Developing foreign language communicative competence of the academic staff at a technical university
The paper discusses the issue of the development of the English speaking communicative competence at a technical university, which is thought to have become one of the most essential skills of today’s university staff. Due to this, many of the Russian universities are now reconsidering professional requirements to the staff, believing that good knowledge of English could contribute to faster integration of their universities into global scientific community. National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia, has designed a number of professional training programmes for the English language acquisition tailored to the specific needs of the academics. The paper focuses on the course outline “English for Scientific and Academic Communicative Purposes” aimed to develop foreign language communicative competence for professional communication within academic society at the level B1/B2 (Independent User) of European communicative competences. During the course, which has been primarily created for the staff of a technical university, the major features of the academic style of communication, academic grammar and vocabulary as well as the structure of the presentation and the ways of presenting scientific contents are studied and practised. Consequently, upon completing the course, the university staff are able to share the results of their professional activity with their foreign colleagues. The learners are expected to obtain the skills of making and delivering a presentation on their professional profile, duties, and challenges, which appears to be one of the major outcomes of the programme.