Course details

Professional English for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 1/2

JA9 Acad. year 2010/2011 Winter semester 3 credits

Current academic year

Course is not open in this year

The course is orientated towards professional language competence of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science students.The capability of professional foreign language communication becomes an inseparable part of a successful incorporation into the European working process in the context of the Czech Republic entering the European Union. Professional skills include the rules of making presentations, C.V. in both oral and written forms, characteristic features of written communication, taking notes, participating in interviews, negotiating, telephoning, socializing, expression of the request, agreement and disagreement, surprise, doubt and opinion. The course also includes the basic information on translation activities and on recurrent errors of language.


Language of instruction

Czech, English


Credit (written)

Time span

26 hrs exercises


Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

Speaking: giving a presentation, giving descriptions and explanations, seminar skills-indicating non-comprehension, asking for clarification, questioning, disagreeing. Interacting: participating in discussions and meetings, interviewing, telephoning, socializing, expression of request, agreement, and disagreement, surprise, doubt, opinion. Listening: taking notes; following presentations, lectures or talks; following instructions. Writing: formal letters, faxes, memos, C.V., letters of job application, abstract, improving basic translation skills.

Learning objectives

Development of professional speaking and listening skills. Development of specific writing skills (characteristic features of written communications, curriculum vitae, job application, abstract etc.). Czech-English translations: recurrent errors of language. Note: This is a two-semester course.


Prerequisite kwnowledge and skills

A knowledge of the upper-intermediate English or higher level.

Syllabus of lectures

  • Letters, faxes and memos (layout and style).
  • Students' qualifications. Translations: word order.
  • Curriculum Vitae. Agreement and disagreement.
  • Translations: long subject followed by short predicate; concord of the verb "to be".
  • Telephoning, answer phone. Numbers.
  • A Letter of Job Application.
  • Expressing a request. Translations: verbal noun, gerund.
  • Socializing. Translations: imperative, compound nouns.
  • Making arrangements. Czenglish: verbal phrases I.
  • Instructions. Czenglish: verbal phrases II.
  • Seminar skills.
  • Meetings: to discuss problems and decide what action to take.
  • Autumn semester test written.
  • Making notes. Punctuation.
  • Employment policy, company's activities. Contrasting ideas.
  • Participating in Interviews: background information.
  • Conducting an Interview. Words that join ideas.
  • Key features of an effective presentation.
  • Making a good introduction of a presentation.
  • Ways of organizing a presentation.
  • Visual aids.
  • Effective ending to a presentation.
  • The research article abstract (functions, content and organization, grammar and style, vocabulary).
  • Academic reading: prediction, skimming, scanning, deducing unknown words.
  • Writing a report.
  • Course evaluation student questionnaire.

Syllabus of numerical exercises

  • Needs Analysis Questionnaire. Writing a formal letter.
  • Speaking about family background, qualifications, other special skills and hobbies.
  • Writing C.V. Agreement and disagreement in practice.
  • Presenting C.V. Translation activities. Listening: locating objects.
  • To make contact and exchange information over the phone. Numbers-practice.
  • Practice of single parts, phrases and expressions used in a letter of application.
  • Distribution of newspaper job advertisements and writing a letter of job application. Translation activities. Expressing a request.
  • Holding social conversations with business contacts; interests and routines. Translation activities.
  • Arranging and re-arranging a schedule.
  • Following instructions. At the Airport. Translation activities.
  • Seminar skills:indicating non-comprehension, asking for clarification, questioning, disagreeing.
  • Taking part in a meeting: solving a problem, recommending an action, justifying decisions, making suggestions.
  • Autumn semester test written.
  • Making notes; using notes to write a report. Punctuation marks.
  • Getting to know the workplace; different kinds of companies; company organization. Contrasting ideas-practice.
  • Participating in interviews. Areas interviewers focus on: past, future, worth, personality. Useful phrases and expressions.
  • Participating in interviews. Advice before attending an interview; difficult questions at an interview; extracts from two interviews-assessment. Words that join ideas-practice.
  • Effective presentations: presenting background information. Review of time expressions and tenses.
  • Effective presentations: preparing and giving an introduction; introducing yourself and your talk.
  • Effective presentations: key words and phrases for linking ideas; giving a presentation on a subject of student's choice.
  • Showing how to design and use visual aids. Describing graphs, charts and trends.
  • Effective presentations: the language of ending it. Preparing and giving the ending of a presentation on a subject of student's choice.
  • Activating and sharing students' knowledge on an abstract. Exploiting various semi-technical abstracts.
  • Reading a journal article; writing an abstract for it.
  • Planning and editing a report.
  • Spring semester test written. Course evaluation student questionnaire.

Progress assessment

  • Self assessment-grading the following things related to students' effort and attitude: participation in class, use of English in class, homework, working in groups.
  • Vocabulary achievement test.

Exam prerequisites

Winter semester: typed or printed Curriculum Vitae (10 points) and an oral presentation of information contained in C.V. (10 points). Summer semester: test in writing (the translation of a semi-technical text into English; listening; vocabulary and language use). The maximum number of points possible from each semester test is 20 points. If a student obtans 90% or above in his/her semester test, he/she receives the full number of points. For a mark between 70%-89%, 15 points are allocated; and for a mark between 50%-69%, 10 points are allocated. A student has to receive at least 10 points of the possible 20 points in each of two semesters if he/she wants to enter his/her name for the final exam.

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