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DAVID BONAMY

DAVID BONAMY

Vocational English Series Editor

David Bonamy has over thirty years’ teaching and training experience in ESP, with a special interest in technical and vocational English. David worked for the British Council for eleven years as an ESP consultant in Indonesia and Egypt. He was also Head of English language training at Kuwait Airways, and on the management team at Singapore Polytechnic, where he taught communication skills to engineering and business students, and provided ESP training for corporate clients. He is series editor of the Vocational English series, author of the four-level course book Technical English and co-author of English for the Oil Industry.

The Vocational English series gives learners the English language and communication skills they will need to operate in the workplace with all cylinders firing. Although language level is carefully controlled, the series is tuned into authentic workplace contexts and communication, and develops a useful industry-specific vocabulary. At the same time, no specialist background knowledge is required of the ESP teacher using the series. The authors have made sure that all technical or vocational content is clear from the context on each page of the course book. Additional ‘need to know’ information and guidance is provided in the Teacher Book Notes.

For teachers who would like to find out more about their students’ technical and vocational background, David suggests the following:

  • Where possible, collaborate with a specialist such as a vocational lecturer in your students’ college, or a manager in their workplace. Suggest team-teaching some vocational topics, in which you focus on language and communication issues arising out of your colleague’s lesson. If you are doing a needs analysis for a company-specific course, suggest to your client that you observe work procedures, participate in training sessions or even work in the company for a short period as a ‘trainee’.
  • Remember that your expertise lies in language and communication rather than in technical or vocational content, and make this distinction clear to your students from the start. At the same time, gradually develop an understanding and genuine interest in the industry and its related technologies. Your enthusiasm will communicate itself to your students and help to build mutual respect in the classroom.
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