Panel discussion

Mentoring and coaching oral communication—classroom
skills and theory meet real-life training

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Organizer: Mary Ellen Kerans
Friday 27, 10:10-11:20, Room 2

Writing well is necessary but insufficient for successful participation at the highest levels of international communication. Oral communication in formal and informal situations is an essential skill for researchers who want to bring their written work to the attention of others at academic events or when speaking to representatives of institutions or the general public. In business or institutional settings, effective formal or impromptu speaking in English is also a central concern.

This panel discussion will describe situations in which language experts have moved outside traditional language teaching curricula to foster acquisition of oral presentation skills, by focusing on how to interweave written and spoken forms of language, visual display and paralinguistic modes of communication.

Mary Ellen Kerans (organizer), freelance translator, editor and oral communications coach, Barcelona, Spain, has worked in publishing, academics (English for specific purposes teaching and curriculum design), and translation. The content-and-language-integrated-learning (CLIL) project presented in this panel takes place at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

Angel Cardama, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Professor Cardama will discuss how and why a CLIL project (the course Critical Thinking and Scientific Writing) was conceived, how oral communication is tightly interwoven with reading and writing, how techniques from linguistics are used by the engineering content teachers in the course, and when and how the language expert is asked to intervene.

Jeffrey Breyer has over 20 years experience designing and directing international communication and instructional programs for corporations, universities and governments in North America, Europe and Asia. He has worked closely with managers and senior executives on developing communication skills, enabling them to become more effective leaders in their respective professions. Currently Mr. Breyer serves as professor in the full-time MBA programme at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In addition, he continues to work as a professional development consultant in the private sector and will discuss how he coaches speakers on controlling the subliminal messages that change attitudes and behavior.

Jura Žymantas, instructor of English for specific purposes in business at ESADE in Barcelona, Spain. She will describe a brief intervention project in which language experts shadow business executives in order to analyze needs and enhance acquisition of English communication skills in a natural setting for a set time period just before major business events take place.