The dissolution of the Soviet Empire in 1991 has challenged the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to grapple with an issue that had been avoided and postponed during the Cold War - how to give specific and practical content to the Alliance’s long-standing vision of a peaceful political order in Europe. This paper examines the galvanizing role of language in forging a solid discourse aimed at initiating and consolidating cooperation between the Alliance and its former adversaries in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Drawing on discourse analysis as a method of qualitative investigation, the present linguistic exploration of military discourse focuses on a number of NATO official documents that reify the Alliance’s determination to contribute to the construction of a more secure transatlantic environment
The new requirements regarding the professionalization of the Romanian armed forces derived from our country’s becoming a NATO and EU member state. The challenges of the 21st century battlefield demand the development not only of certain soldierly skills, but also of the abilities to properly function in a multicultural context. The cadets of the military academies are the future officers that will operate in the international theatres of operations. Being engaged in multinational formations and having to work side by side with foreign military personnel, our cadets need to have a good command of the English language, as well as to acquire and develop the intercultural skills necessary to appropriately function in a multicultural environment. Thus, a shift in the curricula of the Romanian military academies has been made, from an emphasis on the transmission of knowledge content to a focus on relating language to the target culture and developing cadets’ linguistic and intercultural competences. This paper suggests some methods and techniques that have proven efficient when teaching basic military English in the Land Forces Academy.
Educators generally concur to the idea that one of the most essential goals of schooling is to empower students to become efficient problem solvers for the knowledge-based society. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional methodology mainly focused on developing students’ abilities to deal with solving realistic issues by employing team-oriented strategies. The present paper discusses the opportunities of integrating PBL in the teaching of English for specific purposes, starting from the firm belief that by putting students in the role of effective collaborators, critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and capable communicators, the proposed strategies efficiently prepare cadets for real-life environments, for the challenges of their professional careers, and for an active citizenship. Drawing on a solid theoretical conceptualization of problem-based instruction, the article outlines the advantages of PBL for both teachers and students and proposes a series of practical strategies that are intended to facilitate our cadets’ development in four key skills – critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration, –with the help of project-based learning.
Writing has traditionally been a neglected area of foreign language teaching, and most probably the least popular skill to acquire among students. However, it has lately emerged as an important element of the communication dyad, which also involves speaking, i.e. the oral manifestation of social interaction and exchange of information. When explaining writing in practical terms, the focus falls on showing that there should be a link between real-life needs and instruction, both from the perspective of the language and from that of the task. Understanding writing systematically not only guarantees successful writing outcomes, but also leads to the acquisition of a secondary set of language-related abilities: an informed selection of grammar and lexical structures; a logical pattern of organization in the development of ideas; an appropriate choice of register and style; an overall better approach to writing tasks and contextualizations. This article aims to discuss writing as a productive skill while proposing six different approaches that successfully marry both the linguistic dimension and the task-related awareness students need to acquire in order to successfully express themselves in written forms.
Lecturing is a wide spread teaching approach used in many university settings. As a didactic technique aimed at transmitting information, lecturing is, by definition, a receptive-oriented method of presenting content and offering explanations. The effectiveness of lectures has often been subject to debate; however, when delivered properly, lectures can be effective. The issue discussed in the present paper is aligned with earlier concerns regarding ways of transforming lectures into more engaging and creative classes. In the current educational context, typified by a high degree of complexity, participative communication, and great dynamism, making lectures interactive and more energetic does, indeed, become a practical and a timely endeavour. The paper looks at ways of implementing effective interactive lecturing strategies, analyses the advantages of this approach and proposes practical activities to improve lectures in order to transform a traditionally passive learning experience in an enriching and stimulating educational environment for educators and students alike.