The British Council Romania EWoW project was set up in 2003 with endorsement from Romania’s Ministry of Education and National Centre for Vocational Education and Training, and consultancy from the University College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, UK.
Client, stakeholders, partners
- Ministry of Education
- National Centre for Vocational Education and Training, Romania
- University College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, UK
English for Specific Purposes
The project’s objective was to develop English language skills, methods and materials in technical vocational schools. It aimed to encourage student-centred learning, to increase awareness of the needs of industry and other sectors, and to enhance young people’s employability. The context of the project was the need to focus the learning of English on the real purposes of the world of work, and the lack of a specific curriculum for English in vocational schools. Its objectives were in line with the provisions of the Romanian vocational education reform agenda, within the European context.
Innovative features of the project included: students’ input into the development of the project, and the interdisciplinary co-operation between English language teachers, vocational subject teachers and industry representatives.
Strengthening links between vocational schools and the world of work was a key objective; most of the research was conducted in the companies with which the schools have links. The vocational domains in which the teams worked were: tourism, hotels and catering, economics, accounting, electronics, telecommunications, mechanics, navigation and maritime studies, computer studies, construction, sports, the environment and postal services.
In the first year of the project, the school teams worked on identifying students’ English language learning needs for the specific vocational domain. In the second year, the students worked together with their teachers on designing suitable classroom materials to reflect the aspects of the language they had identified.
Some 4,500 students benefited from the project between 2004-2007, and more continue to benefit, supported by the project website which is used by teachers and students, ensuring the project’s sustainability.
What the stakeholders say
The EWoW website is the best tool the schools have to get the students involved in their own learning.
Z.S, Inspector, National Vocational Centre
We hope this is just the beginning; we would like more of the high school students to be trained through projects like this. They would be better equipped for their future jobs, the level of requirements at recruitment would be higher, and this is better for the maritime domain and for the economic sector in general.
Gh. R, Engineer, Romanian Maritime Authority
I understood how important English is to get around in the world of work. And I will work on it.