Научная статья на тему 'Do esp / EAP course books for Russian students prepare professionals of the information age?'

Do esp / EAP course books for Russian students prepare professionals of the information age? Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

CC BY
376
48
i Надоели баннеры? Вы всегда можете отключить рекламу.
Ключевые слова
ESP / EAP course books published in Russia / use of the Internet / skills development / types of tasks / university students’ English language needs / учебники английского языка для академических и профессиональных целей / изданные в России / развитие умений пользоваться англоязычными ресурсами Интернета / типы учебных заданий / потребности студентов вуза / изучающих английский язык

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Kuznetsova L. B., Schemeleva I. Y.

The modern world of work is unthinkable without such a tool as the Internet. However, can the modern student use this tool to its full potential when its resources are in English? The aim of the research project was to explore whether English language course books written by Russian authors for university students prepare future professionals to effectively work with resources in this language on the Internet. Do these materials contain tasks aimed to teach and practice such skills? To answer the research question, the authors analyzed 30 course books for teaching English at the tertiary level, which were published in Russia in the years 2007–2017, to see if they contain tasks developing students’ skills in using Internet-based English resources. To provide evidence that students do need such skills, we used the findings of a small-scale research project conducted by a group of sociology students at two universities. The authors conclude that most course books written by Russian authors for university courses of English fail to address this need.

i Надоели баннеры? Вы всегда можете отключить рекламу.
iНе можете найти то, что вам нужно? Попробуйте сервис подбора литературы.
i Надоели баннеры? Вы всегда можете отключить рекламу.

РОССИЙСКИЕ УЧЕБНИКИ АНГЛИЙСКОГО ЯЗЫКА ДЛЯ ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНЫХ И АКАДЕМИЧЕСКИХ ЦЕЛЕЙ: ГОТОВЯТ ЛИ ОНИ СПЕЦИАЛИСТОВ ИНФОРМАЦИОННОГО ВЕКА?

В наше время трудно представить себе профессию, представители которой не использовали бы Интернет. Однако, умеют ли студенты современного вуза в полной мере использовать англоязычные ресурсы Интернета? Целью данного исследовательского проекта было проанализировать материалы учебников английского языка, изданных в России для студентов различных специальностей, и определить, готовят ли их эти учебники к эффективной работе с англоязычными ресурсами Интернета. Содержатся ли в них задания, обучающие таким навыкам? Чтобы найти ответ на этот вопрос, авторы проанализировали материалы 30 учебников английского языка, изданных за последние 10 лет для российских вузов. Целью было определить, содержат ли они задания, развивающие навыки эффективного использования ресурсов Интернета на английском языке. Свидетельством о том, что студентам действительно нужны такие навыки, послужили результаты небольшого исследования студентов-социологов, проведенного в двух университетах. Однако анализ учебников российских авторов для студентов неязыковых специальностей, обучающихся английскому языку, показал, что в большинстве из них нет заданий, нацеленных на развитие таких умений.

Текст научной работы на тему «Do esp / EAP course books for Russian students prepare professionals of the information age?»

4. Godwin-Jones, R. "Emerging Technologies: Blogs and Wikis: Environments for On-line Collaboration." Language Learning and Technology, vol. 7. no. 2, 2003, pp. 12-16, http://llt.msu.edu/vol7num2/emerging/default.html.

5. Bloch, J. "Abdullah's Blogging: A Generation 1.5 Student Enters the Blogosphere." Language Learning and Technology, vol. 11, no. 2, 2007, pp. 128-141, http://llt.msu.edu/vol11num2/ bloch/default.html.

6. Hourigan, T., Murray, L. "Using Blogs to Help Language Students to Develop Reflective Learning Strategies: Towards a Pedagogical Framework." Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 26, no. 2, 2010, pp. 209-225.

7. Betts, J. D., Glogoff, S. J. "Instructional Models for Using Weblogs in E-Learning: A Case Study from a Virtual and Hybrid Course." Paper Presented at the Syllabus 2004 Conference, San Francisco, CA, http://download.101com.com/syllabus/conf/summer2004 /PDFs/w01.pdf.

8. Hewett, B. L. "Characteristics of Interactive Oral and Computer-Mediated Peer Group Talk and its Influence on Revision." Computers and Composition, vol. 17, no. 3, 2000, pp. 265-288.

9. Pellettieri, J. "Negotiation in Cyberspace: The Role of Chatting in the Development of Grammatical Competence," edited by M. Warschauer and R. Kern. Network-Based Language Teaching: Concepts and Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 59-86.

10. Baggetun, R., Wasson, B. "Self-Regulated Learning and Open Writing." European Journal of Education, vol. 41, no. 3-4, 2006, pp. 453-472.

11. Ho, Y. K. "Audiotaped Dialogue Journals: An Alternative Form of Speaking Practice." ELTJournal, vol. 7, no. 3, 2003, pp. 269-277.

12. Vogt, K., Kantelinen, R. "Vocationally Oriented Language Learning Revisited." ELT Journal, vol. 67, no. 1, 2012, pp. 62-69.

13. Михайлова Е. Б. Формирование профессионально-иноязычной компетентности студентов инженерных специальностей в условиях информатизации образования // Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Информатизация образования. Москва, 2010. N 3. С.13-20.

14. Lameras, P. I., Paraskakis, P. L. "Pedagogy and Tools for E-Learning Practice." Proceedings of the International Informatics Education Europe ll Conference, 2007, pp. 275-282.

15. Турбович Л. Т. Информационно-семантическая модель обучения: ЛТ Турбович. С.-Петербург: Изд-во Ленин. гос. ун-та, 1970. 90 с.

16. Шихова О. Ф., Шихов Ю. А. Квалиметрический подход к диагностике компетенций выпускников высшей школы // Образование и наука. 2013. N 4. С. 40-57.

УДК 811.111:378(470+571)(045)

Kuznetsova L. B.

Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia

Schemeleva I. Y.

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia

DO ESP / EAP COURSE BOOKS FOR RUSSIAN STUDENTS PREPARE PROFESSIONALS OF THE INFORMATION AGE?

The modern world of work is unthinkable without such a tool as the Internet. However, can the modern student use this tool to its full potential when its resources are in English? The aim of the research project was to explore whether English language course books written by Russian authors for university students prepare future professionals to effectively work with resources in this language on the Internet. Do these materials contain tasks aimed to teach and practice such skills? To answer the research question, the authors analyzed 30 course books for teaching English at the tertiary level, which were published in Russia in the years 2007-2017, to see if they contain tasks developing students' skills in using Internet-based English resources. To provide evidence that students do need such skills, we used the findings of a small-scale research project conducted by

a group of sociology students at two universities. The authors conclude that most course books written by Russian authors for university courses of English fail to address this need.

Key words: ESP / EAP course books published in Russia, use of the Internet, skills development, types of tasks, university students' English language needs.

About the authors:

Kuznetsova Lyudmila Borisovna, Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Saint-Petersburg State University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia); e-mail: ldm.kuznetsova@gmail.com.

Shchemeleva Irina Yurievna, Candidate of Philology, National Research University, Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg, Russia); e-mail: ishemeliova@hse.ru.

Introduction

Courses in English at the tertiary level have a number of goals. On the one hand, they aim at developing learners' ability to communicate in professional environments (and that is achieved through English for Specific Purposes university courses), and on the other hand, they should "facilitate learners' study or research through the medium of English" [1, p. 89], which is the goal of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. In recent years, it has become apparent that both ESP and EAP courses must also aim to develop a range of other competencies (informational, socio-cultural) in addition to language proficiency.

Hardly anyone would question the fact that ICT (Information and Communication Technology) plays an important role in the development of these competencies, facilitating learners' autonomy and motivation. Arno, Soler, and Rueda have confirmed the belief of many CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) researchers in stating that "it is no longer a matter of how to incorporate technology, but rather how to adapt LSP practice to a context of constant technological changes" [2, p. 257]. With regard to today's students, Prenski uses the term "Homo Sapiens Digital", explaining that the role of educators is to let "students learn by using new technologies, putting themselves in the role of guides, context providers, and quality controllers" [3, p. 1].

Despite the existing differences in approaches to technology, in current CALL research the term ICT is generally associated with the use of the computer which can be regarded as a tutor, tool, and medium of teaching [4]. We are primarily interested in the use of computer technologies as tools that enable tertiary level students to access and exploit the wealth of information and tools existing on the Internet. It has been commonly accepted by both CALL researchers and English language practitioners that the Web is "a potentially useful corpus for language study because it provides examples of language that are contextualized and authentic, and is large and easy searchable" [5, p. 249]. English being the universally accepted language of international communication, it is not surprising then that resources on the Internet, which students need to use in their studies, are mostly in English. It follows that to be able to use Web-based resources effectively, not only should students' level of English be high enough to work with authentic materials, but they also should be ICT literate. This fact is recognized by many scholars and practitioners, though most research in EFL / ESL, as Murray and McPherson demonstrate [6], has taken computer literacy as a given and, therefore, is not concerned with the questions of developing this literacy in a language course.

The present study aims to find out whether modern ESP / EAP course books written by Russian authors regard or disregard developing students' skills in using English language resources of the Internet. Besides, an attempt is made to explore the kind of needs that students may have when turning to the Internet - its English language resources - for academic and professional purposes. Do they experience any difficulties, doing a search or working with Internet resources? Should ELT materials prepare students to use the English part of the Web effectively? If so, what tasks should materials writers develop to enhance their skills? In an attempt to answer these questions we use the data obtained from a research project, conducted by a group of sociology students as part of their Master's degree course in two universities in St. Petersburg, Russia. The project investigated the students' use of English language websites for their study purposes.

1. ICT Literacies

Many researchers today argue for the need to develop new types of literacies associated with applying ICT [6-10]. Warschauer stresses the importance of information literacies which "involve both computer-specific knowledge (e.g., mastery of browsing software and research skills) and broader critical literacy skills (e.g., analysis and evaluation of information sources)" in the Internet era with vast amounts of information available online, much of which is of questionable quality [11, p. 113].

The difficulty and importance of managing the rapidly growing amount of information in modern information societies is recognized by governmental organizations, educational institutions and researchers. In the USA, Educational Testing Service (ETS) widely uses the term "ICT literacy" which was originally defined as "using digital technology, communications tools, and / or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society" [12, p. 4]. Later, two other important components were added to the definition: ICT literacy also implies the ability to define information, i. e. understanding and articulating the scope of an information problem in order to facilitate the electronic search for information; and to communicate information, i.e., disseminating information tailored to a particular audience in an effective digital format [13, p. 5].

In Russia, the new standards for different kinds of specializations in higher education, apart from specific professional skills and competencies to be developed, list such competencies as students' ability to apply the methods of accessing, storing, processing and managing information; their ability to use computers as tools for managing information; skills of working with information in global computer networks; the ability to use a foreign language to find and analyze information sources in that foreign language, to communicate orally and in written form [14].

Raising the question of developing ICT literacy in education, it is important to bear in mind that ICT literacy cannot be defined primarily as mastery of technical skills. In the ETS report it is pointed out that:

"the concept of ICT literacy should be broadened to include both critical cognitive skills as well as the application of technical skills and knowledge. These cognitive skills include general literacy, such as reading and numeracy, as well as critical thinking and problem solving. Without such skills, the panel believes that true ICT literacy cannot be attained" [12, p. 1].

In other words, technology skills cannot be developed in isolation, without the corresponding cognitive skills that are becoming increasingly critical. As search engines make accessing information almost trivial, it is quite easy for any person to access vast quantities of information without adequate understanding. Evaluating and synthesizing information found in a variety of sources requires advanced cognitive skills, "representing a literacy that is far beyond what is needed in a more constrained environment, such as with textbooks where all the information is contained within one source" [12, p. 6]. This simple example shows that while technology makes simple tasks easier, it places a greater burden on higher-level cognitive skills.

Egan and Katz [15] report on the preliminary findings of the research project conducted in the USA which dealt with iSkills assessment of more than ten thousand students at sixty-five institutions. The assessment showed that many participants experienced difficulties performing the tasks. For example, when asked to evaluate a set of websites, only 52% judged the objectivity of the site correctly and 65% judged the authority correctly. When asked to narrow an overly broad search, only 35% selected the correct revision.

Godwin-Jones, addressing the issue of students' coping with the online information overload, mentions the study carried out at Northwestern University which has shown that the ability to find and evaluate online information is not typical of students today. They tend to base their judgment about the validity of information solely on its ranking in the search results, not on the consideration of the sources' reliability [7, p. 5].

2. ICT literacies and EFL / ESP

Although the USA studies mentioned above did not involve learners of a foreign language, we could extrapolate that, if competent first language readers experience difficulties performing tasks connected with defining, accessing, managing, integrating, evaluating, creating and communicating information in their first language, then second language learners are also likely to find difficulty when they have to carry out the same kind of tasks, because, in most cases when they are on the Internet, they have to deal with information that is not in their native language. The conclusion which can be drawn here is that EFL / ESP students need to be trained in performing these cognitive tasks. Thus, one of the objectives of an ESP / EAP course should be to teach English in the way that will enable students to effectively use resources available online.

In the context of ESP / EAP, one of the teaching aims should be to develop those language skills, or sub-skills, which will help students improve their ICT use, make it more effective. This objective correlates with the ideas of Warschauer (2002) who argues that technologies in English language teaching should not be viewed only as tools to teach English effectively. He suggests that at the time when the Internet has become an essential medium of information exchange in economic, academic and civic affairs English language teaching curricula should address the issue of teaching English to help people use computers effectively [16]. Transferring these ideas to the context of learning the English of one's future profession, we consider that teachers should aim to develop those language skills that will enable students to use computers to solve academic and professional problems. The English language stops being an end in itself, it becomes one of the tools that enables students to make an effective use of ICT, to develop into higher-demand professionals and researchers.

As Winke and Goertler have demonstrated in their research into computer access and literacy of students on foreign language programs, students' computer literacy in the context of CALL has seen very little empirical investigation. Winke and Goertler state that "knowing what our students have and can do in terms of technology will help us design appropriate classes, training, and tech support" [17, p. 497]. We consider that it is also very important to know not only what our ESP students can do and have to do, but also what they need to do in terms of technology to successfully achieve their educational and professional goals.

3. ESP / EAP course books analysis

3.1. Methodology of materials selection

As practitioners working with Russian university students who train to become sociologists, managers or economists, we rarely find in English language course books tasks which are directly connected with the use of the Internet. Thus was born the idea to explore the existing published materials available to teachers in Russia written by Russian authors. As M. Bush writes, "despite the fact that textbook publishers expend significant effort to include computer-based ancillaries with many of their products, many teachers still rely primarily on the textbook alone" [18, p. 443]. And further: "A quick visit to almost any classroom in the country will reveal that the textbook remains the focal point of more activities than one might guess, given the array of possibilities available" [18, p. 447]. Although the country the author of the quotation refers to is clearly not Russia, nothing can be more true of the situation with classroom teaching in Russian universities. Teachers involved in ESP / EAP instruction at tertiary institutions would be those who teach to the book, prescribed by their administrations to choose the course book recommended for students of a certain specialism in the syllabus and to stick to it.

In order to see whether modern teaching materials, intended for people living in the information age, prepare English language learners to use the wealth of opportunities existing in the English part of the Web, we selected 30 ESP / EAP books for those who are either working in the respective field or studying to become a specialist in it. We restricted our analysis to course books and their components, as these are the materials students directly interact with.1 The working

1 See Appendix 1 for the list of books in the sample.

119

hypothesis based on our experience of teaching with EL course books by Russian authors, was that they, in all probability, would have hardly any tasks referring students to the Internet.

The criteria for the selection of the course books for the present study were:

- Date of publication: years 2007-2017.

- ESP or EAP focus.

- Level of the students' English language proficiency B1-B2.

- Books offered for purchase in major bookstores in 2017.

The English language course materials we reviewed were intended for audiences trained for a range of professions: travel and tourism, business, the humanities, medicine, social science, engineering, IT. The examination of their contents had as its aim the identification and analysis of the tasks that would refer learners to the most common modern source of information - the Internet -and would train them in applying it in their academic or professional activities.

Together with a number of authors cited earlier in this paper, we believe that a modern EL course book should train learners to effectively use the wealth of electronic resources available to them on an ever broadening scale. Besides, our belief is that if there is such a resource at the disposal of practically any student, then authors of teaching materials should exploit it, not only for the purpose of developing students' EL skills but also in order to enhance EL instruction both for teachers and learners.

3.2. Materials containing Internet-based activities

By carefully studying the contents of the ESP / EAP books selected, we discovered that only 20% of the total of the course books analyzed contain materials that would have tasks referring the learners to the Internet (5 out of 30 books). However, the nature of the tasks and the amount of such material vary significantly. There are a number of books where consistent application of tasks involving the Internet can be observed. These are two books by Russian authors: English: Stock Market and, English for Lawyers [19; 20]. These course books include parts which, as an element of their unit structure, contain activities which refer learners to the Internet to find information or materials on the topics studied in those units or modules. The tasks, usually at the end of each unit, have their own title, e. g. "On Line", "Internet exercise", and mostly contain instructions for students to look at specific sites, with the addresses often conveniently provided by the authors, and to collect information on the topic studied in the unit. In those books a typical instruction would run as follows: visit the site of a marketing / PR / trading company, study its contents and report about it in class. In one course book - Learning Business Communication in English [21] - the learners' task is made somewhat more challenging - the sites are not supplied and the students have to do the search by themselves, which we consider an improvement on those exercises that do not seem to trust the students with doing an independent search for information.

We did not find any books with a clear focus on teaching their students certain skills of working with the Internet. Much more common are the activities that simply instruct students to use the Internet to collect information and to report on the results: "Assess today's performance and key trends of global financial markets, deriving information from the Internet" [19, p. 39], or "Use the Internet to find some information about different study abroad programs" [20, p. 76] or simpler still: "Apply information from the Unit, look for extra information from different sources, mainly magazines, the Internet" [22, p. 174]. The authors of the books containing such tasks seem to have devised them on the assumption that their target audiences will know how to carry them out most efficiently and with satisfactory results.

One of the 30 course books, apart from the tasks dealing with search for information, direct their learners to such sites as www.reuters.com/video,www.forbes.com/video, www.bloomberg.com/video to expose them to authentic listening and viewing material [19]. This feature of the Internet seems to be undervalued and underutilized by authors of ESP course books in general.

Summarizing the information on the course books which contain tasks in one way or another utilizing resources of the Internet, we can say the following. Those few books which were identified

as referring students to the Internet in their tasks - about 20% of the sample - can be classified according to the purpose of Internet use:

1) To train other English language skills, e.g. doing online language tests or listening to podcasts (2 publications: Alekseeva and Skurova, 2010; Lapteva, 2013).

2) To serve as an instrument for integrated skills development, e.g. project work (4 course books - Iliady 2010; Alekseeva and Skurova, 2010; Garagulya, 2013; Lapteva, 2013).

The books which we put in the first group direct their learners to sites where they can use the Net in the "tool" role - learning to make presentations, listening to recordings and videos, taking notes, doing tests. English for Engineering (22)2 has a special site containing authentic audio and video materials from www.youtube.com. The tasks of this type in the course books are fairly standard - referring students to a number of sites prescribed by the authors with the instruction to listen to the news covering a specific topic and to report on it in class.

The second category of books in our sample are those that treat the Internet as a convenient resource to set up project work in the areas of professional interest of their target audiences. The common feature of Internet-based activities in these course books is that the authors do not provide their learners with any scaffolding - do not instruct them as to how the tasks could be performed more efficiently and with better results; they simply send them out there. Sometimes these tasks are prescriptive, telling the learners where to search for information (19); in some cases the tasks are of a more challenging type: with learners setting out on an independent search for the relevant information, which makes these activities a more valuable learning experience (21).

3.3. "No-Internet" course books

The books we analyzed can also be grouped by comparing other dimensions - the actual application of resources available on the Internet and the potential for its use. Thus, all of the ESP / EAP course books in the sample can be categorized as:

1) Those using Internet-based tasks (5 publications).

2) Those that do not have but might have included such tasks (4 publications).

3) Those that do not have such tasks and cannot have them within the methodological approach adopted by the authors (21 publications).

Having already discussed in detail the first group of materials, we will focus here on the more numerous groups (about 80% of the sample) of those books that do not have a single activity that would involve learners in applying Internet resources. On the one hand, there are books which contain project work activities where the Internet as a resource might have been an apt option. Examples of the tasks typical of these materials were cited earlier. Deserving special note are the course books for students of mathematics and engineering (published in Russia) where the units on computers and the Internet do not have a single task that would give the students an opportunity to experience the Internet live for the purposes of learning English or enhancing their knowledge in the professional sphere (23; 24).

It is interesting to try to identify the reasons for the choices the authors made when developing their materials. While the standpoint of those who do include Internet-based activities in their courses is clear, a question arises why the authors writing for students who need the skills considered to be essential for English language learners of the information age tend to overlook the advantages the Internet presents in this respect. To give an answer to this question, we will have to analyze the two sets of the course books in categories 2 and 3 in our list above separately.

Our analysis of the kind of activities ESP / EAP course books contain has revealed that in those books from category two which do not have a single reference to the Internet there is, however, room for including tasks which direct learners to use the Internet in their work on the language and skills. The instructions of the type: "Find some advertisements for jobs or study abroad programs. Look in newspapers or on the Internet" (22) could be transformed into more added-value tasks enhancing the students' skills of using the Internet.

2 Numbers in parenthesis refer to Appendix 1.

The last, and the largest, part of our list consists of course books where Internet-based tasks would not have fitted the general structure of the course and the methodology adopted by their authors. All of these books:

- have been written by Russian authors for the general purpose of teaching English to students at Russian universities;

- have a fairly narrow ESP focus;

- mostly contain specialist texts with comprehension questions on the contents, description of grammar rules, and grammar and vocabulary exercises often involving translation from and / or to the target language.

Starting with the characteristic listed last, we can say that this very feature is the one that can to an extent explain the total absence of any Internet-based tasks in this part of the sample. The grammar translation method adopted by most of the authors of these publications precludes meaningful application of the Internet. When the most typical instructions in the units are: "Read and translate the text" (25), "Find in the text and write down sentences containing verbs in the Passive Voice" (26), "Translate the given words and word combinations into English" (27), "Translate the following sentences into English" (28) there is no need whatsoever for such a tool as the Internet. What is more, even its potential as a source of information on the English language, e. g. on-line dictionaries and encyclopedias, or on the students' areas of specialization has been overlooked by the authors, though many of the reading texts these books abound in can be traced to Internet pages, Wikipedia, for instance, being a favorite of the authors of "English for Students of Economics" (28).

It should be pointed out here that all of the course books written by Russian authors and analyzed in this study are intended for college / university students of various specializations: business, law, engineering, biotechnology, land and cadastres, tourist industry. Traditionally, all university curricula in Russia contain a course in the English language, one of the major purposes of the course being to prepare students for the world of work in their chosen professional field. This unity of purpose seems to be the principal characteristic of all the course books by Russian authors in this study; however, they vary in their understanding of what skills their target audiences need or what communication in one's professional sphere involves.

Almost all of the authors claim that their materials aim to develop students' speaking skills within the studied topics or prepare them to communicate in their professional sphere. Yet, in most of the materials from 50% to 80% of the space is taken up by reading texts, often of significant length, typically exploited for vocabulary and grammar, a single exception being "English for Professional Communication in Law" where most of the page space is taken up by texts on the topic of the unit and lists of "words and expressions to be used in presentations" (29).

The difference in their methodological approaches clearly presents the major difference between ESP / EAP course books authored by native speakers and published internationally and those by Russian authors. Of the thirty books in our sample only five offer tasks that involve students in meaningful communication, having stated this as one of the aims; they are also the ones that have Internet-based activities. The conclusion that suggests itself after our analysis of the collected evidence is that until Russian materials writers change their methodological perspective on what should be developed within an ESP / EAP course and the ways to do it, there will be little or no place for the Internet and activities based on it in their books. However, the crucial question is: Do students feel the need to develop skills connected with the use of English resources on the Internet?

3.4. Focus group interviews

Apart from the analysis of selected course books, we were able to use the results of a study carried out by a group of students of sociology as their term project. They had conducted 2 focus groups with 14 students of economics, management, international relations, and political science from two universities - St. Petersburg State University and Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. The students' levels of English proficiency were intermediate and above.

The objectives of the focus group interviews were: 1) to explore whether the students used online information in English for their study purposes, 2) to identify difficulties (if any) which they

experienced using English websites, and 3) to obtain the students' opinion on how their ESP courses might be revised or developed to overcome those difficulties.

The data collected through focus group interviews demonstrate that all the students regularly used the Internet in their studies. When asked about the reasons for their use of English websites, the students mentioned that this helps them "to be informed about the latest news and trends in social and political life" and "to compare Russian and Western cultures", "to find information about study programs abroad", "to read e-books and journal articles" and "to write research papers". It is necessary to point out here that 3rd- and 4th-year students emphasized the importance of English online research publications for their studies, while 2nd-year students were more interested in English websites because they believed that the information given there was "more up-to-date".

The focus group interviews suggest that there is some correlation between the students' level of English and the extent of English websites usage: we found that students with a lower level of English proficiency (Intermediate) tend to avoid information in English, trying to find alternative Russian websites or using online translating programs. Students with a higher level of English, on the other hand, seem to draw more on English language websites.

In the interview, the students were asked a series of questions about their skills of finding and evaluating information in English. Some students admitted having problems when searching for relevant online data. Some respondents (three 2nd-year students) said that they "never pay attention to the quality of information as it is not significant", one of them adding that "it is rather difficult to distinguish between garbage and the information that is really worthy of your attention". These responses show that students do need some training in finding information and evaluating the retrieved sources.

The study has also revealed the areas that students named "most problematic" in their use of English language websites. The problems students experience might be divided into two groups: (1) language difficulties and (2) difficulties connected with reading skills. The first group includes "shortage of professional and general vocabulary", "difficulties in understanding academic and research English", "idioms and fixed expressions", "complex grammar structures." The other type of difficulties consists in inadequate development of such skills as scanning, skimming, reading for gist on the Internet. It is also worth mentioning that students had different opinions on the way research articles in English are structured: some students identified them as "rather complicated and not easy to understand", while others described them as "well-structured and quite easy to understand." This might suggest that not all the students were familiar with the genres of magazine / journal / research articles.

It has already been mentioned that one of the most important tasks in focus group interviews was to collect and analyze the students' opinions on what skills and ICT literacies might be developed or improved by their university ESP courses. For many students this question was rather unexpected, as they "had never looked at English classes from this perspective before". The students came up with different suggestions mostly concerning the development of language skills (including "studying new Internet English"). Many respondents agreed that they would benefit if in the ESP / EAP course they were provided with "useful links to good and reliable websites." This might imply either that they do not want to put much effort into finding and evaluating information and prefer it when somebody else (for example, their teacher) does this for them, or that the skills of finding, analyzing and evaluating information in English are underdeveloped. We are inclined to think that the latter explanation is more plausible because some participants pointed out that they needed "to be trained in searching for relevant information", "to develop skills to understand the main ideas of the text", "to improve the skills of grasping the most relevant information", "to understand the structure of a research article in English." One respondent suggested "combining English classes with classes in ICT".

The focus groups have shown that most students in our sample (10 out of 14) would like to improve their language skills to be able to efficiently and effectively use online resources for their study purposes. Referring to the definition of ICT literacy given earlier (13), we might conclude

that students do have difficulties defining, accessing, managing, and evaluating online information in English, and they do need training in these skills, because without them university students of the information age are likely to experience problems in their future academic and professional careers.

Conclusions and implications

Our analyses provide support for the hypothesis that most ESP / EAP course books that have come out in Russia over the last 10 years fail to make use of the Internet as a rich source of materials relating to students' areas of specialization, as a tool to facilitate the development of English language and professional communication skills, and as a training ground for students to practice and enhance their skills as users of Internet resources in the English language. This conclusion is especially true of the course books where the general methodological approach to teaching ESAP - still heavily reliant on the grammar translation method - precludes efficient use of the Internet.

As our results show, modern ESP / EAP course books could respond better to the needs of English language learners in colleges and universities if their authors took more into account the pace of ICT development, the level of young people's familiarity with modern information technologies, and the skills that students need to acquire in using the English language territory of the Internet.

References:

1. Hamp-Lyons, L. "English for Academic Purposes." Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning, edited by E. Hinkel. New York: Routledge, vol. 2, 2011, pp. 89-105.

2. Macia, E. A., Cervera, A. S., Ramos, C. R. (eds.) Information Technology in Languages for Specific Purposes: Issues and Prospects. New York: Springer, 2006.

iНе можете найти то, что вам нужно? Попробуйте сервис подбора литературы.

3. Prenski, M. H. Sapience Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom, 2010, http://www.wisdompage.com/Prensky01.html.

4. Kern, R. "Perspectives on Technology in Learning and Teaching Languages." TESOL Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 1, 2006, pp. 183-210.

5. Wu, S., Franken, M., Witten, I. H. "Refining the Use of the Web (and Web Search) as a Language Teaching and Learning Resource." Computer Assisted Language Learning, vol. 22, no. 3, 2009, pp. 249-268.

6. Murray, D. E., McPherson, P. "Scaffolding Instruction for Reading the Web." Language Teaching Research, vol. 10, no. 2, 2006, pp. 131-156.

7. Godwin-Jones, R. "Literacies and Technologies Revisited." Language Learning and Technology, vol. 14, no. 3, 2010, pp. 2-9.

8. McNabb, M. L., Hassel, B., Steiner, L. "Literacy Learning on the Net: An Exploratory Study." Reading Online, vol. 5, no. 10, 2002, http://www.readingonline.org/articles/ art_index.asp?HREF=mcnabb/index.html.

9. Shetzer, H., Warschauer, M. "An Electronic Literacy Approach to Network-Based Language Teaching." Network-Based Language Teaching: Concepts and Practice, edited by M. Warschauer and R. Kern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 171-185.

10. Snyder, I. "Silicon Literacies." Communication, Innovation and Education in the Electronic Age. Routledge, 2002.

11. Warschauer, M. Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.

12. Digital Transformation. A Framework for ICT Literacy A Report of the International ICT Literacy Panel, 2002, http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/ICTREPORT.pdf.

13. Katz, I. R. "Testing Information Literacy in Digital Environments: The ETS iSkills Assessment." Information Technology and Libraries, vol. 26, no. 3, 2007, pp. 3-12.

14. Federal State Educational Standards for Higher Education, http://fgosvo.ru/fgosvo/94/91/6.

15. Egan, T., Katz, I. R. "Thinking Beyond Technology. Using the iSkills Assessment as Evidence to Support Institutional ICT Literacy Initiative." Knowledge Quest, vol. 35, no. 5, 2007, pp. 36-42.

16. Warschauer, M. "A Developmental Perspective on Technology in Language Education." TESOL Quarterly, no. 36, 2002, pp. 453-475.

17. Winke, P., Goertler, S. "Did We Forget Someone? Students' Computer Access and Literacy for CALL." CALICO Journal, vol. 25, no. 3, 2008, pp. 482-509.

18. Bush, M. D. "Computer-Assisted Language Learning: From Vision to Reality?" CALICO Journal, vol. 25, no. 3, 2008, pp. 443-470.

19. Alekseeva, S. A., Skurova, A. V. English: Stock-Market. Moscow, 2010.

20. Iliadi, Yu. A. English for Lawyers. Moscow, 2010.

21. Garagulya, S. I. Learning Business Communication in English. Moscow, 2013.

22. Lapteva, E. Yu. English for Engineering. Moscow, 2013.

23. Agabekyan, I. P., Kovalenko, P. I. English for Students of Engineering. Moscow, 2011.

24. Shanshieva, S. A. English for Mathematicians. Moscow, 2014.

25. Veselovskaya, N. G. English: Land and Cadastres. Moscow, 2009.

26. Zhdanova, I. F., Skvortsova, M. V. Manual on Accounting. Moscow, 2010.

27. Bobyleva, S. V., Zhatkin, D. N. English for Students of Ecology and Biotechnology. Moscow, 2008.

28. Agabekyan, I. P., Kovalenko, P. I., Kudryashova, Y. A. English for Students of Economics. Moscow, 2010.

29. Artamonova, L. S. English for Professional Communication in Law. Problem Solving. Moscow, 2011. Appendix 1

ESP / EAP course books analysed

1. Agabekyan, I. P. A Course of English for Bachelor's Degree Students. Moscow, 2015.

2. Agabekyan, I. P., Kovalenko, P. I. English for Psychologists. Rostov-on-Don, 2014.

3. Agabekyan, I. P., Kovalenko, P. I. English for Students of Engineering. Moscow, 2011.

4. Agabekyan, I. P., Kovalenko, P. I., Kudryashova Yu. A. English for Students of Economics. Moscow, 2010.

5. Alekseeva, S. A., Skurova, A. V. English: Stock-Market. Moscow, 2010.

6. Alontseva, N. V., Yermoshin, Y. A. English for Managers. Moscow, 2012.

7. Artamonova, L. S. English for Professional Communication in Law. Problem Solving. Moscow, 2011.

8. Beksayeva, N. A. Business English in Tourism. Moscow, 2013.

9. Bzhiskaya, Y. V., Krasnova, E. V. English. Information systems and technologies. Rostov-on-Don, 2013.

10. Bobyleva, S. V., Zhatkin, D. N. English for Students of Ecology and Biotechnology. Moscow, 2008.

11. Burova, Z. I. Course of English for the Humanities. Moscow, 2014.

12. Dudkina, C. V., Pavlova, M. V., Rei, Z.G., Khvalnova, A. T. English for Businessmen. Moscow, 2017.

13. Garagulya, S. I. Learning Business Communication in English. Moscow, 2013.

14. Garagulya, S. I. Learning Building Construction in English. Rostov-on-Don, 2013.

15. Iliadi, Yu. A. English for Lawyers. Moscow, 2010.

16. Kolesnikova, N. L. Business Communication. Moscow, 2017.

17. Kitkova, N. G., Safyannikova, T. Y. Effective English for Geo-students. Moscow, 2007.

18. Koroleva, N. E.Barsegyan, E. Z., Serbinovskaya, A. M. English for Tourism. Moscow, 2009.

19. Kocharyan, Y. G. Professional English for Navigation. Moscow, 2013.

20. Lapteva, E. Y. English for Engineering. Moscow, 2013.

21. Makeeva, M.N. Business English for Students of Economics. Moscow, 2016.

22. Muraveyskaya, M. S., Orlova, L. K. English for Students of Medicine. Moscow, 2010.

23. Nekhaeva, G. B., Pichkova, V. P. Business English in Practice. Moscow, 2016.

24. Radovel', V. A. English in the Field of Information Technology. Moscow, 2013.

25. Turuk, I. F., Morozenko, V. V. A Course of Business English Learning. Moscow, 2014.

26. Veselovskaya, N. G. English: Land and Cadastres. Moscow, 2009.

27. Volegova, O. A. English for Bachelor Students of Management. Rostov-on-Don, 2013.

28. Zhdanova, I. F., Skvortsova, M. V. Manual on Accounting. Moscow, 2010.

29. Zhuravlyova, R. I. English for Students of Mining and Geology. Rostov-on-Don, 2013.

30. Shanshieva, C. A. English for Mathematicians. Moscow, 2014.

Кузнецова Л. Б.

Санкт-Петербургский Государственный университет, Санкт-Петербург, Россия

Щемелева И. Ю.

Российский государственный исследовательский университет Высшая школа экономики,

Санкт-Петербург, Россия

РОССИЙСКИЕ УЧЕБНИКИ АНГЛИЙСКОГО ЯЗЫКА ДЛЯ ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНЫХ И АКАДЕМИЧЕСКИХ ЦЕЛЕЙ: ГОТОВЯТ ЛИ ОНИ СПЕЦИАЛИСТОВ ИНФОРМАЦИОННОГО ВЕКА?

В наше время трудно представить себе профессию, представители которой не использовали бы Интернет. Однако, умеют ли студенты современного вуза в полной мере использовать англоязычные ресурсы Интернета? Целью данного исследовательского проекта было проанализировать материалы учебников английского языка, изданных в России для студентов различных специальностей, и определить, готовят ли их эти учебники к эффективной работе с англоязычными ресурсами Интернета. Содержатся ли в них задания, обучающие таким навыкам? Чтобы найти ответ на этот вопрос, авторы проанализировали материалы 30 учебников английского языка, изданных за последние 10 лет для российских вузов. Целью было определить, содержат ли они задания, развивающие навыки эффективного использования ресурсов Интернета на английском языке. Свидетельством о том, что студентам действительно нужны такие навыки, послужили результаты небольшого исследования студентов-социологов, проведенного в двух университетах. Однако анализ учебников российских авторов для студентов неязыковых специальностей, обучающихся английскому языку, показал, что в большинстве из них нет заданий, нацеленных на развитие таких умений.

Ключевые слова: учебники английского языка для академических и профессиональных целей, изданные в России; развитие умений пользоваться англоязычными ресурсами Интернета; типы учебных заданий; потребности студентов вуза, изучающих английский язык.

Сведения об авторах:

Кузнецова Людмила Борисовна, канд. филол. наук, доцент, Санкт-Петербургский Государственный университет (г. Санкт-Петербург); e-mail: ldm.kuznetsova@gmail.com.

Щемелева Ирина Юрьевна, руководитель департамента иностранных языков, доцент, Национальный исследовательский университет, Высшая школа экономики, Санкт-Петербург (г. Санкт-Петербург); e-mail: ishemeliova@hse.ru.

i Надоели баннеры? Вы всегда можете отключить рекламу.