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Medicina (Kaunas). 2010;46(1):51-60.

Specialist English as a foreign language for European public health: evaluation of competencies and needs among Polish and Lithuanian students.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Medicine, Kaunas University of Medicine, A. Mickeviciaus, Kaunas, Lithuania. linas.sumskas@kmu.lt

Abstract

Foreign languages are becoming an essential prerequisite for a successful carrier among all professions including public health professionals in many countries. The expanding role of English as a mode of communication allows for university graduates to project and to seek their career in English-speaking countries. The present study was carried out in the framework of EU Leonardo da Vinci project "Specialist English as a foreign language for European public health." The study aimed to get a deeper insight how the English language is perceived as a foreign language, by Polish and Lithuanian public health students, what is level of their language competence, which level of English proficiency they expect to use in future.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

A total of 246 respondents completed the special questionnaires in autumn semester in 2005. A questionnaire form was developed by the international project team. For evaluation of English competences, the Language Passport (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of Council of Europe) was applied.

RESULTS:

Current self-rated proficiency of the English language was at the same level for Lithuanian (3.47+/-1.14) and Polish (3.31+/-0.83) respondents (P>0.05). Majority of respondents (88.6% of Lithuanian and 87.8% of Polish) reported using the English language for their current studies. Respondents reported a significant increase in necessity for higher level of English proficiency in future: mean scores provided by respondents changed from B1 level to B2 level. Respondents gave priority to less formal and practice-based interactive English teaching methods (going abroad, contacts with native speakers) in comparison with theory-oriented methods of learning (self-studying, Internet courses).

CONCLUSIONS:

Similar levels of English language in all five areas of language skills were established in Polish and Lithuanian university students. Respondents gave more priorities to less formal and practice-based interactive English teaching methods (going abroad, contacts with native speakers) in comparison with theory-oriented or classroom-based methods of learning (self-studying, Internet courses). Survey showed a growing interest of students in improving English language in the future in Poland and Lithuania.

PMID:
20234164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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