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Cabin Crew English
- Cabin Crew English
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- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Deborah Sukyung Chin
Many in South Korea are exerting great efforts to enhance their English skills. However, learners have difficulties communicating in English and experience a lack of confidence about producing meaningful language based on what they learn throughout their years of education (Kim, 2004). This is especially an issue for adult learners when they seek employment opportunities that require proficient language abilities (Shin, 2014). Currently employment as a cabin crew is a popular career in the Korean job market (Cain, 2013). In addition, many are trying to enter foreign airlines due to the financial benefits and cultural experiences they can gain by working for foreign airlines (Stuart, 2011). As a result of conducting a quantitative survey on major bookstores, it seems the available published resources are mainly focused on interview techniques and lack in language support and practical activities. Therefore, applicants have to register for costly flight attendant academies for resources and classes that are exclusively provided to the attendees.
Considering these conditions, the purpose of my portfolio is to create a textbook for students who are preparing to apply to foreign airlines by including practical resources and authentic language customized for students in South Korea. The textbook will be designed in a way where it can also be used for independent study. The group of students that I seek to address is university and adult students between the ages of 23-27 years old. The English proficiency level of the students is between intermediate high and advanced low based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guideline and have previous English education experiences in public school and also through private tutoring and institutes. My targets have lower communication skills in comparison to their receptive skills due to the lack of communicative opportunities. They need to acquire communicative tasks that will help them to successfully understand the professional skills required in the work field. Moreover, they have to find an appropriate balance between accuracy and fluency and build up their confidence in communicating.
Method and rationale
I am going to base this textbook on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) as the main theoretical approaches of my textbook. ESP is designed so that the main goal of learning a language is based on the learners’ specific needs in reaching the goals (McDonough, 1998). In addition, TBLT is an approach that applies tasks as a principal condition for language instruction (Richard & Rodgers, 2001). Accordingly, applying TBLT makes way for language to be acquired meaningfully and communicatively while being engaged in tasks (Howatt, 1984). Here, tasks refer to “a piece of classroom work which involves learners in comprehending, manipulating, producing, or interactive in the target language while their attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form” (Nunan, 1989, p.10). The textbook will be based on the six-steps presented by Nunan. These tasks will give support so that they can perform specific occupational related tasks successfully by the end of each unit. Moreover, TBLT approach will promote confidence in communication skills for the target students as they perceive accomplishment upon completion of different tasks (Willis & Willis, 2007).
The textbook consists of 10 units divided into three parts which consist of the application stage, interview situation, and professional English required in in-flight situations. The task cycle of Nunan consists of six different steps including schema building, controlled practice, listening practice, finding details, linguistic elements, free practice, and the final pedagogical task (Nunan, 1989). Each unit will be based on this cycle but it may be modified in some units as I will build more linguistic background before students begin the actual practice.
To help prepare my students, video clips and personal questions will be used to help scaffold students’ understanding with ‘Vocabulary Zone.’. This will be followed by the ‘Comprehension Zone’ with controlled practice where I will present target languages through creative activities or authentic dialogues. Then, students will listen to the conversation again and they will be asked to find specific details by listening more closely with ‘Listen/Watch and Understand.’
After this, students will get to focus on linguistic elements in the ‘Analyze and Practice’ section. With this, students can gain practice as they become engaged in pair work to use the target language and practice what they learned through the ‘Say It with Confidence’ stage. This will build up to the final pedagogical task where the class will come together for an interactive group work for students to demonstrate what they learned through the ‘Cabin Crew Action’ section (Nunan, 2004). The language skills incorporated in the textbook will differ in the units in relation to the specific language goals of the tasks (Freeman & Anderson, 2011). For instance, writing would be the focus for the unit on ‘Cover letter and Resume.’ Meanwhile, the unit on ‘In-flight Announcements’ involves speaking and listening skills with tasks that will support the students in the actual work field.
Following the increasing number of people advancing to foreign airlines in South Korea, the purpose of my textbook is to prepare adult learners to become successful cabin crew. It will include authentic materials and students will become engaged in opportunities to practice. The textbook is based on Task-Based Language Teaching and English for Specific Purposes, where specific task stages will prepare students and help them practice for the final task. Accordingly, it will help my targets to perform specific tasks so that they can become competent English speakers in the work field and build confidence about their language skills.
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