Content-based English Enhancement Scheme: A case study in Civil Engineering core courses

Wing Yee Siu

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Teaching and learningpeer-review


Undergraduates who used to study Science subjects in their native language in secondary schools may experience tremendous difficulty in switching to English medium learning after matriculation (Evans & Morrison, 2011). In response to the call for additional support, two Civil Engineering core courses were taken as a testbed to devise appropriate services to enhance their academic English. Since many Engineering courses highly focus on the technicality (e.g. theory, measurement and calculation), have a tight teaching schedule (Goldsmith & Willey, 2016), and students are often preoccupied with the technical subject assignments, our project intends to maximise the opportunities for students to practice English within their core courses. By the implementation of bespoke subject-specific wordlists, reading tips and writing guidelines derived from their respective course material and assignments, this project found positive learning outcome in both cohorts. The average mean score of their post-course vocabulary quiz has increased. Students self-reported in the survey that they by large encountered a variety of difficulties in speaking, followed by writing in which grammar and vocabulary affects the fluency in both speaking and writing. We can conclude that students acknowledged more difficulties in expression (i.e. speaking and writing) than in comprehension (i.e. reading and listening).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - 5 Dec 2018
EventThe 2nd International Conference on English Across the Curriculum/ - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 4 Dec 20184 Dec 2018


ConferenceThe 2nd International Conference on English Across the Curriculum/
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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