English for specific purposes & public speaking. Comparative study.
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A large part of a university ESP (English for Specific Purposes) course is dedicated to developing public speaking skills. It is mainly done through presentations on students’ subject matter. This transferable skill is much appreciated by all professional subject teachers, as well as by future employers. Some students of Mykolas Romeris University -The Debate Club members – have achieved impressive results on the national and international level. However, in practice during classes and seminars very few students are willing to present their research findings in public at the beginning of their academic undertaking. The authors made a comparative study of responses by Lithuanian and multinational foreign students, who study at Mykolas Romeris University. The aims of the research have been to identify the students’ attitude towards academic public speaking in English and the causes of a sometimes reluctant/poor accomplishment of the task. The objectives of this research were to examine learners’ views on preparing and delivering presentations; to explore strengths and weaknesses in public speaking of different cultural background learners’ and to deduce some elements vital in teaching to master speaking skills. The research employed a survey of students’ responses to a specially designed questionnaire. These responses revealed learners’ attitudes towards speaking in front of the audience and the perceptions of individual difficulties in preparation and delivery stages. Learners’ responses to questions are diagrammed in charts and presented in the article.
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