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EFL for Military

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Jeddah Aquanaut

Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:11 pm    Post subject: EFL for Military Reply with quote

I teach EFL to Saudi military personnel in Jeddah. Students need to learn English for the purpose of understanding instruction in follow-on training in their specific air defense M.O.S. They will not be attending university abroad; they do not need EAP. They need technical English that will help them understand later training. Many people in the company resist this fact, prefering to use the same old notional-functional curriculum that has been used for ages. A curriculum that does little to give them the pre-tech knowledge needed. I have a number of years experience here, and a knowledge of military EFL students' needs. How do I continue to push for what I feel to be the way to go, when often I feel that I'm just hitting my head against the wall? Also, anyone out there who also teaches EFL to military students? I'd be interested in ideas, materials, resources, and any curriculum/texts out there. Thanks...
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Joined: 10 Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah so it is you who is teaching in Jeddah. I saw the ad a few months ago.

I've just started teaching military english and I'd be happy to share my experiences, although the officers I teach to are not cadets, but staff officers at bde and div CPs.

With field grade ranks, my colleague and I spend most of our time on the MDMP and orders cycle. That is we propose situations along with a few lexis exercises to make it comprensible and then we get down to writing FRAGOs. That's the heart of what we call the "officers'" course.

With junior officers and NCOs, we concentrate on basic military lexis within their MOSes. I do try to do as much situational training as possible. We do a patrol situation, along with oral orders. We do a VCP situation (or my colleague does, as he has a lot of experience doing the real thing). I do a direction finding game with a map of downtown Mogadishu, etc.

The direction we're moving in is to set up an ongoing MapEx for our client units, using current events from their AOIs to generate situations. Eventually I want the officer group writing FRAGOs to the junior officer group. I have one of the British LNOs lined up to play OPFOR. Eventually we'll have a full blown wargame to generate situations.

Now, I suspect this is a very different kettle of fish from your air defenders. Certainly there's a lot of jargo a technical field like that has to drink in--so hit the field manuals. The American manual of arms isn't difficult to find on the interent and it is also public domain. I often teach directly out of FM101-5-1, the graddaddy of all US jargon references. Let me ask you a question: what is your troops' greatest *operational* anxiety about English?

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