Discovering New Word(l)s: Flexible Approaches to Languages for Special Purposes

Session We3:  Nov 10, 12:35 PM

Description of Workshop:

International engineering education programs prepare future engineers to be professionals in the global arena. This goal requires the development of engineering skills and knowhow, collaboration and decision-making skills, as well as linguistic and cultural knowledge. Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) courses for engineers offer students the opportunity to develop linguistic and intercultural skills, applicable specifically to their future engineering careers. This multi-language panel shares experiences of developing, redesigning and teaching LSP Spanish, French, German, and Russian courses in the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University during the COVID-19 times and discusses the consequences of undertaking new approaches for LSP courses for the future.

In their presentation, A Flexible LSP Course Design and Experience of Teaching during COVID-19, Cecilia Tenorio (Spanish) and Marc Rathmann (German) will highlight how two LSP engineering courses at Purdue in Spanish and German were adapted to an online and hybrid mode to address teaching and learning during COVID-19. The presenters will explain how they have modified their existing face-to-face LSP courses (a sixth semester German for Science and Engineering course and a sixth semester Spanish for Engineering and Technology course) to hybrid synchronous and asynchronous online formats. In addition to the main topic of course design, they will also describe how COVID-19 can be covered as a course topic.

Olga Lyanda-Geller in her talk Russian for Rockets: Science and Engineering will discuss her experience of developing and delivering three new courses, Russian for Rocket Sciences (beginners), Russian, Rockets and Space (beginners / elementary heritage speakers) and Technical Russian for Scientists and Engineers (advanced L2 / heritage learners). While continuing working on their proficiency in the Russian language, students taking these multidisciplinary courses learn about history of Russian science and modern scientific and engineering technologies. The hybrid / hyflex mode of simultaneous face-to-face and online teaching allows for maximal flexibility needed during and post COVID-19 in a mixed classroom (L2 and heritage learners).

Besides sharing their experiences of developing new courses and adapting existing courses during COVID-19, the presenters will provide ideas on how to design flexible LSP courses addressing new challenges in changing circumstances.