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English for STEM: Understanding Engineering Vocabulary

Improve your English language skills as you learn the essential vocabulary to help you understand key engineering subjects.

a young man working in STEM standing in a factory wearing protective glasses and yellow ear muffs

Develop your English vocabulary in civil, industrial, and mechanical engineering

This three-week course from Macquarie University EMI Centre will help you improve your English language ability in the context of engineering.

You’ll delve into key concepts in civil, industrial and mechanical engineering. Through this exploration, you’ll learn essential vocabulary in topics such as sustainable building, occupational health and safety, and robotics.

Throughout the course, you’ll also master pronunciation, word form, and use to ensure you can use engineering vocabulary in the right way.

Improve your English language skills using effective strategies

You’ll learn from videos, quizzes, and reading texts designed specifically for English language learners to help you understand different engineering subjects.

You’ll also discover interactive tools, such as Quizlet, as a strategy for recording and revising new vocabulary.

Develop your academic skills to help you study engineering

Each week, you’ll explore group work and problem-solving skills to help prepare you for studying in English. You’ll learn useful language for group discussions such as language to make suggestions, analyse solutions, and evaluate outcomes.

Learn from the experts at Macquarie University

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by a language trainer and an engineering trainer from Macquarie University EMI centre.

With their expertise, and frequent opportunities to practise your new language skills, you’ll finish the course with the confidence to use engineering vocabulary in real-life settings.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds Do you want to get ahead on English preparation for your studies and career? Sign up for Macquarie University’s ‘English for STEM’ series on FutureLearn. Improve your English so that you can study or teach science, technology, engineering or maths. STEM content specialists and English language trainers will help you develop language and skills to succeed in your studies. The course makes learning fun with STEM videos, quizzes, pronunciation practice, and interactive language tools. You’ll also learn about listening to lectures, giving presentations, and participating in discussions. Prepare for success with the Macquarie University EMI Centre’s ‘English for STEM’ series. Now available on Futurelearn.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Civil Engineering

    • Welcome to English for STEM: Engineering

      In this section, you will meet your language trainer and engineering trainer. You will also learn how to use Quizlet to record and practise new vocabulary.

    • Introduction to Civil Engineering

      In this section, you will learn some basic English vocabulary relating to civil engineering generally and also the topic of sustainable building. You will also have the chance to practise and record the new vocabulary.

    • Reading Practice

      In this section, you will read a text about a sustainable building and answer some questions. You will also learn about countable and uncountable nouns.

    • Academic Skill: Group Work

      In this section, you will learn about problem-solving as part of a group. You will also learn some language for making suggestions.

    • Conclusion

      In this section, you will review some of the language you have learnt this week and look at a summary of what you have covered during the week.

  • Week 2

    Industrial Engineering

    • Introduction to Industrial Engineering

      In this section, you will learn some basic English vocabulary relating to industrial engineering generally and the topic of personal protective equipment. You will also have the chance to practise and record the new vocabulary.

    • Reading Practice

      In this section, you will read an infographic about personal protective equipment (PPE) and answer some questions. You will also learn about the difference between should and must.

    • Academic Skill: Group Work

      In this section, you will learn about problem-solving as part of a group. You will also learn some language for describing possible outcomes.

    • Conclusion

      In this section, you will review some of the language you have learnt this week and look at a summary of what you have covered during the week.

  • Week 3

    Mechanical Engineering

    • Introduction to Mechanical Engineering

      In this section, you will learn some basic English vocabulary relating to mechanical engineering generally and also the topic of robots. You will also have the chance to practise and record the new vocabulary.

    • Reading Practice

      In this section, you will read a text about robots used in recycling and answer some questions. You will also learn about the difference between the active and passive voice.

    • Academic Skill: Group Work

      In this section, you will learn about problem-solving as part of a group. You will also learn some language for describing cause and effect.

    • Conclusion

      In this section, you will review some of the language you have learnt this week and look at a summary of what you have covered during the week.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop key English vocabulary for engineering
  • Apply strategies for recording and revising new vocabulary
  • Interpret written and visual texts on engineering topics
  • Improve your academic skills for studying in English

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who is going to be studying engineering and would like to develop their English language ability.

It will be most useful for learners who have an Intermediate CEFR B1 level of English.

Who will you learn with?

English Language Teacher at Macquarie University College. Cambridge CELTA. Over 10 years' teaching experience in Spain, Belgium and Australia.

PhD. in Control Theory. Engineering, Physics and Maths Teacher at Macquarie University College. Over 10 years’ teaching experience in Australian Universities. Experience in the engineering industry.

Who developed the course?

Macquarie University

Macquarie University aspires to be a different type of university: one focused on fostering collaboration between students, academics, industry and society. Ranked in the top 1% of Universities globally, Macquarie is recognised for producing graduates who are among the most sought after professionals in the world.

  • Established

    1964
  • Location

    Sydney, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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