Global Issues in ESP Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education
Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, global competence, global issues, professional skills, soft skills, life skills, global citizen, world citizen
Since the introduction of the global education approach, the focus in a foreign language teaching context has switched to making sure that students not only effectively acquire the foreign language as a means of personal or professional communication, but also gain understanding, skills, and commitment to become truly global citizens and make their contributions to dealing with global problems. It is quite challenging for educators, including ESP teachers, to transform teaching and learning into a process which focuses both on equipping students to be successful learners of the target language and making them more aware and respectful to their surroundings. Thus, this study aims to analyse key challenges that ESP teachers and learners face in their classrooms and suggest a way of integrating global issues into the process of development of professional soft and hard skills. The paper outlines the correlation between professional soft and hard skills and global competence in ESP classes, describes the advantages of introduction of the material based on global issues into ESP classes and positive effects of fusing of professional soft and hard skills and global competence. The paper concludes that this fusion improves the skillset of a future professional and has a positive impact on the quality of higher education in general.