Professional Development- How does English Language Matter?

OIR_resizer.aspxEnglish Language appears as watertight compartments in Indian classrooms. The prescribed curriculum of technical studies hardly provides opportunities and sufficient time to deal with English language. Teaching English to engineers is a delicate and promising matter in terms of content, method and technique, and deciding which is appropriate for this particular area of engineering and English. Thus the objective of such an interdisciplinary course is to master related speaking and professional skills, using English as a means and a kind of mediator in shaping future engineers. Students pursuing engineering require an ever-increasing range of skills to maintain relevance with the global environment of the new millennium. English language skills are also important given its widespread status across the globe as a lingua franca. Though, lingual skills are considered a salient element in the make-up of the new global engineer.

English terms for specific purposes highlights the learner’s attention on the particular terminology and communication skills required in both national and international professional field. Communication skills have different methods of teaching and assessment. This development include various elements, including gender equality, personality development, and professionalism. Deficit of sufficient communication skills serves only to undermine the image of the engineer. The academia and industry as well consider communication skills to be indispensable. Globalization directly influences industry’s demands; a global engineer must be capable of easily crossing national and cultural boundaries. This meanwhile directly influences engineering education. Professional development is necessarily a personal journey and that one needs to work out one’s personal meaning, motive and action plan for a meaningful and sustainable professional development. English is now considered as almost exclusively as the language of science. The acquisition of a de facto universal language of science has had an extraordinary effect on technical communication: by acquisition of a single language, scientists around the world gain accessibility to the widespread scientific literature and can communicate with other people related to science anywhere in the world.

However, the inclusion of English as a scientific language raises promising challenges for those who are not first language speakers. Despite of many years of exposure to English, engineer’s performance in English is found highly inadequate which in turn hinders professional development. Who is responsible for this and what may be the reasons? The possible replies to this question are expected to involve a list of diverse factors concerning teaching, learning, planning and practice of language. Language and speaking skills are counted as important elements in the education of the new engineers, including English for specific purposes. Yet, there seems to be limited execution of English courses internationally, despite its current lingua franca status. The incorporation of language and speaking improvement courses is an important element of continuous learning, and will resultantly contribute to the strategy of complete learning. This should in turn facilitate advancements in engineering and, indeed, engineering studies through channelizing fundamental communication skills