|Good English can prove a lifesaver|
They are among the thousands of people who have been impacted by BP’s oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico – to say nothing of the environmental damage to the ocean, beaches, wetlands and to the birds, fish and animals for miles around the area.
And from all the reports this most disastrous of all oil spills (bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster) was caused by slack safety standards and bad communication.
The oil industry is one where there are workers from many different countries speaking many different languages. These workers know that they are working in one of the most hazardous situations of all industrial sites. This is one situation where knowledge of English – as the common language – is essential to the safety of the workers on oil rigs.
Forward thinking oil companies know that good communication is the key to building a safe working situation for their workers.
Targeting the special needs of the offshore oil and gas industry, Apollo English has developed a curriculum specifically for these workers. It takes into account their “two weeks on and two weeks off” scheduling so that the workers and the company can make the most of the highly qualified teachers of Apollo.
As the curriculum developed by Apollo for the oil and gas industry needs to be tailored to individual and company requirements, the syllabus is negotiated at the beginning and middle of the course. No core text book is used.
The students and teacher together with the company management decide on the areas that require primary focus. This means that course work can be adapted and re-focused during the course. Participants are required to provide authentic material from their jobs and companies for teachers to use in class to give them “real life” examples of English usage.
Also the job roles and responsibilities of the participants help Apollo decide on the most appropriate supplementary materials to be used in the course and which units of study should be expanded. Apollo takes into account the best scheduling for the participants to provide the least interruption to the company’s working time.
So, for instance Premier Oil engineers study Business for English Communication twice a week between 7.30am and 9am and then they carry out their normal work activities. Cuu Long oil rig workers study in the mornings when they are in the “onshore” time schedule at Cuu Long’s offices.
Having two classes running at the same time continuously through the month means that when one group goes back offshore, the second group comes onshore to spend their mornings studying English.
So far BP has had to put aside a $20 billion fund to pay for some of the costs of their oil spill disaster in the gulf. Maybe if they had been more focused on safety and communication this disaster would never have happened.
For more details of Apollo’s Corporate English
Training Program, please contact: Hanoi: 84 4 3943 2051 - Haiphong: 84 31 373 6996
Danang: 84 511 384 0665 - HCMC: 84 8 3823 3597