Application of the Learning Communities Approach to Teaching English for Specific Purposes

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Воскобойник, Валентина Іванівна
Сухачова, Наталія Сергіївна
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The paper focuses on the peculiarities of application of the Learning Communities to teaching English for Specific Purposes at the university. Combining two disciplines (a practical English language course and a business-oriented one) over a semester, around interdisciplinary themes requires intentional restructuring of students’ time, credit, and learning experiences to build community, changing of the curriculum and fostering more explicit connections among students, between students and their teachers, teachers and administration, and among disciplines. The experience of using the Learning Communities approach has demonstrated the positive results for all involved. Studying real-life professional situations through case studies and problem-based tasks through collaboration in English, students benefit from both developing their English language competency and mastering the material on the disciplines related to their future professional field. Teachers experience a more coherent and enriched teaching environment. The university gets the opportunity to develop models for students’ internships and cooperative education that are designed for the needs of local businesses and provide outreach to the community.
Learning Communities approach, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), collaborative teaching, business-related discipline