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ERIC Number: EJ892114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0304-3797
Integrated Language Education--A Means of Enhancing Engineers' Social Competences
Lappalainen, P.
European Journal of Engineering Education, v35 n4 p393-403 Aug 2010
The changes facing industries are necessitating a concomitant change in university curriculum. Before instigating a reform, however, education providers need to acquire an understanding of the most pertinent development needs essential for filling industrial competence gaps. The Language Centre at the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland set out to respond to the emerging competence demands by examining industrial requirements through previous research and stakeholder analyses. Surveys conducted among employers and students corroborated a need to shift focus towards oral communication abilities. More specifically, university education needs to address interaction skills essential in meetings and managerial tasks. As a result, a so-called integrated language course was designed and piloted to train students into multi-disciplinary, culturally and ethically aware communicators who possess leveraged self-leadership and managerial abilities. "Organisational Communications" integrates substance matters such as finance, strategy, leadership and ethics into a language course, while harnessing the English language as a tool. Course methodology is based on project- and problem-based learning and situational learning, rooting the students in real working life by imitating authentic corporate cases and industrial contexts. The course aims to provide the students with preparedness, ability and mindset to deal with working life challenges and ways of working while applying their specialist discourse, that is, the appropriate industrial jargon and linguistic practices. The learning outcomes and student feedback from this course indicate that the pedagogy in use in this experiment, drawing from exercises emulating authentic, industrial problems, offers an effective method of preparing students for working life requirements. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland