Teaching Writing Skills to Engineering Students: Panel Discussion via Google Hangout


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This presentation was a part of online participation via Google Hangout in the panel discussion on 'Teaching Writing Skills to Engineering Students. It was organised by Samvad Faculty forum of Dept. of Communication Skills, Marwadi Education Foundation's Group of Institutions, Rajkot (Gujarat - India)

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Hi DILIP! Liked your presentation! NEED it for better implementing of my new educational project:

    Just curious to watch/hear how am I at YouTube?

    Btw,All #ICT trainings 4 Uzbek Faculty/Students are here!
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  • I think its not for only students, should for doctors & all other corporate sectors too for the better communication
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  • http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3447697?uid=3738256&uid=310885715&uid=2&uid=3&uid=60&sid=21103082275313
  • Kulik, James A. 1994. “Meta-Analytic Studies of Findings on Computer-Based Instruction.” In Baker, Eva L. and O’Neil, Harold F., Jr., eds., Technology Assessment in Education and Training, pp. 9–33. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Teaching Writing Skills to Engineering Students: Panel Discussion via Google Hangout

    1. 1. Teaching Writing Skills to Engineering Students Dilip Barad Panel Discussion via Google Hangout 30 Nov 2013, Saturday 12/2/2013
    2. 2. The Scaffold • Writing skills: – Is it difficult? Why? What makes it so difficult? • Why English to Engineers? – "Engineers don't need to know how to write. Why are you making us do this?" • Should English be taught by subject teachers rather than English specialist? – An article by Christine Robinson and Gerard Blair • The Writing Process: English for Engineers: – Help of ‘Study Academic Writing’ - CUP • Use of ICT – from word processors to web tools 12/2/2013
    3. 3. Writing skills: Is it difficult? Why? What makes it so difficult? • Writing is one of the four basic skills in learning language. Compared to the others, writing is considered to be the most complex and difficult skill to master. • This difficulty, according to Richards and Renandya (2002: 303),”lies not only in generating and organizing of ideas but also in translating these ideas into readable texts”. 12/2/2013
    4. 4. Writing skills: Is it difficult? Why? What makes it so difficult? • Oshima and Hogue (1991) also asserted that good writing in English requires good grammar and good organization. Moreover, Tangermpoon (2008:1) emphasizes writing is the most difficult because “it requires writers to have a great deal of lexical and syntactic knowledge as well as principle of organization in L2 to produce good writing.” • It further indicates that writing is not an easy work to do and potentially creates many problems; therefore it may induce anxiety and frustration for many people especially English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. (…) 12/2/2013
    5. 5. Why English to Engineers? Why language proficiency to Engineers? • In engineering, the transition from idea to product requires that the engineer produce clear proposals demonstrating the idea's practicality and economic feasibility. • Writing is a key element in this process. 12/2/2013
    6. 6. Should English be taught by subject teachers rather than English specialist? • This leads us to the question of ‘who is the English specialist?’ • Masters of Arts with English, are they specialist to do this job? • Are the recent recruits to teach English to Engineering students capable to teach? • Are they good enough to be called ‘English specialist’? 12/2/2013
    7. 7. In an article ‘Writing skills training for Engineering students in large classes’ by Christine Robinson and Gerard Blair 12/2/2013
    8. 8. English Writing processes • The aim of teacher is to: 1. Introducing the idea that writing is a set of processes. 2. Showing how to distinguish between formal and personal styles of writing. 3. Looking at the grammar of formal discourse. 4. Practicing visualizing text as a pre-writing step. 12/2/2013
    9. 9. Thinking about writing processes: 1. When you write an important text, do you make more than one draft? 2. If option is given, do you prefer to write on paper or use a computer? Have you ever asked yourself why? 3. What do you do before you start writing? 4. How do you start writing? Do you begin at ‘the beginning’ or jump in wherever you have some ideas? Do you think one approach is better than another? 12/2/2013
    10. 10. Thinking about writing processes: 5. What do you do while you are writing? Do you stop and think? Do you ever go back to the beginning and start again? 6. When you finish your first complete draft, what do you do next? 12/2/2013
    11. 11. Recognizing technical writing • Read: – Linguists were and remain convinced by Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who discovered that however disparate human languages seem, all share a common, basic structure, seemingly hardwired into the brain. * Identify three features of this sentence that you think are technical or formal. 12/2/2013
    12. 12. • Read – The way you speak says a lot about you. • Identify three features of this sentence that seem non-technical to you. • Discuss with your partner…. • Let us see the answers … 12/2/2013
    13. 13. Features of formal/technical and informal/personal writings • In first sentence: – Complex sentence > which can be simplified to make it suitable for our purpose – Serious subject – Reference to technical, ‘linguists’ and ‘Noam Chomsky of …’ – Use of passive voice ‘Linguists were and remain convinced by N.Chomsky …’ – Shows truth status of statement, ‘seemingly hardwired into the brain’. 12/2/2013
    14. 14. • In second sentence: – Vague vocabulary, such as ‘way’, ‘say’ and ‘a lot’ – lack of precision. – Directly addressing the reader, ‘you’ – conversational style – Simple sentence structure. 12/2/2013
    15. 15. Formal After distinguishing some features of writing, let us now recognize levels of formality 12/2/2013 Reader Engineers Family & friends Content Serious thought conversational Style Complex sentences showing considerable variety in construction Mostly simple and compound sentences joined by conjunctions such as and or but Organization Clear and well planned Less likely to be as clear and as organized Grammar Likely to be error free May not always use complete sentences Vocabulary Levels of formality in writing Informal Technical and academic language used accurately Use of short forms, idioms and slang
    16. 16. Read the following sentences and tick F(formal) and I(Informal) Sentences I couldn’t finish the interview on time. The initial tests were completed and the results analyzed by June 2008. I’d like to start by drawing your attention to previous research in this area. In the 1990s, some researchers started to point out the problems with this theory. He agreed with me that this procedure didn’t make much sense. We’ll repeat the test sometime next year. While it is still too early to draw firm conclusions from the data, preliminary analysis suggests the following trends are present. In addition, the research attempts to answer two further related questions. 12/2/2013 F I Notes
    17. 17. The writing process: Visualizing your text • Before we study Grammar and Linguistic relativity of formal writing, let us see how can we visualize our text? • To write texts that are technical, begin by thinking about three key elements: audience, purpose and material. • Ask yourself 3 questions… 12/2/2013
    18. 18. Ask yourself: 1. Who is the text for? (A) 2. Why is the text needed? (P) 3. What resources – data, evidence, reference material, and so on – have I got that I can use? (M) 12/2/2013
    19. 19. Ideas for starting technical text • Material: make sure you have enough material, resources, data, evidence etc available. • Highlight ideas, evidence and arguments. • Purpose: is it report or argument. Going to be used for??? • Audience: who are readers? How will they use the text? Their depth of knowledge n reading? 12/2/2013
    20. 20. Use of ICT: from word processors to web tools • Word processor, in this case MS Word, offers some handy tools under its Tools menu which can be applied in improving writing skill. For examples: • Spell checking • Grammar checking • Thesaurus • Dictionary • Synonym and antonym 12/2/2013
    21. 21. It is supported by research • Kulik (2003) claimed that in three out of the four studies that have been conducted, word processing produced significant positive effects on student writing skills. • He also asserted with regular use of word processors, young writers might even get into the habit of revising and reorganizing their compositions, and this habit might affect the quality of their writing even when they were writing with paper and pencil alone. 12/2/2013
    22. 22. Internet • Blog – Seriousness – Published globally – better output than pen-pencil tasks • eGroups: Yahoo or Google – Threaded interaction – Dual benefit: Teacher controlled as well as peer learning 12/2/2013
    23. 23. Blogs for Writing Skills 12/2/2013
    24. 24. Story 1 12/2/2013
    25. 25. Story 2 12/2/2013
    26. 26. Story 3 12/2/2013
    27. 27. Social Media • • • • WatsApp FaceBook Twitter Google+ – These give immense opportunity to teachers to be in constant touch with students which helps in monitoring use of language by students and it may result into proficient use of language. – Teacher can ‘engage’ students for more hours with language > helps improve language proficiency. 12/2/2013
    28. 28. References: • Hampton, Roberta S. 1989a. “Community involvement in alphabet and material development.” Notes on Literacy.Interest level: lay specialist. • Writing skills training for engineering students > large classes > http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3447697?uid=3738256&uid=3108 85715&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3&uid=60&sid=21103081617713 • http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/241 • http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/download/nwp_file/437/How_to_Build.pd f?x-r=pcfile_d > download article • http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/engineering/index.xml • https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/4/19/ • http://www.ryerson.ca/feas/students/current/wst/index.html • http://www.writing.engr.psu.edu/ • http://neeyhapuzee.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/the-use-of-computer-inimproving-writing-skills/ • http://www.youtube.com/user/OWLPurdue#p/u/0/cV6ycLsAXrQ > vidcast on YouTube 12/2/2013
    29. 29. Thank You Department of Communication Skills Rajkot (Gujarat – India) www.dilipbarad.com 12/2/2013
    30. 30. 12/2/2013