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'English for ??? Majors'
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: 'English for ??? Majors' Reply with quote

From time to time I’ve been asked or expected to bias my Oral English towards the majors of my students. So over the years, I’ve had ‘English for Tourism Majors’, ‘English for Hotel Management Majors’ and ‘English for IT Technicians’.
To be honest, most of the students had a hard job stringing 2 or 3 words of English together, so we were a long way from zeroing in on speaking about their major subject.
I also feel that there is no such thing as for example ‘Tourism English’. The tourism or hotel management bit is just additional specialised vocab.
Be interested in others’ experience of this – particularly additional majors that may have been experienced i.e. medicine, animal husbandry etc.
In no instance was the class text oriented towards the major. They were the bog standard Chinese textbooks.
In one instance I wrote a few dialogues of my own that used tourism situations. As expected the school balked at photocopying enough for a class set.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've cracked the code!! No matter what vainglorious names they give the classes (Western Culture, Tourism, etc.) it's all going to be basic oral English.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johntp
Yep deja vu all over again.
I would mind attempting it if only they would give me a course book or commission some realistic dialogues that cast 2 or 3 students in a realistic travel agent situation.
See what others have to say.
Best
NS
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i feel your pain! here at our little software college, we have three engrish
majors in the foreign language department: tourism english, business
english, hotel english. students mostly have very poorly english, achieving
250 or below on the gaokao. programs offer two years of instruction
followed by one year of internship.

when i started here, classes were segregated by major, and were not
streamed. chinglish textbook content was at junior level (for western
universities). textbooks were chosen not by the actual content, but by
the index page available online from the publishers.

admin is actually pretty reasonable about things. i've convinced them that
there be no such animals as 'tourism english' or 'hotel english.' we are now
combining the freshman classes, separating them in the second year for
their vocational english. next year we plan to begin testing the freshmen
and grouping them by level. they don't seem to mind when i bump
students up/down a year.

they have agreed to combine the tourism and business writing classes.
i get to throw out the textbooks, select new texts, or simply use my own
materials. there are now quite a few textbooks geared specifically for
tourism and hotel management. unfortunately, these books are often
written by chinese teachers with no experience in these fields, who simply
need to publish something in order to earn their masters.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Choudf
Are the books you mention oral English in a tourism or hotel management context or content textbooks. I mean hotel accounting or tourism technical stuff, such as airline groups - Star Alliance/One World?
I take it from the intro to your post that you do not have access to dialogues that put students in hotel or tourism settings.
Great though that your school is letting you reorganise things along the lines you mention.
Maybe they will commission you to write a few dialogues Laughing
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
Thanks Choudf
Are the books you mention oral English in a tourism or hotel management context or content textbooks. I mean hotel accounting or tourism technical stuff, such as airline groups - Star Alliance/One World?
I take it from the intro to your post that you do not have access to dialogues that put students in hotel or tourism settings.
Great though that your school is letting you reorganise things along the lines you mention.
Maybe they will commission you to write a few dialogues Laughing


both types of texts are available.

you can start off by heading over to taobao, and entering "english for
tourism" in the search bar.

http://s.taobao.com/search?q=english+for+tourism&searcy_type=item&s_from=newHeader&source=&ssid=s5-e&search=y&initiative_id=itemz_20130301

you'll get more hits if you enter "旅游英语."

http://s.taobao.com/search?q=%C2%C3%D3%CE%D3%A2%D3%EF&initiative_id=staobaoz_20130301

if you want a recommendation, you might try this one:

http://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.10.2.PRROxy&id=14817810842&ad_id=&am_id=&cm_id=&pm_id=

it's not perfect, but she be usable. the dialogs aren't too awkward, and
it has loads of activities that can be tailored to different skill levels.

i'm using book 3 for second year tourism english. they also have a book 3
for business english that i'll use next year. the series has books 1 and 2
with general oral english before branching into the two vocational books.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

choudoufu wrote:
Maybe they will commission you to write a few dialogues Laughing


no.

i've been asked to edit books before. with the english abilities of these
teachers, i'd have to completely rewrite the texts.

at one school, the department wanted to publish their own books
(for the prestige?), so assigned a couple chapters to each of their
teachers.

one teacher was asked to write a chapter on golf for the tourism book.
she had never played golf, had never watched golf on tv, had never even
played simulated golf on an old IBM XT running windows 3.0

the dialogs were..........well.............mr. smith and his wife went to the
golf club to buy some balls. mrs. smith loved the beautiful pink balls.
when the waitress asked mr. smith what kind of balls he liked, mr. smith
said.....

"blue balls for me!"
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a part time editing job at Dalian U of Tech Press.
This was yonks ago, but it was a sizable operation.
When I asked about their market I was told 'vocational colleges' as full blown unis like foreign (US) texts.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

choudoufu wrote:
Non Sequitur wrote:
Thanks Choudf
Are the books you mention oral English in a tourism or hotel management context or content textbooks. I mean hotel accounting or tourism technical stuff, such as airline groups - Star Alliance/One World?
I take it from the intro to your post that you do not have access to dialogues that put students in hotel or tourism settings.
Great though that your school is letting you reorganise things along the lines you mention.
Maybe they will commission you to write a few dialogues Laughing


both types of texts are available.

you can start off by heading over to taobao, and entering "english for
tourism" in the search bar.

http://s.taobao.com/search?q=english+for+tourism&searcy_type=item&s_from=newHeader&source=&ssid=s5-e&search=y&initiative_id=itemz_20130301

you'll get more hits if you enter "旅游英语."

http://s.taobao.com/search?q=%C2%C3%D3%CE%D3%A2%D3%EF&initiative_id=staobaoz_20130301

if you want a recommendation, you might try this one:

http://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.10.2.PRROxy&id=14817810842&ad_id=&am_id=&cm_id=&pm_id=

it's not perfect, but she be usable. the dialogs aren't too awkward, and
it has loads of activities that can be tailored to different skill levels.

i'm using book 3 for second year tourism english. they also have a book 3
for business english that i'll use next year. the series has books 1 and 2
with general oral english before branching into the two vocational books.


Thanks Choudf
I'll type in as many majors as I can think of and see what I get.
My main purpose is to compile a list for posting of all the ??? English Majors that FTs are likely to be asked to teach.
Be helpful to new and old alike.
Best
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Babala



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 1185
Location: Suzhou, Jiangsu

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I do is to search Amazon for books relating to the topics I need and then I go to Taobao to see if they have it. I'm amazed at the selection of books on Taobao. I have been able to find almost all the books from Amazon there at a cheaper price.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

' the series has books 1 and 2
with general oral english before branching into the two vocational books.'


Thanks Choudf
I still have had to do Oral English with the content (tourism etc) being the preserve of Chinese teachers.
The request has been to not teach general oral English in my freshman classes, but to get students speaking 'tourist speak' from the get go.
The book scenario you outline suggests that the book authors also see the task as general Oral English with the 'tourism' aspect coming in via the special vocab that they pick up.
I did see on the website 'English for Airline Crew' so that's another one to add to the list.
Best
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

choudoufu wrote:
the dialogs were..........well.............mr. smith and his wife went to the
golf club to buy some balls. mrs. smith loved the beautiful pink balls.
when the waitress asked mr. smith what kind of balls he liked, mr. smith
said.....

"blue balls for me!"


+1,000,000

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Haha! Great stuff!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is choudoufu with the post of the day.

Cool

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 'English for ??? Majors' Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
From time to time I’ve been asked or expected to bias my Oral English towards the majors of my students. So over the years, I’ve had ‘English for Tourism Majors’, ‘English for Hotel Management Majors’ and ‘English for IT Technicians’.
To be honest, most of the students had a hard job stringing 2 or 3 words of English together, so we were a long way from zeroing in on speaking about their major subject.
I also feel that there is no such thing as for example ‘Tourism English’. The tourism or hotel management bit is just additional specialised vocab.
Be interested in others’ experience of this – particularly additional majors that may have been experienced i.e. medicine, animal husbandry etc.
In no instance was the class text oriented towards the major. They were the bog standard Chinese textbooks.
.


I think the TEFL industry might disagree with you, and quite a few practitioners within it, but Im not so sure I would disagree.

ESP is quite an industry I think. Look at the Business English market for a start ... and all the textbooks, materials and course connected to it. Aviation English is another, and on the general forums here quite a few members have discussed the ESP classes that they have taught.

Generally though, I agree with you. The vast majority of students will benefit greatly by simply studying general English and improving that rather than worrying about ESP stuff. Naturally, if you had several classes of tourism English students, or in the private market / training centre, classes of people working in hospitality, it would make more sense to have material that leans toward their field rather than something unrelated. Generally though, I think most specialised language would be learnt on the job. And each job is different and will likely have its own lexical sets. Teaching a business English course to a group of students who come from a different business and have different jobs is a bit pointless to me. It does attract students though.

The exception to this I think is EAP. English for academic purposes. The very conventions and nature of academic English is pretty tough for people to get to grips with and I do think that its a quite valid field of study ... but the rest of the ESP market is bogus for 95% of students IMO
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2463
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a marketing viewpoint the industry wants to differentiate the product.
That's why vitamin pill manufacturers have a 'Men's Multi' and other subdivisions of pretty much the same formulas.
What I'm getting from the comments so far, is that the Chinese schools we work for want to sell a course of 'Tourism English' but they are not prepared to resource it by way of texts.
'Show me the text' should be the response of any FT asked to do an ESP class of Oral English. This applies to freshmen in particular for whom any Oral English is a bit of a hurdle.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: 'English for ??? Majors' Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
As expected the school balked at photocopying enough for a class set.


Yeah, I thought this was unbelievable.

Im writing material at the moment, the average lesson with the material I prepare is perhaps 7 x A4 pages.

Your employer would hate me!
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