How to Teach English to Engineers


teach English to Engineers


First of all, what is an “engineer”? The word “engineer” encompasses such a wide area!  There are so many different types of engineers each with their own specialized vocabulary. So how do you “teach English to engineers” when you have all these different specialties such as aeronautics engineer, bio engineer, environmental engineer and civil engineer each with its specific DNA? Where do you even begin? The vocabulary for engineers alone is bound to be wildly divergent not to mention the fact that when it comes to dealing with engineers, specialized vocabulary is the least of your problems.

You have to be very creative with these types. They are brainy, hard to please and easily bored.

A safe catch all bet when teaching English to engineers is to stick to topics involving technology. They tend to eat those topics up – even if the technology in question is not their specific area of interest.

As for other more specific things you can and ought to cover in your lessons, always fall back on having them do lots of presentations. You can do a lesson on presentation techniques. This could include read aloud and videos and audios. Then for each class you can have students present on a pre-selected topic. You will find that engineers like to present and explain things. So, you just can’t go wrong with weekly presentations.  Each week you can have 2 or 3 students present on a topic of their choice on a subject involving technology and/or engineering.

You can bring in related articles to the fields of Engineering and technology for read aloud, reading comprehension, debates, giving their opinions and vocabulary drills. FYI: Just because they are engineers does not mean they have to study only “technical” vocabulary. Engineers need to know general English vocabulary too.

Use a lot of games such as crossword puzzles, mapping, word searches and miming. You can also incorporate lessons that involve drawing, interactive quizzes, verbally analyzing photographs and music analysis.

Another great source of information and materials for teachers of engineering students are personalities. Elon Musk for example is a must study for Engineering students. They really enjoy his antics such as launching a car into space.

All in all, teaching engineers English can be a very fun job. You just have to be creative and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are there to teach them engineering. No, you are their English teacher there to teach the English language within the content are of technology and engineering.


Check out these articles:


image credit