It is crucial for the Japanese universities to develop globally competent human resources. Center for Innovation in Engineering Education at the University of Tokyo is promoting internationalization of the students as well as advancement of engineering education. In 2009, the center started the trial practice of global literacy enhancement projects in order to realize the “Bilingual Campus” . The center is aiming to develop web based literacy learning system at the students′ initiative and to develop an active learning of international experience through the cooperation with global companies. In this paper, the background of the project and its general outline are discussed.
ESP (English for Specific Purposes) has been the focus of much attention recently but the question arises of “what can ESP do?” Proposed here are three things that are possible with ESP. The first is using ESP as a tool to help students who are not English majors learn how language “works” via the concept of genre texts. The second is using an ESP approach to simulate professional communication contexts in order to raise student interest and motivation. The third is to aim for ESP bilingualism, which is a realistic and attainable goal. All three points will be illustrated with specific examples.
This article introduces extensive reading (ER) as an approach to improve fundamental communication skills in English of reluctant EFL learners : average Japanese engineering students. It is distinct from concurrent translation approach from a perspective that the learners use English instead of Japanese to grasp the meaning of what they read and enjoy reading. In the ER program at Toyota National College of Technology, many students developed more positive attitude toward English, increased their reading speed, and achieved higher TOEIC scores, which was compared to those of the students before this ER program was introduced. Comparison between three groups of the students showed strong correlation between their TOEIC scores and the reading amount.
Japanese English education has focused mainly on teaching passive skills such as reading and listening, whereas actual business activities in society require active skills such as writing and speaking in addition to the passive skills. This educational situation is estimated to be a reason Japanese engineers are less confident in writing and speaking than in reading and listening. This paper focuses on details of the English Technical Writing Test provided by the Japan Society of Technical Communication and emphasizes the importance of the active skills, mainly focusing on what skills should be taught in the future and how to develop these skills. This paper also stresses the necessity of learning rhetoric-related skills, concept of information words, as well as paragraph reading and writing skills based on the concept of the 3Cs (Correct, Clear, and Concise) as a means to develop technical writing skills for engineers.
Quick globalization of human activity of economy has made English the most important international communication tool in the world past two decades. Taking the fact that the people speaking English as a mother language is less than ten percents of the total world population, into account, it is obviously to be noted that almost all the people using other language with different cultural background can basically truly be communicated not in English but in individual language. In this respect, learning multiple languages leads to be fascinated by different national culture and results in further enjoyment of one′s life. This is actually demonstrated in terms of the author′s experience in this paper.
Nagoya University has more than one thousand foreign students. Some of them cannot understand Japanese well. In order to promote well understanding engineering, and to increase interaction among foreign students, technical staffs in Engineering School organized handcrafts exercise in English for foreign students based on suggestions by teachers at Creation Plaza. The subject in the exercise is to assemble models of a Stirling Engine. Technical staffs prepared all the parts of test equipments and gave English instructions to the registered students. All the participants appreciated the handcrafts exercised. Their comments are as follows : it was very fruitful ; good experience ; good opportunity to increase mutual interaction ; and so on.
This study researched the effects of participatory English classes on the motivation of university students of an engineering department who had failed in learning English in their junior-and senior high school days. As a participatory class is generally said to be able to make learners feel achievement and to raise their autonomy in learning, the author empirically gave the students English classes for 14-times in the form of a workshop for the first semester in 2009 and examined their changes in motivation and English reading abilities. As the results of a questionnaire and a test in the last class, it was found that the students attended all classes with strong motivation and improved their WPM and ability to comprehend in reading English.
A pronunciation tutorial website was created by the authors et al. Its aims are to encourage intelligible pronunciation and to explain the rules of linking, and to have learners practice linking parts by visual and audio aid. The website was introduced to students at Gifu National College of Technology to raise the students′ awareness of their English pronunciation and their knowledge on linking, and to conduct research on their perception of this tutorial. The collected data reveal that 83% of the students got to try applying linking rules more in pronouncing English than before. Also, the data significantly show that the students who had learned linking before they took this web-based pronunciation tutorial felt more benefit from this tutorial.
Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) supported a high school international exchange program between Komatsu Senior High School of Japan and Daejeon Science High School of South Korea through the delivery of a two-day pre-college engineering seminar in 2008. Students were asked to build stronger and more attractive bridges using as little balsa wood as possible. We delivered the course content through four pedagogical methods: the Plan-Do-Check-Action Cycle, hands-on exercises, cooperative learning, and presentations in English. Students also gained technical knowledge and an international way of thinking. This paper discusses the experience of supporting a high school international exchange program and the results of student feedback.
Globalization is one of the most important challenges for universities. Especially for the School of Engineering, it is crucial to foster researchers or engineers with broader perspective. International communication competency is essential for them in order to deal with other professionals from overseas. Center for Innovation in Engineering Education established in the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo in 2005 started two programs for graduate and undergraduate students to enhance their international communication competency and to increase international competitiveness. ‘English for Scientists and Engineers A, B’ are for the graduate students to learn how to write papers in English and how to make good presentations. Special English Lessons are for the undergraduate students to have a chance to practice English conversation or prepare for TOEFL test. In this paper, the authors discuss the details of the programs, their purpose and the future tasks.