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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Primo semestre (primi anni)

Training objectives

Students will acquire a knowledge of subject-specific English relating to the field of civil and electrical and computer engineering. They will study morphosyntactic elements at a linguistic level equivalent to B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference, and will learn lexis, phrases and functions relevant to the field of civil and mechanical engineering. There will also be the opportunity to approach reading scientific texts in English, and to develop passive awareness of grammar and specific vocabulary.


Students should have a level of English equivalent to A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference.

Course programme

The course is divided into two parts, the first of which consists of 24 hours of grammar lessons at level B1 of the European Framework of Reference, whilst the other 24 hours will cover specific English relating to engineering. This latter part will focus on the main topics of technical language helping the student to acquire specialised vocabulary, develop reading and aural comprehension skills when faced with technical and scientific terms and learn structures and functions commonly used in the field.
The grammar part of the course covers the following points:
Determiners, Quantifiers and Articles
Present Tenses
Past Tenses
Future Tenses
Adjectives and Adverbs
Comparatives and Superlatives
Relative Pronouns and Relative Clauses
The Passive
Conditional Clauses (zero, first, second and third)
Direct and Indirect Speech

The subject-specific English lessons will make use of a scientific textbook and will cover the following points:
Lesson 1: Explaining how technology works pg.7-8 Unit 1 – Technology in Use
Lesson 2: Emphasising Technical Advantages pg.10 Unit 1
Lesson 3: Describing specific materials/ Categorising pg.14, 15 Unit 2 -Materials Technology
Lesson 4: Categorising and describing pg.16,18 Unit 2
Lesson 5: Explaining techniques pg.24,25 Unit 3 – Components and assemblies
Lesson 6: Interactive – feedback, risoluzione problemi e esercitazioni dei contenuti di lezioni 1 – 5
Lesson 7: Describing positions of assembled components pg.28,29
Lesson 8: Discussing dimensions and precision pg.32,33 Unit 4 – Engineering design
Lesson 9: Describing design phases and procedures pg.34,35 Unit 4
Lesson 10: Assessing and interpreting faults pg.40,41, 43 Unit 5 – Breaking point
Lesson 11: Progress Test
Lesson 12: Interactive – feedback, risoluzione problemi e esercitazioni dei contenuti di lezioni 7 – 11
Lesson 13: Repairs and maintenance pg.44,45
Lesson 14: Suggesting ideas and solutions pg.48,49 Unit 6 – Technical Development
Lesson 15: Describing improvements and redesigns pg.52,53
Lesson 16: Discussing regulations and standards pg.58,59 Unit 7 – Procedures and precautions
Lesson 17: Working with written instructions and notices pg.60,61
Lesson 18: Interactive – feedback, risoluzione problemi e esercitazioni dei contenuti di lezioni 13 – 17
Lesson 19: Discussing readings and trends pg.66,67 Unit 8 – Monitoring and control
Lesson 20: Giving approximate figures pg.68,69
Lesson 21: Comparing results with expectations pg. 74,75 Unit 9 – Theory and practice
Lesson 22: Discussing performance and suitability pg.78,79 Unit 10 – Pushing the boundaries
Lesson 23: Mock Exam (simulazione esame)
Lesson 24: Interactive – feedback finale, risoluzione problemi e esercitazioni dei contenuti di lezioni 19 – 23

Didactic methods

The course will be divided in two parts: 24 hours of grammar at B1 level which will be recorded as video-lessons and can be viewed using the e-learning platform, and which will be accessible to students who log in using their UNIFE credentials; 24 hours of subject-specific classes held by native speaker teachers focussing on English for Specific Purposes (ESP). The ESP part of the course will follow a cycle of five asynchronous lessons followed by an interactive session in which students will be able to ask for clarification and feedback on points covered, as well as put into practice the language that has been introduced in the previous lessons. The asynchronous lessons present the technical language and functions in a variety of ways including analysis of technical / scientific texts from which field-specific lexis will be extrapolated and examined.

Learning assessment procedures

Exams may be carried out either remotely (Moodle Platform) or in presence depending on the regulatory and/or epidemiological context.
The final exam will focus both on the grammar part and the lexis/structures part of the course. It will consist of 15 questions relating to the grammar points studied in the video-lessons followed by 16 questions relating to the topics covered in the ESP lessons.
Each question is worth one point, and leaving the answer blank counts as a mistake in the same way as an incorrect answer.
The score in “trentesimi” is calculated by adding up the total number of correct answers given.

Reference texts

For the grammar module:
Reader available online on the unife site (in the reserved area- login required)
For the ESP module:
Cambridge English for Engineering, M. Ibbotson, Cambridge Professional English, Cambridge University Press (2008)