Competitiveness is an important factor for each and every enterprise and the nation as a whole. The competitiveness of a nation depends on the success of its enterprises to a large extent. Competitiveness is based on business efficiency indicators at the enterprise level including corporate strategy, management skills, marketing and price and cost efficiency. In this context competitive staff is crucial, the staff with highly developed emoployability skills that correspond to the requirements of the changing international context.
The annual international conference of Turiba University, Latvia was organised by the Faculty of Business Administration. The conference work was organised in a plenary session, parallel sessions of researchers and academics as well as students’ sessions. In parallel sessions 33 reports were presented.
Sandra Smilga from the Department of Languages of Turiba University presented the project at the conference giving a presentation on the theme “Opportunities of Fostering Independent Studies in Second Foreign Language Studies”. In her presentation Sandra analysed the current tendencies in second language learning, focusing on the methods and tools applied for second language learning at A2 and A1 level. Sandra emphasised that language competences in the European labour market are as self-evident nowadays as skills of using information and communication technologies. They are especially significant in the tourism sector where knowledge of several foreign languages at different levels of competences are required depending upon the position in the enterprise. Medium and top level managers are often required to know a second and third foreign language at the B1–B2 level in accordance with the CEFR. The majority of Tourism faculty students start learning a second foreign language as a beginner. The number of contact hours offered is not sufficient enough to achieve the results and regular independent studies are required. In order to foster independent studies learners are offered various modern language learning methods including open learning aids such as online tasks designed for learning professional language especially in the hospitality industry. Sandra presented the international research of language teachers conducted in the five project countries – Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia, Italy and Romania.Educators mainly underlined the importance of communicative competences which also defined the tasks of the project- to design learning materials with a wide range of guest questions and responses and guest requirements in typical situations of work with foreign tourists.
The conference programme is available on: http://www.turiba.lv/en/bizness-zinatne/research/history-of-scientific-conferences/xvii-international-scientific-conference/conference-programme/492/
The full paper in Latvian is available on:
Dr.paed., prof. Ineta Luka
Head of the Department of Languages
Project manager of Turiba University