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English for Specific Purposes World

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CHALLENGES IN ESP: TEACHING MILLENNIALS

Galina Kavaliauskienė

Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania

Abstract

Comparing students’ self-assessment notes with the statistical analysis of their responses allows to conclude that students’ main sources of difficulty are ESP vocabulary: the Means are 2.11 for the 1st sample and 2.53 for the 2nd sample. The second difficulty is speaking on professional issues without preparation (impromptu): the Means are 2.26 and 2.05, respectively. Similar findings were reported by Evans and Morrison (2011). Participation in discussions proved to be intermediate: it scored 3.05 and 2.89, respectively. Listening (either online or traditional) skills scored the highest – the Means are 3.47 and 3.84. It is essential to keep in mind that scores of 1 and 2 have a negative meaning (very difficult and difficult), while scores of 4 and 5 have a positive meaning, i.e. easy and very easy. However, neither reading nor writing caused any problems to our undergraduates – opposite to what was reported by Evans and Morrison (2011).

In spite of some similarities in language learning attitudes between the Millennials in Canada (Berman and Cheng, 2001), Hong Kong (Evans and Morrison, 2011) and Eastern Europeans (current research), some differences should be emphasized. They basically concern the personalities of learners. Learners of Gen Y in Canada, Mexico (Reilly, 2012) and Hong Kong are confident and achievement-oriented while East European generation Y is not confident, needs feedback and guidance.

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