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Engineering English : a lexical frequency instruction model.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2006
<mark>Journal</mark>English for Specific Purposes
Issue number2
Volume25
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)235-256
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper argues for the integration of the lexical approach with a data-driven corpus-based methodology in English teaching for technical students, particularly students of Engineering. It presents the findings of the author’s computer-aided research, which aimed to establish a frequency-based corpus of student engineering lexis. The Student Engineering English Corpus (SEEC), reported here, contains nearly 2,000,000 running words reduced to 1200 word families or 9000 word-types encountered in engineering textbooks that are compulsory for all engineering students, regardless of their fields of specialization. The most immediate implication arising from this research is that sub-technical vocabulary as well as Academic English should be given more attention in the ESP classroom. The paper illustrates some sample data-driven instructional activities consistent with the lexical approach, in order to help students acquire the so-called language prefabs, or formulaic multi-word units/collocations, for technical and non-technical uses. The integration of the lexical approach with a corpus linguistic methodology can enrich the learners’ language experience and raise their language awareness, bringing out the researcher in them.