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Vocabulary and LSP for Global Engineers
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE). KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM). KTH Language and Communication.
2017 (English)In: Interdisciplinary Knowledge-Making: Challenges for LSP Research, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 2016, the Global Engineers Language Skills (GELS) project set out to identify the most common communication skills required by engineers in industry.  With the results of this investigation, we adapted the CEFR self-assessment grid to produce a framework of progressive goals to help language and communication teachers meet the specific needs of student engineers learning an additional language (Rinder et al., 2016).  The GELS framework is gaining in popularity, and an increasing number of Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) teachers working at technical universities and engineering departments across Europe are working with it (Geslin et al., 2016).  A potential stumbling block, however, is vocabulary.  What is meant by “frequently encountered lexis” in the GELS framework?  How can LSP teachers, who often have no technical background themselves, provide up-to-date engineering-related vocabulary for their students?  This paper gives a brief overview of the GELS project and provides answers to these vocabulary-related questions by describing a pilot project undertaken at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.  The project involves students translating words and phrases based on the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 1998), producing glossaries for their content courses, and translating the glossaries into their first language (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Serbian, Spanish, and Swedish).  The first results of this work already reveal three important foci for discussion:  first, the suitability of an academic word list in English for other languages and academic cultures; second, the obstacles preventing students learning and using topic-specific vocabulary effectively; thirdly, the importance of students using languages other than English for academic communication   The paper will address the potential uses of the glossaries and translations, the strengths and weaknesses of the work done so far, and the ways in which this work fits into the GELS project and LSP more generally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
GELS network, LSP, vocabulary, engineering education
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-265649OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-265649DiVA, id: diva2:1380397
Conference
21st Conference on Language for Specific Purposes 2017
Note

 

Coxhead, A. (1998). An Academic Word List. ELI Occasional Publications #18, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington.

Geslin, T., Rinder, J. & Tual, D. (2016). Le projet GELS (in French).  Available at http://www.language-unit.eng.cam.ac.uk/news/GELS

Rinder, J., Geslin, T. and Tual, D. (2016).  A Framework for Language and Communication in the CDIO syllabus.  Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku University of Applied Sciences,Turku, Finland, June 12-16, 2016.

Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2020-02-17Bibliographically approved

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