There is great controversy over whether Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) should be taught at the basic language levels. The truth is that teachers cannot anticipate which specific skills their students will need in the workplace or which specific work situation they will encounter. Students often don’t know that either so every academic course should aim at transferring meaningful skills to students to become successful professionals. With that in mind, Annie Abbott and Holly Nibert presented their approach on how to connect language instruction with professional information during the last NOBLE webinar. They suggest implementing a variety of activities and tasks that introduce professional related vocabulary, promote reflection and intercultural dialogue, and explore careers and professional behaviors. In addition, they suggest implementing alternative professional-focused writing and oral assessments. This approach makes language learning more relevant to the students’ individual core discipline and their potential future career.
How about you? What is your approach when teaching LSP in basic level courses? What are your concerns? How about assessments? Do you use alternative assessments to measure other skills and competences?
Here are some examples of activities and tasks out of the presenters’ recent publication Día a Día, a manual in which half of each chapter is dedicated to a professional sector: