ENGLISH FOR ART AND DESIGN STUDENTS: How to Teach English to Creative Students
English for Art and Design students often involves a specialized vocabulary at its core because Art and Design students are studying a very specialized and technical subject. Art and Design students will have to know how to explain many concepts, terms and processes in English that the average lay person who is not in the field of multimedia would not know. For example, what does “typography” mean?
Instructors teaching English for Art and Design would need to tailor their lessons depending on whether their students are university level or whether they are professionals returning to the classroom to improve their English communication within the context of their careers.
When teaching professionals, it would be important to blend work-related specific case studies, vocabulary and materials in the lesson, to provide the student with an optimal experience that is worthy of their limited time.
However, there are some aspects of the course that would remain the same no matter what demographic of students you are teaching. English for Art and Design courses should focus on preparing students for speaking and writing and presenting well in English and increasing their overall English proficiency as far as reading skills, listening, speaking and reading in English skills go. The instructor should focus on having the students work on group projects, write short essays, debate, do presentations and take field trips such as to art galleries and exhibits.
English conversational skills are very important for students studying art and design especially because increasingly multimedia and arts and design as an industry has gone global and thus their future clients will likely be international as well. Therefore, students should be encouraged to speak in English as much as possible and to go over vocabulary lists in class with an aim to discussing and describing these terms which presumably they already know in their own language. The key objective with conversation in English is to build confidence in the student and help them to become increasingly at ease in the language.
Areas of discussion can include fundamentals of art, design, editing, web, publishing, interior design, graphic design, photography, video and other areas of digital and visual arts. You can also focus on art history and fashion design if appropriate to your audience.
Some work should also be put into preparing the students for the international English language tests such as TOEIC and TOEFFL. – if your course time permits.