VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Ahead in Technology, Behind in Language Skills: English Teachers` Experiences with Japanese Science Students
Jane O'Halloran, Yuri Okunishi, Yoko Maekawa

Building: A12
Room: Room 103
Date: 2018-10-12 04:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Last modified: 2018-09-20


With a rapidly declining and ageing population, Japan is increasingly looking to robotics and automation to supplement its workforce. Japanese universities emphasise their role in shaping future technology and educating students about these issues. At our university of science, we are in the forefront of technical advances and research. Nevertheless, English language skills remain a major challenge for our students. As language teachers we seek to prepare students in the areas of communication, presentation skills and academic writing but struggle to tackle the teaching of the necessary professional vocabulary. In this presentation we shall share the results of a qualitative survey into the challenges faced by English teachers responsible for instruction in technical language in such diverse fields as bio-medical technology, mechatronics, environmental energy and advanced material engineering. We shall introduce the steps we have taken to bridge this gap while preparing our students to be able to explain their research in academic journals and at international presentations. In addition, we are very much aware of the need to ready them for the possibility of workplace situations that may be increasingly online and English-focussed as Japan looks to foreign markets and welcomes workers from overseas. These are exciting challenges for the teachers and students alike.


English for occupational and professional purposes Challenges and solutions to ESP teaching and learning Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)