One of the problems that faces many English as Second Language (read ESP, ESL, EFL, TEFL, TESOL, TOEFL etc.) teachers is that students expect the teacher to be incredibly knowledgeable about everything ! By using the methods below in the example lesson - actually you will probably need at least two lessons - you can give your students "real world" English in their specific field, help them improve their industrial jargon AND understand how companies in their sector express themselves in written English. You will also pick up quite a lot of useful materials that can be used in future lessons. It's quite a nice little exercise for everyone involved!
The Internet offers some truly unique opportunities that can give teaching new impetus and be quite a lot of fun for the students. One of these new opportunities is the ability to translate an entire Internet page from English into a target language, or, vice-versa, translate from another language into English. This ability to translate from English into a target language is especially important in business English. Learners can quickly improve specific target vocabulary, improve writing style. Most importantly, ESP (English for Specific Purposes) students get a feel for how English is used in their applied field.
The following lesson was prepared for a group of students preparing for jobs in freight forwarding, shipping and port activities. While this lesson is applied to port activities, the concepts can be easily transferred to other ASP fields. Phase one: Vocabulary and Grammar
- Go to the following to find an example page in English and translate English terms into Italian ( Note: choose target language ) - feel free to work with your partners.
- Find the English mistakes on an Italian Shipping Page. Which Italian phrases do you think the company translated directly from Italian? ( Note: choose an appropriate page in English prepared by a company residing in your students' nation )
Go to one of these search engines:
Enter some of the follow keywords: Freight Forwarder, Shipping Agencies, Port or other words that have to do with work in a commercial port. ( Note: provide suitable keywords for your students' needs. Better yet, have them come up with the keywords! )
Find a document that talks about the kind of work that you would like to do in the port.
Translate that document into Italian. Using the original document in English, correct the Italian Note: (choose appropriate language) document so that it reads more naturally in Italian. Follow these steps:
- Find the document you want to translate
- Translate the document by going to babelfish.altavista.com
- Copy the original English document AND the Italian translation of that document into a new document in Word.
- Correct the Italian version so that it makes sense
Now, do the same procedure. However, this time find a document in Italian from an Italian port site (use a search engine to find an appropriate site) and translate the document into English. Then try to improve the English so that it reads more naturally. Ken will come around to help you with your English!
Note: Finally, you can provide a list of useful URLs that you have found using a search engine (I find that http://www.google.com gives me the most specific results).
Weather Forecast Terminology
Maritime Glossary for Shippers provided by SeaLand (one of the big guys!)
Yellow Pages for Freight Forwarders around the World including addresses and URLs (Internet site links)
http://www.worldyellowpages.com/freight.htm Summary The above lesson helps students by:
- Expanding vocabulary
- Learning to recognize common mistakes made by other speakers of their native tongue when translating to English
- Use the new vocabulary actively by discussing a FAQ
- Recognize the differences between their native language and English in standard written forms
- Create documents while recycling terminology
- Provide useful English resources for their specific English needs for future reference