Nadežda Stojković is the full professor of Contemporary English and English Language for Specific and Academic Purposes at the Faculty of Electronic Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Serbia. In 2013 she initiated founding and since has been the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes http://espeap.junis.ni.ac.rs/index.php/espeap, indexed in WoS – IF 0.7, Scopus – Q3, Scimago, CNKI. Initiator and organizer of international ESP conferences at the University of Niš, Serbia http://esp.elfak.rs/ and http://espconnections.elfak.rs/ that have been attended by colleagues from more than 40 countries worldwide. Advisory editor for Cambridge Scholars Publishing for the field of Pragmatics https://www.cambridgescholars.com/t/DiscourseAdvisory. Visiting Professor of Theory of LSP, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania, approved and granted by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Lithuania. External project reviewer for study programs in humanities at Khalifa University, UAE. Author of five ESP international textbooks, numerous articles, (co)editor of 16 monographs of international relevance. Invited keynote speaker at conferences in Croatia, Poland, Russia, India, Serbia, Oman.

Teaching Academic Science Communication within English Language Courses at Domain Specific Higher Education Institutions - content, methods, added values

Plenary talk

This talk will be devoted to giving one possible theoretical framework and practical solutions for the given topic relating to academic science communication with respect to the particularities of its multidisciplinarity and multiculturality. The central thesis is that while admittedly most faculties curricula rarely include specified courses on preparing students for communicating in a scientific community, this identified lack in educating students to be well rounded professionals and scientists who not only possess domain knowledge but are well versed in modes of its successful transfer and dissemination, can and should be resolved in the syllabi of (English) language courses so as to include teaching science communication in its linguistic form, since linguistic communication per se inherently belongs to the course of language. Thus, we will argue that these courses at tertiary level of education have the potential of being indespensable for the success of the educational outcome.

We will identify two primary theoretical arguments supporting this claim.  Firstly, higher education English language courses focus on English for the major domain studies at the designated instution, therefore utilizing the English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approach, meaning that the content of the course reflects the linguistic characteristics of the domain discourse of the faculty major. ESP aspect introduces domain lexis, register, discourse, as needed for the professional orientation. Secondly and equally relevantly, students are also to be made cognizant that the channel of communicating and spreading new scientific findings and novel professional solutions requires full awareness and application of academic rhetoric, thus expanding the ESP into English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) courses. ESAP enables students to actively take part in scientific research and its dissemination as knowing the forms and features of the communicative activities of their target disciplines.

To illustrate practical, in-class implementation of the thesis, particular practice examples will be offered on teaching rhetorical structures representative of academic science communication with the rationale of how they can serve as nucleus pieces for further independent students’ learning. Focus will also be on teaching sources for vocabulary, discourse, markers, then students’ application of discourse analysis. We shall emphasize social and strategic meta cognitive skills that accompany this practice and the need to make students aware and reflective of those while studying. Solutions as to how to introduce students to presenting their academic language skills in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment environment will be suggested.

Academic Writing for Scientific Journals in the Field of English Language and Linguistics

Session workshop

Exchange of scientific findings, solutions, newly detected issues of relevance, best practices, are to the largest degree communicated through scientific journals. Inherent to the nature of all scientific fields is clear, concise formulation of thesis and supportive argumentative rhetoric of established layout. An expert in the field is first recognized if applying these features in their scientific presentation. If that is in place, actual content is then examined. In order to succeed in communicating their knowledge, prospective authors need to be aware of the many specifics of scrutiny of academic community and to be prepared to adequately respond.

This workshop offers a practical guide on how to formulate and structure a scientific paper proposal in the field of English language and linguistics, how to choose a suitable journal which to approach, understanding its editorial policy and submission requirements, indexing, citations, what to expect of the editorial and review assessment, identifying relevant scientific journals databases, categorization of papers, trends in research. The method to be applied in this workshop will be extensively collaborative, with the aim to enable colleagues to independently prepare a well written, well structured manuscript, submit it to a relevant journal and successfully respond to editorial requirements.

Irina Ivanova

Assoc. Prof. Irina Ivanova, PhD, is a lecturer in English language teaching at the Department of English Studies in Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, Bulgaria. She has been working as a university lecturer and researcher for more than 20 years, teaching a number of disciplines in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programmes in the field of ELT and teacher education, and supervising trainees’ school-based internship. She is actively involved in in-service teacher training, development and certification at the Department of Information, Qualification and Lifelong Learning in Varna. At present, she is the vice-rector for research and international cooperation of Shumen University.

Irina Ivanova’s research interests and publications are in the fields of foreign language teaching, linguistics, language acquisition, academic literacy, teacher training and continuing professional development. She has written several books and book chapters, more than 50 articles, and has more than 80 citations of her research over the last 5 years. Irina Ivanova has been a member of the Bulgarian English Teachers’ Association for more than 20 years. She was part of BETA committee serving as a treasurer from 2014 to 2022. She is a regular participant and presenter at BETA-IATEFL conferences.

Conflicting professional priorities in ELT: trainee-teachers’, mentors’ and university instructors’ perspectives

Plenary talk

There are three important agents in the learning to teach process – the trainee, the mentor and the university instructor, who might combine the role of a lecturer and a supervisor at different stages of the teaching practice. The school-based internship is the time when trainees should take full responsibility for the implementation of the planned teaching activities in the lessons. Trainees do not only plan and teach, but also engage in reflection on the effectiveness of their teaching, and receive feedback on their performance. In the process of establishing their professional identity, trainees set their priorities which can be contested by the other responsible actors in the classroom – the mentor and the university instructor. The conflicting priorities of trainees, mentors and supervisors are grounded on their differing perception of the relevance of key concepts and ideas of teacher’s professional expertise, which depend on a number of factors, such as trainees’ familiarity with key concepts in teaching, mentors’ qualification and experience, and the instructors’ willingness to allow deviation from the models of teaching presented in the instruction course. My discussion is based on a survey conducted among 23 BA teacher trainees, and 27 adult re-trainee teachers enrolled in a teacher qualification course, as well as interviews with some of their mentors and two university supervisors. The survey and the interviews focus on aspects of teaching, which potentially provoke conflicting perceptions about teaching, such as the importance of the teaching context (a big town school or a small village school), awareness of learner variables (motivation, first language, proficiency level), preferred approaches to teaching; familiarity with key concepts in modern teaching, and trainees’ personal abilities in teaching and reflection.