Listening Skills for Engineering and Technical English, Elementary Level, is the first in a series of English language texts designed for use in engineering and technology colleges, institutes, and adult English-language training programmes. This volume consists of eight units, and each unit is divided into two main parts. The units are organized around selected rhetorical functions: general ideas, specific information, classification, defining, chronological order, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, and processes and procedures. The book is aimed at Arab students who are at an elementary level of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Each unit proceeds from listening at sentence level to listening to a short passage, and aims at developing students’ skills in listening in engineering and technical English. Prelistening and postlistening activities are included in each unit. The book is accompanied by one audio CD.
Organization of Units
Each of the eight units consists of the following sections:
Some questions to discuss orally in order to give learners an idea of the subject matter and prepare them for listening. This is also developed by pictures relevant to the topic of the unit.
A list of key vocabulary items that is undefined in the listening. They are briefly defined in the preview and are accompanied by sentences with missing words to be filled in.
The listening passages are read by a variety of native speakers of English. The vocabulary, structure, content variation, redundancy, and rhetorical style of each passage have been carefully chosen and designed.
A variety of listening exercises that focus on listening skills as related to the rhetorical function being focused on. These include, among other skills and strategies, making an outline, which is partially completed in order to lay out the rhetorical structure of the talk.
Written exercises focusing on the specific rhetorical function being examined in order to help the listener reconstruct important information from the talk.
Rationale for the Course Design
Listening to sentence-level material and short passages trains elementary students in listening skills relevant to the rhetorical functions.
Materials are controlled for concept-recycling. Each passage contains a limited number of ideas that the listener hopefully retains. Support for these key ideas (that is, recycling) comes in the form of rewordings, examples, clear transition markers, and summarizing.
Because of the graded use of language within the talks, learners acquire the ability to process spoken language for increasingly longer spans of time – a highly desirable target.
In order to ensure a high degree of comprehension of the passage, a large percentage of content words need to be readily understood. The topics chosen for the talks have, therefore, been made as tangible as possible, with the vocabulary kept within an elementary-level word-frequency range.
Finally, an important skill for students is note-taking, by which they spot the main points of a talk and write them down in note form. These notes help the listener to remember the main points of the talk. Note-taking is an individual activity, so one person may have difficulty understanding another person’s notes. The activities in this book should help a student learn to take down clearer, more concise notes. In further activities, the learner is often asked to complete the partial notes given.
UNIT 1 GENERAL IDEAS
Part A Marine Engineers
Part B Chemical Batteries
UNIT 2 SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Part A Metals for Drink Cans and Generators
Part B Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Personnel
UNIT 3 CLASSIFICATION
Part A Branches of Engineering
Part B Types of Filters
UNIT 4 DEFINITIONS
Part A Gas Compressors and Brakes
Part B Industrial Electronics
UNIT 5 CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Part A Development of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering
Part B Development of Computer Memory
UNIT 6 CAUSE AND EFFECT
Part A Why a DC Moving-Coil Cannot Measure AC
Part B Causes of Corrosion in a Piping System
UNIT 7 COMPARING AND CONTRASTING
Part A Electronics and Electricity
Part B Mobile Communication
UNIT 8 PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES
Part A Internal Combustion in a Car
Part B Changing a Car’s Oil
Listening Skills for Engineering and Technical English, Elementary Level