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2011, vol. 63, iss. 1, pp. 172-193
English language learning in the context of preparing the Army of Serbia members to take part in peace support operations
University of Defence, Military Academy, Belgrade
Keywords: peace operations; English language; interoperability; analysis of requirements; competence; skill; communication-linguistic tasks; operational context; learning system
Abstract
Once the contribution to peace support operations has been defined as another mission of the Army of Serbia, the issue of reaching a required interoperability level by its members has become topical. Since the linguistic interoperability is a requirement of any international-level action, proper attention need to be addressed to learning the English language as a basic medium of international communication. Former experiences in achieving the linguistic interoperability have produced significant results, but in the light of the rearrangement of priorities, they have also opened a question of a more precise definition of educational requirements and teaching subject-matter aimed to successful adaptation to the complex peace operations environment. To this end, it is necessary to define the target situations and translate the presupposed soldierly tasks involved into communication tasks, for the performance of which special knowledge and skills are to be mastered. This knowledge and skills represent either a part of general competences or of communication and language (linguistic, socio-linguistic and pragmatic) competences. Developed competences enable the desired linguistic behavior, manifested through effective use of communication strategies and linguistic skills in limited operational context of language use. That is why the identification of priorities in the development of particular competences and specific linguistic micro-skills, and placing the language learning into reasonably expected context of peace operations, become integral parts of preparations for deployment to missions. Developing the linguistic skills through processes of education, advanced training and direct teaching is not an aim in itself, but this should prepare the Army of Serbia members to perform complex communication and linguistic tasks in a socio-culturally little known environment. Combining the professional military knowledge and skills with capabilities to communicate and use the language functionally is the key to success of the Army of Serbia members in future peace operations.
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article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
published in SCIndeks: 13/12/2011