Associate Professor James Dunn: Academic ESP for Engineering Students Through an Easy Collaborative Project 

Shizuoka JALT — Shizuoka City
September 10, 2017
2:00 – 4:00

Site and map:

James D. Dunn
Tokai University

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in ESP learning strategies given that they facilitate a host of second/foreign language learning opportunities. As some learners may not find scientific abstract writing sufficient or useful for their current or future needs, they may not be interested in developing mastery of the vocabulary and writing skills necessary for their field. Collaborative project-based learning may help them to become more proficient with the broad range of vocabulary and writing skills necessary to the abstract writing process.

This presentation shares the set-up, main activity, and extension of an in-class collaborative project which supports engineering vocabulary usage and scientific abstract writing skills. By utilizing inexpensive easily obtained materials, in class, students are tasked with creating a mechanism that requires them to be creative, work in a team, and use their engineering knowledge. At the end of the project, students collect data on their mechanism’s performance. The final extension of this project-based activity is for students prepare an accurate abstract that describes the design, manufacture, and performance of their mechanism. By allowing students to be creative and work in teams, ESP vocabulary and writing skills can become not only educational, but fun.

James Dunn is an Associate Professor at Tokai University. His research interests are in Critical Thinking skills and their impact on brain functionality. Currently he is measuring higher-order thinking skills training emotional response in English activities. His educational goal is to help students improve themselves through awareness of critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills training.