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Title: Developing English for science and technology in the Bulgarian context
Author: Popova, Diana
ISNI:       0000 0001 3495 1267
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1999
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The purpose of the present study is to suggest alternative routes to teaching and learning English for Science and Technology (EST) in the Bulgarian context. It is an investigation into the currently changing realities of the newly emerging market economy of a democratic country and the demands these place on the language competence and skills of the workforce. The present state of the theory and practice of EST are examined against the background of the recorded relevant human experience and expertise. The study is primarily concerned with identifying and analysing the needs and expectations of all the consumers of language training, the students and their future employers. In part, it is an empirical study into the EST classroom deficiencies. It arose from a growing awareness of the inadequate outcomes of English language teaching for technical students and the ensuing failure to meet the demands and expectations of employers. The adopted eclectic approach to researching and analysing data, comprising mostly qualitative techniques (case studies, observations and interviews) and some quantitative (questionnaires), was seen as the most appropriate under the existing local conditions. It was used to investigate the needs for EST of both learners and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Bourgas region. The identified students’ dissatisfaction with language training based on formal methods and conventional materials and company managers’ pronounced requirements for practical EST skills and tangible competence, called for a novel approach to materials and syllabus design, and methodology. It was seen as most pertinent to seek to improve these aspects of EST, which have the most immediate effect on the learning outcomes. If the situation was to be helped, the changes had to be implemented quickly. Since syllabus and materials design, and methodology are the priorities of teachers’, these are focused on in the present study which proposes an eclectic syllabus and learning materials for Electronics students. A corporate change of curricula in Higher Education is a task beyond the scope of teachers’ priorities and is usually the responsibility of the educational institutions and/or the Ministry of Higher Education in Bulgaria. The results of this research are aimed primarily at teachers and learners of EST, and consequently, when appropriately administered, at SMEs, the prospective employers of graduates of technical subjects. The long-term outcomes of this research should be the dissemination of best classroom practice across a wider range of other technical universities in the region and some impact on the teacher training for EST. Recommendations are made for further research which would enhance positive developments in this ever-expanding field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training