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ITMO University has recently hosted the fourth international More than ESP conference. The purpose of the conference is to promote and explore the field of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) as well as other cutting-edge areas of English language learning. For the first time in its history, the event was held entirely online with over 300 participants from nearly 20 countries around the world and about 70 cities across Russia.
The NATE 2019 Jubilee Convention was held at ITMO University on April 17-19 and brought together nearly 400 English language teachers from around Russia and 20 international guests. The participants met new colleagues and shared their knowledge and inspiration amid the event's warm and welcoming atmosphere.
In our global world, English is being increasingly regarded as an inevitable necessity, the common global language that everyone has to learn. The main problem with that is that native English speakers have an advantage over non-native speakers, and it feels like a new round of colonialism, noted Karen Barto, a teacher of English as a Second Language from the University of Arizona, who came to ITMO University to the More than ESP conference. Ms. Barto also told ITMO.NEWS about why you can’t judge people by how they speak English and why the most important thing is to be open-minded.
People all over the world are still reluctant to learn new languages – even English, which is commonly seen as the new global language. We spoke about this topic with Robert Cote, Director of the Writing Skills Improvement Program at the University of Arizona, who came to ITMO University for the ESP Conference. Robert explained why no one can ever fully learn a language, why it’s important to start soon and why language learning can never work without tutors and group work.
Research shows that the English language education industry continues to grow worldwide, and demand for training will keep growing. Yet today, the usual “teacher – student” process is joined by a third party – digital technologies. Duncan Christelow, business development manager at Cambridge University Press, who came to ITMO University for the second international conference More than ESP: Empowering Students to Progress, explains how the right combination of digital and print content can facilitate effective learning of the English language.