English for Engineering
FEKT-HEFEAcad. year: 2020/2021
The course is aimed at the development of language competencies required by the students’ future professional environment. The students will study the means, functions and style of professional language. Special attention will be devoted to technical terminology. Seminars are focused on the product development and production process, the description and presentation of technologies, devices and their parts and components, the description of technical problems, possible risks (including safety risks and safety regulations in the production process) and their solutions. The tuition includes realistic listening activities focused on technical discussions; situation-based speaking activities in which students can practise the language they have learned; relevant vocabulary presented and practised in professional contexts; engaging topics and articles. The course corresponds to the Bachelor’s degree requirements. At the same time, it will help students to find a job thus supporting their competitiveness in the labour market.
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The final exam verifies that a course graduate is able:
1.On the basis of the acquired professional vocabulary, to take part in discussions on basic subjects of electrical engineering (electric circuits, electric current, electrical conductors) and on subjects in his field of study.
2.To read or to write down basic mathematical expressions and processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, brackets, decimal numbers, fractions, powers, roots, equations).
3.To describe technical functions and applications and explain how technology works using texts “GPS applications” and “Space elevators”. Useful vocabulary includes verbs use, allow, enable, permit, ensure, prevent and verbs describing movement.
4.To describe common materials and alloys (aluminium, bronze, copper, glass, lead, iron, ore, plastic, rubber, steel, stainless steel, timber, hardwood, softwood, zinc) and to describe their properties.
5.To describe component shapes and features of the electrical plugs and sockets used in different countries. A course graduate is also able to use nouns and verbs to describe joints and fixings.
6.To describe various types of technical problems and causes of faults. When describing the causes of faults, a course graduate uses adjectives commonly used (inadequate, incorrect, etc.) as well as the language used for linking causes and effects: because of..., consequently, owing to..., as a result of ... .
7.To discuss technical requirements of new products with people from other professions (needs analysis in technical contexts) and to assess the feasibility of proposed technical solutions.
8.To use basic vocabulary connected with health and safety precautions. On the basis of this vocabulary, a course graduate is able to describe personal protective equipment related to common industrial hazards and identify a safe system of work.
9.To describe automated systems and to verbalize graphs, charts and trends, e.g. in the context of electricity consumption trends.
10.To explain technical experimentation and development using the language describing the range of development tools used by engineers in all disciplines – from computing modelling, through reduced-scale testing, to full-scale field trials. Using the language phrases of comparing, a course graduate is able to compare what was predicted (expectations) with what actually happened (results).
11.To understand the main points of listening activities focused on technically-oriented discussions.
12.To scan longer texts in order to locate desired information, and to gather information from different parts of a text, or from different texts in order to fulfil a specific task.
The required subject knowledge corresponds to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The level B1 is equivalent to the intermediate knowledge of English. A student at this level:
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
- Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
- Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Recommended optional programme components
Recommended or required reading
Ibbotson, Mark. Cambridge English for Engineering (EN)
Hanzelka, F., Neuwirthová, L. Study Materials for English for Electrical Engineering Course (EN)
McCarthy, M., O´Dell, F. Academic Vocabulary In Use (EN)
Ibbotson, Mark. Professional English in Use: Engineering (EN)
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
The methodology of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is applied to the subject English for Engineering (XAEI). This methodology is closely linked with communicative and learning-centred approaches, and it entails the adoption of four essential principles: authenticity, relevancy and appropriacy in language and materials, and tolerance of errors to the extent of communication adequacy. Next to improving the communication skills and specialist language knowledge, this methodology also includes development of autonomous learning and students' self-assessment.
The organizational forms of tuition include class, pair work, group work, or individual work with accessible on-line materials for this subject at home.
Activities used in ESP include discussion, problem-solving, case studies, oral presentations or role-play. Communicative tasks/exercises/techniques include information transfer, information gap, reformulation, questionnaire, cloze.
ESP methodology is supported by educational aid: on-line materials for the subject, original recordings, computer-based teaching and learning.
Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes
Semester test and exam.
A semester test has a written form and it includes two parts:
• terminology multiple choice test,
• filling in missing words into a semi-technical text.
The semester test is assessed by max. 40 marks. To be able to register for an exam, a student has to obtain 60% at least, i.e. 24 marks. The semester test can be repeated only once.
An exam has a written form. It is assessed by max. 60 marks. It consists of two parts:
• reading comprehension assessed by max. 30 marks and
• listening comprehension assessed by max. 30 marks.
A student has to obtain 50% at least out of each exam part in order to pass successfully the exam.
In case of university lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, both the semester and exam may be taken remotely (online in Moodle).
Language of instruction
1. Vocabulary work connected with electrical engineering, electric circuits and electric current.
2. Vocabulary work connected with electrical conductors, incandescent light bulbs and numbers.
3. Describing technical functions and applications. Explaining how technology works.
4. Describing specific materials. Specifying and describing properties.
5. Describing component shapes and features. Explaining jointing and fixing techniques.
6. Describing types of technical problem. Describing the causes of faults.
7. Discussing technical requirements. Assessing feasibility.
8. Describing health and safety precautions. Emphasising the importance of precautions.
9. Describing automated systems. Discussing readings and trends.
10. Explaining tests and experiments. Comparing results with expectations.
11. Discussing causes and effects (language used for linking causes and effects).
12. Discussing performance and suitability. Describing physical forces.
13. Semester test
The aim of the course is to present the language functions and to develop language skills necessary for professional communication with colleagues, business partners and institutions in the international competitive environment.
• Understanding specific technical information in spoken and written forms.
• The ability to communicate in specific situations related to the development, production and presentation of devices and their parts and components. The ability to express one´s ideas and discuss the issues and current trends in technology. The ability to communicate in different situations according to the production process requirements.
• The knowledge of specific terminology.
Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences
The content and forms of instruction in the evaluated course are specified by a regulation issued by the lecturer responsible for the course and updated for every academic year.