An Analysis of Slovenian Higher Education Lsp Teacher Education and Professional Development Needs and Expectations Saša Podgoršek, Violeta Jurkovič, Mateja Dostal and Darja Mertelj
Summary: In the last decade, the quality of higher education teaching has received increasing attention. Nevertheless, the provision of education and professional development programmes for teachers of languages for specific purposes (LSP) remains limited. Recent research studies show that the vast majority of Slovenian and European LSP teachers teach LSP with very limited or practically no specific prior education in LSP teaching. The objective of this paper is to gain a comprehensive insight into the pre-service education and continuous professional education programmes for Slovenian higher education LSP teachers. The analysis of study programmes provided by Slovenian universities and of interviews conducted with Slovenian higher education LSP teachers has revealed that there are not any accredited programmes for the pre-service education of LSP teachers, however there are some LSP teaching methodology courses or courses in language use in academic or professional texts. The educational needs among the interviewed higher education LSP teachers who have a background in linguistics, literature, or general language teaching are met by their active involvement in continuous professional development activities and master’s and doctoral degree studies. The main findings of the present paper mirror the findings of research studies conducted in the broader field of European higher education: systemic provision of LSP teacher education programmes is practically non-existent, while most LSP higher education teachers have a background in linguistics and have acquired LSP teaching competences during their LSP teaching careers. The findings of the present study represent a starting point for the further development of the field of LSP teaching in Slovenia and in the international environment. Therefore, instead of being based on the exchange of good practice and examples, LSP higher education teaching should take a more determined stance towards becoming based on high professional and scientific standards and systemic provision of pre-service LSP teacher education programmes.