Joint American-Hungarian Course at the Faculty of Humanities

International Speaking Skills Program (ISSD), a joint seminar course designed by the Institute of English and American Studies of the UD and US-based Indiana University to support the development of English language skills and linguistic competence has been successfully implemented recently.

The pioneer course has been completed by as many as 36 students in the BA and the teacher-training and linguistics MA programs.

The course started on February 13 with a placement interview and closed on April 24 with a final examination. The students had a chance to develop their communication skills in English with the help of tasks and exercises based on real-life situations under the guidance of 10 students in the teaching BA program and 6 senior students from Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) during the course of 7 seminar classes of 2 times 50 minutes each. The classes were held on Saturday afternoons in small-size classes of 6 students by 2 or 3 mentor-students from Bloomington through the Zoom application.

“First-year students enrolled in the English studies and the teacher training programs were divided into five groups and learned about how to communicate efficiently in a variety of situations at the workplace, including job interviews, preparing presentations, solving problems related to international travel, planning, discussions and participation in conference calls. In another group, the development of skills required for academic activities was facilitated for six MA students, four in the linguistics program, one in teacher training and one in English studies. They had a chance to find out about and practice how to conduct a discussion on academic publication, how to contact a researcher if they wish to ask him or her about a specific research topic and how to present their own research findings at a conference,” said Assistant Professor of the Department of English Linguistics Éva Kardos to the portal

Both the Debrecen students and the Bloomington students got credits for completing the course. The Bloomington students prepared the lesson plans under the guidance of Beatrix Burghardt, who works at the Indiana University Department of Second Language Studies, while the coordination tasks on the Hungarian side were orchestrated by Assistant Professor Éva Kardos at the Department of English Linguistics of the University of Debrecen.

According to the feedback received from the students participating in the course, ISSD was a big success both in Debrecen and in Bloomington, so the second international language course in the upcoming academic year may be offered for even more participants than the first one was.

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