Maritime English course awarded for innovation

Australian Maritime College

Sep 27 2013

An English language course designed to help future maritime officers communicate effectively and avoid seafaring accidents was recognised for its innovation at the English Australia conference gala awards dinner in Perth, WA last night.

The course, which was developed by the University of Tasmania’s English Language Centre in conjunction with the Australian Maritime College, has already been instrumental in helping university professors from China and a large body of students from United Arab Emirates shipping companies.

English Language Centre manager Rob Youngs accepted the award on behalf of a dedicated team which includes ELC staff Lauren Faulkner, Christopher Jones and former Centre manager Amy Lewandowski, who was instrumental in establishing and developing the program.

According to Mr Youngs it became evident that a significant number of students studying diploma and undergraduate maritime courses were struggling with the particular characteristics of maritime language and because of this were at risk of not completing courses once they were admitted, or potentially confusing instructions out at sea.

Despite meeting Standard English language admission requirements through external English language tests, these tests did not adequately prepare students for the maritime jargon and specific language relating to their occupation.

“In a worst case scenario, verbal confusion between ship operators in port or at sea could, and in fact has, caused maritime disasters,” Mr Youngs said.

The innovative course arms students with the maritime and academic-specific language knowledge needed for articulation into tertiary level courses. They are given the tools to develop industry-specific communication appropriate for maritime employment and are able to apply this knowledge practically through field trips and virtual scenarios using AMC’s ship simulator.

“We are thrilled that our Maritime English course has attracted this award because of its creative approach to ELICOS (English Australia English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) curriculum design to meet identified student and industry needs in Australia, Asia and beyond,” Mr Youngs said.

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