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The University of Southampton

ENGL9090 English for Engineers Stage 4a

Module Overview

This module develops the accuracy, clarity and appropriacy of engineering students’ communication skills. We look at how language and content are affected by who you are writing for and the purpose of the task. We therefore discuss how to communicate technical ideas to non-specialist as well as specialist audiences.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Write technical texts which observe the academic conventions used in British higher education in order to communicate information, ideas, concepts and opinions clearly, concisely and accurately;
  • Use complex grammatical structures and appropriate vocabulary without undue L1 interference;
  • Give a poster or powerpoint presentation;
  • Recognise and use the appropriate register;
  • Communicate with a non-specialist as well as specialist audience;
  • Comment on data;
  • Explain processes;
  • Structure reports and essays.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Extract data and ideas from general and technical texts in a range of media;
  • Interpret and analyse a range of information beyond mere description;
  • Develop your own argument, using other sources to support them;
  • Express facts and concepts clearly using some complex constructions and an appropriate range of vocabulary.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Research and produce an essay / report;
  • Apply a range of reading strategies and use the library;
  • Use a variety of resources for the purpose of independent study;
  • Work as a member of a team by cooperating with others, negotiating, listening to others in the group, sharing responsibilities/tasks and meeting deadlines
  • Take part in discussions and seminars;
  • Prepare and deliver oral presentations, both individually and as part of a team;
  • Organise your language learning effectively: reflect on your progress; identify weaknesses and how to improve.


This module will use materials related to engineering and science to facilitate a detailed study of this genre. The skills covered include report writing, data analysis, process writing and presentations. Where possible, you are encouraged to apply the skills directly to your own field.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning activities are designed to enable you to achieve the learning outcomes described above; while part of any learning session is likely to involve direct teaching, the emphasis is on student participation and you will be expected to take part actively in discussions and in activities such small group and pair work, and individual or group presentations. You will be expected to spend time studying outside scheduled classes and guidance, facilities and materials will be provided to help you develop your expertise as an independent language learner.

Wider reading or practice18
Completion of assessment task32
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Follow-up work36
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Silyn-Roberts, H (2003). Writing for Science and Engineering. 

English for Engineers.

Oshima, A, Hogue, A (2006). Writing Academic English. 

Beer, D, McMurray, D (1997). A Guide to Writing as an Engineer. 

Swales, J M, Feak, C B (2009). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. 


Assessment Strategy

Language Skills Task: Listening and Vocabulary (10%) Task involves a short transcription, and identification / exploration of unfamiliar vocabulary. Summative. Individual presentation based on essay/report (10%) Marks awarded for English language ability (pace, appropriacy, range, fluency and accuracy on slides), quality of speech/intelligibility and presentation technique. Summative. Essay / report, 1000 words (10%). Marks awarded for content (depth and development of ideas, referencing, structure, organisation) and language (accuracy, style/register and vocabulary). Summative. 1.5 hour written exam (70%) The exam tests skills covered on the course, such as register, data commentary, and process writing. Extended answers will be awarded marks for content and language. Feedback Method Feedback on course work will be in the form of a highlighted feedback form and individual/group feedback. Exam feedback will be given to the cohort as a whole and posted on Blackboard. Referral Method Written assignment (100%)


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay/report 40%
Language skills task 20%
Oral presentation 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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