We are happy to announce that the in-house multiplication training on ESP launched at Vanadzor State University on 28 March within the frame of Erasmus +‘‘Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in order to improve Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization’’ (SMARTI) Project has successfully been completed. The three -hour face-to-face sessions devoted to ESP (English for specific purposes) and EMI (English as a means of instruction) methodologies as well as academic writing peculiarities were mainly based on the materials provided during the ESP/ECTS Tuning Modular Training held at the Catholic University of Porto, Portugal on January 16-22, 2022. The trainings were conducted by Lusik Vardanyan, local project coordinator, Associate Professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature and Nune Khublaryan, Assistant Professor of the Chair of Mathematics and Informatics, both of whom participated in the training sessions at UCP.
During the first session, L. Vardanyan briefly presented the SMARTI Project highlighting the main activities carried out and the tangible outcomes achieved so far. She also underlined the importance of the ESP training for the VSU academic staff who are expected to implement and/or teach courses or modules in English within two Academic Programs (Bachelor Program “English Language and Literature” and Master Program “Software Engineering”). The choice of English as the working language during the training was largely substantiated by this factor. However, the language didn’t seem to be a barrier for the SMARTI VSU working team and the internal stakeholders (VSU Rector, Vice-rector for Academic Affairs, Head of Educational Process Management Department, Deans of the Faculties, Heads of the Chairs, administrative and academic staff representatives and bachelor/master students) to be actively involved in heated yet lovely and helpful discussions that followed presentations on academic writing techniques and strategies. The participants definitely enriched their knowledge and skills of making effective presentations, interpreting different graphs and charts, identifying the main differences between formal and informal writing in general, and between the
types of cover letters in particular.
The in-house multiplication training on ECTS conducted at Vanadzor State University on 3-9 April within the frame of Erasmus +‘‘Support for Innovative Methodology, Approaches and Tools for Teaching through the Medium of English in order to improve
Educational Yield, Sustainability and Internationalization’’ (SMARTI) Project has been brought to the successful achievement of the main objectives of the three-day training sessions. The key topics were related to the primary approaches of Tuning Methodology,
the Tuning Project, the key features of ECTS as well as Bloom’s revised Taxonomy analysed from the perspective of knowledge and cognitive process dimensions.
The participants’ fruitful collaboration and active engagement in lively discussions during the workshops livened up “the academic atmosphere” and helped them considerably to overcome the language barriers which at first seemed rather unsurmountable especially to those with a fairly low English proficiency level. Surprisingly enough, even these participants managed to successfully deal with nearly all the tasks and activities assigned at the end of each session. The training was an excellent opportunity for the participants to share their knowledge and perception of the main priorities of the 21st century teaching, learning and assessment, more specifically, the means that are making the transition from lower order thinking skills (LOTS) to higher order thinking skills (HOTS) possible.
We can definitely state that the training had its intended result due to the team’s high morale and “the spirit of compromise” which was easily perceived from the outset: first contributing to the training process and then benefiting from its outcomes. It is this spirit that made the whole training procedure smooth and enjoyable for everyone.
On 22 April, 2022, the closing event of the in-house training entitled “ESP andECTS/Tuning Modular Training” organized from 28 March to 9 April, 2022 within the frame ofthe SMARTI Project was held at Vanadzor State University.
The training sessions were attended by 22 participants (VSU academic and administrative staff, as well as students). During the awarding ceremony the VSU Rector, Dr. Prof. Rustam Saakyan, and the SMARTI Project Local Coordinator, Dr. Lusik Vardanyan, welcomed the participants emphasizing the fact that a team of academic staff willing to teach modules in a foreign language has already been formed. They expressed words of appreciation to the participants for creating a welcoming and productive atmosphere during the training. The Rector, also being one of the participants in the training, thanked Lusik Vardanyan for her great efforts and patience in organizing the productive course.
L. Vardanyan gladly noted that despite the fact that the participants’ level of English was different, it did not prevent them from having a lively and effective collaboration during the lessons, since both the lecturers and the students were enthusiastically involved in all the activities, efficiently completing not only in-class but also home assignments.
The participants of the course expressed their gratitude to the organizers, in particular, Lusik Vardanyan, for her high professionalism, great dedication, and the unique course design, which resulted in acquiring not only English skills, but also the knowledge related to a wide range of academic topics.
The successful completion of the training greatly motivated and encouraged the participants to deepen their knowledge and skills gained in the respective field.