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English for civil engineering learners of English

  • 1.  English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 17-02-2017 12:57 PM
    Hello, 

    I am an TESOL techer of English for civil engineering learners and have made a brochure that I am not really happy with it because it is really limited. And unfortunately, finding teaching materials is a real challenge here in Guinea. I have carried out research on Google with no success. Can anyone help me get resources or  coursebooks on this subject? Or just ideas of how to teach it? Thanks a lot in advance.

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    Younoussa Bangoura
    English Teacher
    Barack Obama University
    Guinea
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  • 2.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 20-02-2017 02:34 PM
    Dear Mr Bangoura.
    English for Special Purposes (ESP) has been a long-term interest of mine. My big 'unknown' is whether students can go straight to their special subset or do they need a good grounding in general English first.
    My conclusion so far is that a good grounding in general English is the preferable route, BUT with an emphasis on vocabulary for the special area. Engineering in your case.
    Oxford seem to have the most comprehensive approach and there may be some helpful material here;
    Oxford English for Careers | Oxford University Press
    Best



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    Rob Harris
    Mr
    Personal
    New Zealand
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  • 3.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 21-02-2017 10:56 AM
    Teaching English for special purposes depends on the needs of the students. What are they going to use it for? Giving talks? conversing in meetings? Writing reports?

    The level of English depends on this. A taxi driver or a restaurant server may only need survivor skills, while a physician who sees patients definitely must have advanced language skills.

    There are several articles that review needs analysis as the basis for developing a course for students.


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    Sergio Lozano
    Scientific Publications Coordinator
    Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon
    Mexico
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  • 4.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 22-02-2017 11:18 AM
    Agreed that the student's motivation and need for ESP classes should be taken in to consideration in creating curriculum for a course. That said, if the student's goal is to pursue a degree in a field, be it Engineering or Art, they will need a very firm foundation in the the language in question - in this case, English - before they begin to add the ESP "dialect". Much is made by ESL programs, especially those affiliated with a college or university, about teaching "Academic English". I have not been convinced that this is possible without that student first achieving a rather firm foundation in, what?, "pedestrian" English? I do not think it unreasonable to regard "Academic English" as a dialect of our language. It is not particularly natural or organic:  English L1's do not easily pick up a piece of writing from the Academy and easily read and comprehend it. Going back to grad school brought that one home to me sharply. There was a relearning curve all the way around, despite undergrad degrees in Linguistics and English. It is good to get settled-in first, and then focus on the ESP language issues.

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    Sharon A. Peters
    ESL/Developmental/Curriculum Design
    Arlington, TX
    USA
    sapeters.esl@gmail.com
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  • 5.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 20-02-2017 02:34 PM
    In my Occupation-specific Language Training for Engineers and IT Professionals course in Toronto, I use Cambridge English for Engineering as one textbook. It's for high-intermediate level students. We have a class set of textbooks and there's a really good CD with speakers from around the world (though mostly from the UK). Lessons from the book are now also available online at English360 for Engineering at http://engineering.english360.com/. There's a free trial mini-course there that you can explore. And I think you can choose to purchase any number of pages or units, as needed. 

    In my class we also study English for email-writing and soft skills, because engineers need those skills, too.

    Good luck!

    Joan

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    Joan Bartel
    Professor (Contract), Humber College
    Author, Office Soft Skills
    Toronto, Canada
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  • 6.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 20-02-2017 02:34 PM
    Hello!

    Currently I am the English coordinator of a Polytechnic University in which we teach English to future engineers. We use a wonderful coursebook from Express Publishing "Career Paths". It has vocabulary, dialogues, writing practice, etc. about the engineering field.

    Hope you can find it!

    Ada Arellano
    adarella@hotmail.com

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    Ada Arellano
    UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE ALTAMIRA
    Mexico
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  • 7.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 20-02-2017 02:34 PM
    Mr. Bangoura,

    While I don't have any of the knowledge or resources you request, I do know a good place to ask about particular kinds of English language learning!

    I recommend you check out the English for Specific Purposes interest section here on myTESOL. There's a good chance there's someone there who has the answer your looking for.


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    Robin Sulkosky
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  • 8.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 20-02-2017 02:37 PM
    Hello Younoussa,

    Perhaps you can get feedback on ESP resources such as your brochure for civil engineering students by sharing it with the Materials Writers Interest Section.

    Materials Writers (MWIS) - TESOL International Association
    Tesol remove preview
    Materials Writers (MWIS) - TESOL International Association
    View this on Tesol >

    http://my.tesol.org/communities/community-home?CommunityKey=3adb6e2d-a1de-4e0d-b7fb-bd2db41e31f9

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    Paul Beaufait
    Associate Professor
    Prefectural University of Kumamoto
    Japan
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  • 9.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 20-02-2017 02:39 PM
    Hi,
    Would you mind saying a little bit more about what course materials you are trying to develop? When you say you are teaching a course for civil engineers, what do you mean exactly by that? For example, what are your learner outcomes? Is this primarily an oral proficiency course, a reading/writing course, or something else? Are you trying to achieve general proficiency in English or fluency with field specific vocabulary? I might have some thoughts on this, but it would help to know more about what your goals are.
    Thanks!
    Cathy

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    Cathy Raymond
    Assistant Director
    English Language Programs,
    Washington University, St Louis
    USA
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  • 10.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 21-02-2017 12:51 PM
    Dear Younoussa, 

    Another great resource for you would be TESOL's English for Specific Purposes Interest Section. There are a number of members of that group who have taught English for engineering, and they may have resources to recommend. They have an ESP-related MyTESOL board, and if you repost your question there, you may get some helpful responses. 

    I agree with what others have said already, which is that any ESP course needs to be based on the students need to be able to do with the language. Are your students just beginning their civil engineering programs? If so, will they be studyng in English-medium engineering classes, or just needing to access engineering information in English? Will they have to produce research papers in English or write technical reports in English, or will they just need to be able to read technical information published in English? 
    Are they graduating soon and getting ready to join the workforce? Will they need to use English in their engineering jobs? Will they have to work with English-speaking project teammates, or will they have to write emails in English? 

    These kinds of questions about what your students need to be able to do with the language can help you determine the learning outcomes and teaching plan for your ESP course. It sounds like this course will be a wonderful opportunity for  you and for your students. 

    Sincerely, 
    Ethel Swartley 

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    Ethel Swartley
    University of Denver
    DenverCO
    ethel.swartley@du.edu
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  • 11.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 22-02-2017 08:23 AM
    Dear Younoussa,

    If you do post to the ESP myTESOL group as well, it would be wonderful if you'd list up all of the resource suggestions that you've received here (myTESOL Lounge) so far.

    Cheers, Paul


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    Paul Beaufait
    Associate Professor
    Prefectural University of Kumamoto
    Japan
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  • 12.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 23-02-2017 02:05 PM

    Hi Younoussa!

    Are you looking to teach your students about a topic in thermodynamics?    

    Thermodynamic:  The branch of physical science that deals with the relations between heat and other forms of energy (such as mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy), and, by extension, of the relationships between all forms of energy.

    Plug back-in and let us know [hyphen mine]. 



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    MerriLee Leonard
    University Teacher
    M.A.Ed.,TESL
    United States
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  • 13.  RE: English for civil engineering learners of English

    Posted 24-02-2017 08:32 AM
    Please clarify exactly what your curriculum consist of?

    https://rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/13698/1/technical_english_for_civil_engineers_construction_basics.pdf

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    Sherry Foreman
    Professional
    University of Dammam
    Saudi Arabia
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