Introduction

This is the course Anglès tècnic corresponding to the studies of the CFGM of ‘Atenció a les persones en situació de dependència’. It is composed of two parts: the written material and the web material. The written material includes the basic grammatical and lexical contents that are necessary to use the English language As it is designed as a distance learning course, it also includes tips and suggestions to help you learn the language on your own. On the other hand, the web material is composed of online activities and exercises which may serve as practice of the theoretical knowledge that you learn.

Now the question is: how do we justify the inclusion of an English course in the studies of ‘Atenció a les persones en situació de dependència’? First of all, our current education system, the ‘Ley Orgánica de Educación’ (LOE), includes an English course in the curriculums of all the vocational studies. Apart from this, we should remember that in our present globalized world, English has become the standard language of communication. For this reason, a good knowledge of the language may have a positive influence on your personal success, on your career training, on your chances of promotion and possibly on a successful job search.

This course has been designed for students and professionals who work in the field of the support to people with special needs. The curriculums of the CFGMs assume a basic level of English, but we are aware that many students do not have any previous knowledge of the language. For these students, there is a number of extra resources in the course website, but they will have to make a greater effort to meet the course requirements.

Apart from grammar, the material includes information about the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and a section called ‘Everyday language’, which explains different functions of the language, like greetings, making requests, making suggestions, etc. You can practise the contents of the written material with a variety of interactive exercices and activities in the course website and in the web material. However, you should be aware that the characteristics of a distance course make it very difficult to get enough practice of the oral skills (listening and speaking), so you will need some extra practice on your own.

The course contents are divided into three units, and each unit is sub-divided into three sections, which together cover different aspects of the English language. At the beginning of all the sections, you will find a reading text. These texts will offer you the possibility of checking and practising your reading comprehension and picking up some specific words and expressions which are frequently used in your professional field. Then, there is a storyline, a chapter of the life of a family called “The Marbles”. Next, you will find information about several aspects of the English language, mostly grammatical explanations, but also some functional language and useful information for an online student.

The contents of the written material phocus their attention on three main topics: older people, disabilities and mental disorders and the working conditions of caregivers. The units are called ‘Aging’, ‘Disabilities and mental disorders’ and ‘At work’.

It is very important to understand that the written material is conceived as a manual. The course and the material are organized in units, but you do not have to read and study the first unit, and then go on to the second, and then to the third, as if you were reading a novel. You only need to look up the information that you need to do a specific task. Very often the exercise will tell you which section you need to check, and you won’t probably need to read many of the sections.

Here are some tips about the best way of using this course:

  1. Check and write down the deadlines for submitting the activities (you will find the course schedule in the ‘Pla de Treball’).
  2. Look at the contents page in the written material to see what the unit is about and which topics you will practise.
  3. Go to the course website and check the activities that you will have to submit. As a rule, you will find two oral activities (speaking and listening), an interactive grammar quizz and some written exercises in a text file, which you will have to download and submit for correction.
  4. Use all or some the resources available for you: written material, web material, complementary material, websites, reference books, etc., and then do the exercises as well as you can. You can start doing the activities in the order that you prefer, but do not leave everything for the last day.
  5. Submit your activities before the deadline.

You can use a dictionary if you have problems with the language, but you should also make an effort to understand the main ideas of a text without knowing all the words. As for automatic translators, they are very useful to understand short written texts (like the instructions of an exercise), but do not use them to translate the whole material or to write a text in English. The idea of presenting the written material in English is that you can learn the language by using it, so it makes no sense to use an automatic translator to do the work for you. Remember also that you can ask your teacher or your classmates anytime you need their help.

Apart from all these technical resources, it is very important that you adopt a specific attitude to be successful in this course. We understand how difficult English is for many of you, but we can assure you that if you work hard, you do all the activities and you are patient, you will have no problems with English. Good luck!

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Learning objectives