General Guide

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Introduction

 

MODULE 1

 

MODULE 2

 

MODULE 3

 

MODULE 4

 

MODULE 5

 

Introduction

 

This manual provides an introduction to the materials produced under the Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership, Immersive Business and Engineering English in Virtual Reality (I-BEE-VR), which provides a comprehensive course that prepares engineering students for effective communication in English in professional settings.

 

The course is organized into five thematic modules, each depicting a typical engineering situation. The modules are self-contained, which means that teachers and students can access the module(s) of their choice, depending on their needs and interests, adapting the course to their own learning context. Activities can also be used independently of each other, although this course follows a task-based approach—meaning that each module ends in one or more real-life tasks which students have to act as if they were in an authentic engineering situation—and therefore all activities are related to (and preparatory for) a given task. Although modules do not have to be done in a specific order, they are presented in the logical sequence that could be expected in a real context, starting from the job-seeking process (i.e. entering a company) and going through the process of designing and developing products, with the last modules being devoted to quality and safety as well as marketing and maintenance. Greater realism is provided through the different VR (Virtual Reality) scenarios presented, which allow students to become immersed in realistic professional communication scenarios.

 

This manual is intended to help teachers (and learners in self-study contexts) navigate through the materials and create appropriate learning paths for different types of learners. Accordingly, this manual is organized as follows. Each module is presented with a general grid that gives an overview of the module at a glance, main topic, genres and situations, and language points in each. A more detailed guide is then presented with the specific learning objectives of the tasks and activities in each module, accompanied by specific descriptors related to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) levels. This guide can be found under the heading “General Guide” under each module. This guide is presented in the form of a table that indicates the main learning objectives in terms of genres, skills, language and intercultural competence. Specific descriptors based on the CEFR have been included for each of the tasks. The source of these descriptors is the ACPEL bank of descriptors (Academic and Professional European Language Portfolio), a portfolio that has been specifically designed for engineering students (https://www.etsist.upm.es/uploaded/110/Banco%20de%20descriptores.pdf)

 

Following the general guide, users will find the actual contents of the modules. These include a general description of the scenario (main topic) followed by the general structure of each task and the activities included. This general structure comprises specific step-by-step instructions, suggestions for implementation by teachers and learners, and suggested assessment, together with a link to the specific activities and their answer keys.

 

At the end of each module there is a follow-up activity that encourages reflection or further work. Each module is also accompanied by a set of progress tests that can help students track their achievement of the learning objectives in the module. At the end of the course, there is also a summative test related to all five modules.

 

MODULE 1: Starting a new job in an engineering company

 

GENRES
  • Job adverts
  • Job applications – CV (written and video), cover letters
  • Job interviews
  • Meetings (formal and informal)
PRONUNCIATION
  • Practising comprehensible pronunciation for words and expressions related to video CVs and job interviews.
  • Sentence stress and intonation for vocabulary/phrases commonly found in CVs and interviews
GRAMMAR-VOCABULARY-DISCOURSE
  • Vocabulary and phrases relevant for job ads, CVs, cover letters and job interviews (terminology, levels of formality).
  • Typical language functions used in meetings (e.g. agreeing, disagreeing, interrupting, at different levels of formality).
  • Persuasive language for effectively presenting oneself at a job interview
  • Grammar and discourse structures relevant for job ads, CVs, cover letters and job interviews (e.g. tense use, typical moves)
  • Grammatical and discourse structures used in meetings (formal & informal: e.g. hedging, politeness (modals, etc.): modals as politeness markers.
Intercultural Competence
  • IC features of CVs, cover letters and job interviews
  • IC features of (formal) meetings

 

GENERAL GUIDE-Teacher's Manual_Module 1_refined

 

  MODULE 2: Launching a new product

 

GENRES
  • Feasibility report 
  • Persuasive oral presentation to management
  • Internal project meeting(s), to colleagues and to general management
  • Informal meetings 
  • Design and technical specifications  of the product (Product Specification Document, PSD)
PRONUNCIATION
  • The ‘schwa’; words ending in –sure, –ture
  • Emphasis
  • Sentence stress and intonation in discussions applied to vocabulary used when describing products
  • Usual mispronunciations in vocabulary commonly found in the description of products.
GRAMMAR-VOCABULARY-DISCOURSE
  • Language for physical description (shape, materials, components, technical properties, measures and dimensions) and function description. 
  • Technical noun compounds.
  • Presenting and supporting arguments, persuasive language : argumentative structuring of  information 
  • The language of comparison and contrast: connectors and verbs
  • Signposting expressions, attention grabbers: for oral presentations in front of the board  (convincing the board of an innovation, new product (verbal language)
  • Passive Voice and impersonal & formal style in product specifications.
Intercultural Competence
  • Presenting an innovative product in a globalized market (cultural awareness)
  • Communicating to international audiences in business meetings.

 

GENERAL GUIDE-Teacher's Manual- MODULE 2

 

MODULE 3: Developing and Manufacturing Processes

 

GENRES
  • Understanding and describing procedures / processes
  • Giving and following instructions
  • Making / receiving telephone calls
  • Writing business emails and letters
  • Negotiations
  • Oral Presentations
  • Proposals (contacting potential suppliers or companies to outsource production)
  • Specifications
  • Writing reports
  • Socialising in an informal context
PRONUNCIATION
  • Different pronunciations of “-ough
  • Addressing different pronunciations / accents
  • Use of intonation / pitch for persuasion
  • Homophones and homonyms
GRAMMAR-VOCABULARY-DISCOURSE – Language of Telephoning

-Business correspondence, contracts 

-Meetings

-Negotiations 

-Socialising 

-Technical vocabulary for specifications

-Language of processes

-Language of reports and contracts

-Statistics, figures and numbers

-Describing sequences and stages within a process 

-Agreeing  and disagreeing, reaching consensus 

-Asking for / giving opinion

-Time expressions 

-Passive forms

-Phrasal verbs

-Modal verbs (obligation, recommendation …)

-Tenses and verb forms

-Comparative and superlative forms

-Conjunctions

Intercultural Competence
  • Dealing and socialising with overseas visitors and suppliers

 

GENERAL GUIDE-Teacher's Manual- MODULE 3 ver3

  

 

MODULE 4: Complying with safety, quality and environmental standards in product development

 

GENRES
  • Risk assessment template
  • Internal project meeting
  • Oral presentation to team members 
  • Meeting requests/invitations 
  • Articles 
  • Extracts from directives, manuals, reports
  • Formal oral presentations to colleagues
  • Manuals
  • Reports
  • Video-conferencing through Skype
  • Meeting
  • E-mails
PRONUNCIATION
  • Different accents
  • Stressed and unstressed words
GRAMMAR-VOCABULARY-DISCOURSE
    • Vocabulary on safety and health management and environmental issues, 
    • Risk management dimensions vocabulary, 
    • Control measures vocabulary,
    • Formal vocabulary in EU regulations
    • Phrases used in oral presentations 
    • Vocabulary on quality dimensions, quality assurance, quality control, ISO standards, quality methodologies, quality instructions
    • -British-American engineering terminology related to quality
    • Modals and imperatives
    • Using connectors to describe consequences
    • Using modals to express solutions: no redundancy
    • Using adjectives and modifiers to express and define situations
    • Understanding the formal register in regulations
    • Meeting invitation format
    • Meeting agenda format
    • Signposting expressions used in formal meetings
    • Formal register (passive voice, cleft sentences), 
  • Making suggestions (should)
Intercultural Competence
  • IC features of occupational health and safety regulations
  • Participating in real-life activities involving colleagues from different countries.

 

GENERAL GUIDE-Teacher's manual-Module 4.rev. docx

 

 

MODULE 5: Selling Products, Services & Maintenance in Engineering

GENRES
  • Face-to face debates and discussions
  • Meetings
  • Leaflets and other advertising products (blogs, articles, manuals)
  • In-house memos
  • Tables with selected technical and general information
  • Elevator pitch: canvas or video recordings
  • Video presentations: advertising a product, presenting ideas and concepts
  • Instructions, manuals, technical descriptions
  • SWOT analyses
  • Inquiry: asking relevant questions
PRONUNCIATION
  • Intonation in questions
  • Emphasis
GRAMMAR-VOCABULARY-DISCOURSE
    • Use of present and future tenses in product presentations
    • Descriptive adjectives and adjective phrases
    • Personal and impersonal language structures
    • Formal vs. informal language in business phone calls
    • Phrases used during different stages of formal phone conversations
    • Questions (general vs. specific; direct vs. indirect)
  • Persuasive language and attention grabbers for an elevator pitch.
Intercultural Competence
  • Awareness of differences across cultures
  • Politeness in spoken interaction and turn taking phrases
  • Different professional needs regarding specific products or services.

 

GENERAL GUIDE-Teachers Manual_MODULE 5

    

 

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