Do you excel at the technical side of your job but struggle to present and translate complex engineering concepts in English? There’s no getting around it: If you want to succeed as an engineer in the 21st century, fluency in English is often as important as technical acumen. Increasingly, technical organizations require their professionals to demonstrate good communications skills in English, and those who lack these skills often struggle to succeed even if they’re great engineers.
On 21 October, the Technical English: Strategies to Improve Workplace and School Success virtual event highlighted how the new IEEE English for Technical Professionals program provides non-native English speakers with a working knowledge of English techniques and vocabulary that are vital for succeeding in today’s technical workplace.
Presented by course instructor Traci Nathans-Kelly, PhD, who currently teaches in the Engineering Communications Program at Cornell University’s College of Engineering (USA), and Jennifer Fong, a former classroom teacher and instructional designer who now leads the education product, sales, and marketing teams at IEEE, the virtual event demonstrated:
- the value of English language proficiency in a global workforce
- the unique English language requirements for technical professionals and students
- advice on how to improve technical English language skills
What is the IEEE English for Technical Professionals Program?
As discussed in a previous post, engineers across the globe are increasingly working within an international workforce. With 67 nations declaring English as their official language, English is the most commonly spoken language among engineering professionals and students as well as within international supply chains. Additionally, college and engineering programs are increasingly requiring that students be proficient in English, and a large number of universities now require applicants take standardized tests in English as part of their admissions process.
The new IEEE English for Technical Professionals program is virtual and interactive, and mimics real-life scenarios in which participants apply what they are learning during lessons. Similar to a video game, they follow recurring characters through a range of plots in which they explore various English language concepts in a technical work environment.
The program includes:
- 14 hours of online instruction with lessons set in working engineering contexts
- Modules on reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills for each lesson
- Short assessments and exercises throughout each lesson to help improve skills
- Final quiz/test at the end of each lesson
- Certificates issued at the end of each lesson, as well as at the end of the full program
This course program is geared towards working technical professionals, graduates entering the technical industry, university students studying technical concepts, PhD students, research scholars, and individuals who want to get better at writing technical papers.
Learning the complexities of English isn’t easy. However, through this engaging and interactive program, engineers who struggle with English will be a step closer to fluency and a step closer to success.
Technical English: Strategies to Improve Workplace and School Success
Enable technical professionals whose first language is not English to improve their language skills in a way that fits the needs and priorities of working adults in technical fields. Watch the free IEEE virtual event, Technical English: Strategies to Improve Workplace and School Success.
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