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  • Information Technology Supports for Student-Centered Language Education

    With the development of computer-mediated communication, the definition of literacy has gained broader dimensions (Murray, 1991). The ability to use new technologies to access, adapt and make intelligent use of information and knowledge is by now viewed as an additional and essential component of literacy. Today’s interpretation of literacy (often referred to as “multiliteracy”) must incorporate the communication that takes place through a growing variety of text forms associated with information and multimedia technologies.
    Since it is fast becoming a basic instrument for building the literacies required for success in academic and workforce environments, used as a tool, information technology needs to become a critical component of student-centered English language education.

  • Education and language teaching in the light of recent social and economic needs

    This paper attempts to describe several general educational potentials that are assumed to facilitate adequate pedagogical response to the recent economic and social paradigm shifts that have resulted in marked changes in the requirements for the labour force on the global job market.
    The article describes the most powerful pedagogical trends of the 20th century, selectively concentrating on the assessment of their contribution to and share in the preparation of the inevitably forthcoming paradigm shift in education.
    Topic related issues of language teaching in an academic setting are then discussed, focusing particularily on English for Specific Purposes, followed by a more thorough analysis of the major types of ESP syllabi. This analysis attempts to identify those properties that empower ESP teaching to give a more sophisticated answer (as compared to general language teaching) to issues raised by the appearance of new trends and needs in the
    global job market. 
    The paper offers conclusions for consideration as to the responsibility of language teachers and strategy makers in higher education, acting in an intercultural environment.

  • Recent Graduates’ and Language Teachers’ Assessments of ESP Preparation in Hungary

    Like many teachers of ESP in Hungarian higher education, I have for several years been spurred to track and investigate those interrelationships that exist between the expectations of the multicultural European job market of the 21st century and the linguistic literacy competencies required of those young graduates that are searching for jobs in such an environment. What specific knowledge or rather, what specific combination of knowledge, skills and cultural competencies do they need in order to succeed? Are we, language teachers aware of the responsibilities we have in preparing our students for such challenges? This paper publishes partial results of a national survey conducted in 2000. The investigations involved 120 teachers of ESP in higher education and 71 young graduates of technical universities or colleges with different profiles. The queries covered a wide range of issues of which we will only be examining one – from two perspectives, though – here: a.) The retrospective satisfaction of recent graduates with the language preparation they received and b.) The teachers’ assessment of the importance of the components of the preparation they provided.

  • Electronic Tools for English Language Education (with a special view to English for Specific Purposes)

    Almost simultaneously with the developments in information technology over the past fifteen to twenty years, literacy has gained new dimensions. To be considered literate in our age demands functional, academic, critical and technological skills. Because language and technology are inseparable in this context, technology as a means for developing literacy skills must be an integral part of the language class.
    This paper examines some of the ways electronic tools can be of use in developing student language literacy competences, with a special emphasis on the benefits learners of English for Specific Purposes can reap.

  • A Critical Review of Selected Computer Assisted Language Testing Instruments

    Over the past few decades, a fairly large literature examining the effectiveness of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has been developed. The findings indicate that language learners have generally positive attitudes toward using computers in the classroom. Less is known, however, about the more specific areas of computers in language testing. The purpose of this article is to examine recent developments in language testing that directly involve computer use. After a brief overview of computer-based testing (CBT) in general, web-based testing (WBT) is defined and certain issues reviewed.

  • Nyelvi kompetencia-elvárások a multikulturális munkaerő piacon

    Proficiency in a foreign language, especially when combined with knowledge of and skills in another professional area, is highly desirable in the multicultural marketplace. Just as business and media have experienced global changes over the last few decades, so, too, has grown the acceptence of English around the world as the lingua franca for economic and scientific exchange. Second language speakers increasingly turn to English as a requirement of international communication. It is more than understandable that in many European companies, proficiency in English may even be a hiring criterion (Inman, 1983). The spread of English thus privileges certain groups of people and may harm others who have less opportunity to learn it.
    One can rightly conclude that we are in an age when communicative language skills in English are an indispensible component of literacy. Many claim that this may well entail significant changes in the social and individual values of nations and people.
    This paper investigates some of those underlying social and economic processes that have over the past few decades brought English language literacy into the focus of the attention of many researchers and educators. In the framework of the paper, certain issues of the conceptual impact that these changes have (or are presumed to have) on English language education are also discussed.