Warm-Up as a Means of Fostering Target-Language Performance in a Particular English Class
Keywords:warm-ups, English for specific purposes, cadets, target-language performance, particular English class
AbstractThe article concerns the problem of fostering future border guard officers’ target-language performance by means of warming-up activities. The aim of the article is to track and validate the influence of warming-up activities on the effectiveness of teaching English for Specific Purposes to the cadets of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi National Academy of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Regular introduction of the cadets to the warming-up activities during the English classes has enhanced cadets’ target-language performance and communicative competence as well as provided them with reallife contexts and settings, and therefore with adaptable and transferrable skills they can apply in all areas of their academic and professional life including interviewing travelers or impostors on the border. Our hypothesis is that warming-up activities contribute to cadets’ target-language performance in a particular class. It was verified by the experiment which was conducted in 2017-2018 in the form of an interview based on quasi-professional communication with the second year cadets (120 people) of “Law” specialty at Bohdan Khmelnytskyi National Academy of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. The analysis of the final control assessments conducted by means of using specially adopted the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG 6001) table of language proficiency levels for the future border guards’ language requirements, basic terms and procedures demonstrated that warm-ups is a performance potential for cadets of different educational levels and can be used in diverse contexts including real communicative situations in which they learn to solve problems. Analysis has shown that due to the regular use of warming-up activities while conducting a particular English class, the quality of target-language performance has increased, which was confirmed by the cadets’ academic scores. The result of the experiment gives credence to the assertion made earlier that warm-ups does their job: the cadets’ target-language performance in experimental groups has improved at 8.02 (from 78.72 to 86.74), which is much higher than in control groups at 2,65 (from 79.69 to 82.34). It is safe to say that instructors should take advantage of warming-up activities to catch cadets’ attention, promote motivation and interaction, practice and experiment with the language, which will “at the end of the day” lead to target-language performance enhancement.
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