Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Developing speaking competences in technical English for Spanish civil engineering students
Romero de Ávila Serrano Vicente, Sarai Diaz García, Laura Asensio Sánchez, Jose Antonio Lozano Galant, Amparo Moyano Enríquez de Salamanca, Rocío Porras Soriano, Elisa Poveda Bautista, Rita Ruiz Fernández, David Sánchez Ramos, Santos Sánchez-Cambronero, Manuel Agustín Tarifa Crespo, Ángel Yustres Real, Carmen Castillo Sanchez

Last modified: 08-06-2017


Traditionally, Spanish schools of civil engineering provide their students a class on “Technical English” in order to develop their language skills. However, this class does not cover all the skills that the student would need in the labor market and mainly focuses in the reading and writing skills, and in a lower degree in the speaking and listening ones. This paper proposes a series of innovative and informal training activities (cine-forum on technical civil engineering topics and role playing on real professional situations) that allow Spanish civil engineering students to develop English skills that can rarely be worked in the classroom (i.e. speaking, negotiating and conversing), encouraging debate, participation, and fostering their self-confidence to speak about technical-English topics in public. Although the students’ level of English is much lower than expected, they all agree on the importance of technical English for their future career. The results also show the students’ lack in skills that are difficult to train in regular classes (speaking and talking). Consequently, this situation would require to provide complementary activities like the ones suggested in this project in order to develop these skills and increase the students’ demand for engineering classes taught in English.

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