ENGLISH FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE: READING SKILLS, ELEMENTARY LEVEL! Third Edition
Teaching English for Computer sciences at the elementary level.
English for Computer Sciences is designed for:
– students of Computer Science in technical colleges and universities,
– people working with computers who want to improve their knowledge of English
– because people need to use English-language manuals, textbooks, and reference
– because people plan to work in an English-speaking environment
English for Computer Sciences aims at skill improvement:
- Speaking – to communicate about computing topics
- Reading – to understand a wide variety of texts including diagrams, tables, and
– to compare different sources of information, written and spoken
– to develop and build reading strategies and skills
– to understand the reading structure
– to learn and practice scanning and skimming skills
– to recognize the main ideas and general purposes of reading passages
– to understand signal words
– to recognize the contextual reference
– to understand cause and effect, comparison and contrast, classification, exemplification, inference, and sequence
- Writing – to write descriptions and explanations of processes
– to write summaries of longer texts
– to make outlines
– to write answers to discussion questions in complete sentences
This book has been written by a prolific ESP writer authoring 115 ESP textbooks. Care has been taken to ensure that the book is methodologically sound and at the same time that the technical content is correct and up-to-date. Recent important developments in computing are included.
4 Textbook design
This textbook is designed to meet the requirements of both teachers and students. The author recognizes that very few English teachers have specialist knowledge of computing. He also recognizes that the students who use this book want some exposure to the kind of texts used by their fellows in English-speaking countries. The materials used in this book, therefore, consist of genuine computer materials adapted to be appropriate to the level.
This textbook contains 12 units thematically based units, each of which consists of one reading passage. Each unit begins starts with a brief pre-reading exercise followed by a vocabulary preview section where keywords and phrases are explained and illustrated in several sentences.
Various types of exercises are used to make sure that students have understood and seen these words and phrases in new contexts. Scanning for specific information and/or skimming for main ideas exercises precede the reading. Following the reading passage itself, there are post-reading exercises that focus on important reading skills: reading comprehension, getting the main idea; understanding the reading structure; understanding from context; recognizing contextual reference; understanding the topic and topic sentence; understanding general and specific ideas; summarizing; understanding signal words; making an outline; understanding cause and effect; understanding comparison and contrast; practicing classification; and understanding exemplification, inference, and sequence.
Each part of the unit concludes with a discussion designed to encourage students to think about, distill, and discuss the information they have read throughout the unit. Sometimes the discussion deals with a topic from outside the reading.
An important goal of ENGLISH FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE is to help computing students to become confident readers by increasing their vocabulary base and improving their reading skills. It engages them in the process of reading thoughtfully and encourages them to move beyond passive reading. The book contains a glossary of technical terms along with their definitions as a handy reference of the terms used in this book.
Getting Ready This section contains starter activities. It is intended to start students thinking about the topic of the unit and to encourage them to share both relevant language and knowledge of the topic.
All units contain one computer-related reading passage. The activities which accompany passages are designed to improve both extensive reading skills (more speed, less attention to detail) and intensive reading skills (less speed, more attention to detail). Because the texts are authentic and technical, each unit contains a vocabulary preview that explains keywords used in the reading along with several sentences illustrating their usage as well as their pronunciation and parts of speech.
These activities are for fluency through practice, not accuracy. The real importance of these activities lies in the communicative process. Often students will not understand each other at first. It is important that they develop strategies for coping with not understanding and not being understood. For example, they should be encouraged to ask for clarification when they do not understand and to try rephrasing when they do not understand.
The various types of writing exercises concentrate on reinforcing language use.
As the texts in English for Computer Sciences are authentic and come from a variety of sources, some inconsistencies in spelling and punctuation will be found. The publisher has not attempted to standardize these, since students will be exposed to such inconsistencies in their professional lives. Certain words deserve special mention. In British texts on computing the American spelling, analog is fast becoming standard, whereas the British texts on electronics analogue are almost always used. The spelling of disk/disc varies widely. The usual forms are:
compact disc; hard/floppy disk, disk drive, etc.