The Language of Civil Engineering: Corpus-based Studies on Vocational School Textbooks in Malaysia

 
 
 
  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • References
  • PDF
  • Abstract


    Engineering textbooks are specialized in nature, containing technical terminology which can be challenging to learners. For better comprehension of engineering concepts, there is a need for bridging the language gap by focusing on the frequently used and important engineering vocabulary. Most English Language Teaching (ELT) teachers do not necessary possess the specialist language in the field of engineering which can be rather confusing to them. It has been reported that Malaysian engineering textbooks (syllabus) were not written based on any word lists or corpora. Hence, learners require the language needed in the field of engineering – English for Engineering Purposes (EEP). To meet this requirement, specialised engineering textbooks were studied to specify the meaningful lexical components which can facilitate learners to assimilate into their discourse community. In the field of civil engineering, there is no exception that learners too need to understand the composition of words found in their textbooks. This study shows the exact word lists and suggests what learners and teachers can do to learn the “language of civil engineering”.


  • Keywords


    Language of civil engineering; word list; terminology; vocational school; textbooks

  • References


      [1] Al-Mahrooqi R, Al – Busaidi S, Mukundan, J, Ahour, T & Ng YJ (2011), Can the essential lexicon of geology be appropriately represented in an intuitively written EAP module? English Language and Literature Studies, 1(1), 50-66.

      [2] Carlson C (2000), Scientific literacy for all: Helping English language learners make sense of academic language. Science Teacher, 62(3), 48-52.

      [3] Cowan JR (1974), Lexical & syntactic research for the design of EFL reading materials. TESOL Quarterly, 8(4), 389-399.

      [4] Coxhead A (2000), A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34(2), 213-238.

      [5] Coxhead A (2011), The Academic Word List ten years on: Research and teaching implications. TESOL Quarterly, 45(2): 355-362.

      [6] Coxhead A, Stevens L & Tinkle J (2010), Why might secondary science textbooks be difficult to read? New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 16 (2), 37-52.

      [7] Gilmore A & Millar N (2018), The language of civil engineering research articles: A corpus-based approach. English for Specific Purposes, 51, 1–17

      [8] Gilner L (2011), A primer on the General Service List. Reading in a Foreign Language, 23, 65-83.

      [9] Heatley A, Nation ISP & Coxhead A (2002), RANGE and FREQUENCY programs. Available online: http://www.vuw.ac.nz/lals/staff/Paul_Nation

      [10] Hirsh D & Coxhead A (2009), Ten ways of focussing on science-specific vocabulary in EAP. English Australia Journal, 25(1), 5-16.

      [11] Hsu W (2011a), The vocabulary thresholds of business textbooks and business research articles for EFL learners. English for Specific Purposes, 30(4), 247–257.

      [12] Hsu W (2011b), A business word list for prospective EFL business postgraduates. Asian-ESP Journal, 7(4), 63–99.

      [13] Hsu W (2014), Measuring the vocabulary load of engineering textbooks for EFL undergraduates. English for Specific Purposes, 33 (1), 54-65.

      [14] Hyland K (2006), English for academic purposes: An advanced resource book. Oxon, UK: Routledge.

      [15] Kang N & Yu Q (2011), Corpus-based stylistic analysis of tourism. English. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2 (1), 129-136.

      [16] Kennedy C & Bolitho R (1984,. English for Specific Purposes. London, UK: Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

      [17] Kuo CH (1999), Can numbers talk? Basic data management in a corpus. RELC Journal, 30 (1), 1-17.

      [18] Laufer B & Nation P (1995), Lexical richness in L2 written production: Can it be measured? Applied Linguistics, 16 (3), 307-322.

      [19] Mackiewicz J (2004), The effects of tutor expertise in engineering writing: A linguistic analysis of writing tutors’ comments. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 47, 316-329.

      [20] McEnery T, Xiao R. & Tono Y (2006), Corpus-based language studies. An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.

      [21] Menon S & Mukundan J (2010), Analysing Collocational Patterns of Semi-Technical Words in Science Textbooks. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 18 (2), 241-258.

      [22] Menon S & Mukundan J (2012), Collocations of high frequency noun keywords in prescribed science textbooks. International Education Studies, 5 (6), 149-160.

      [23] Menon S (2009), Corpus-based analysis of lexical patterns in Malaysian secondary school Science & English for Science & Technology textbooks. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Serdang: Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia.

      [24] Mudraya O (2006), Engineering English: A lexical frequency instructional model. English for Specific Purpose, 25, 235-256. doi:10.1016/j.esp.2005.05.002

      [25] Mukundan J & Khojasteh L (2011), Modal auxiliary verbs in prescribed Malaysian English textbooks. English Language Teaching, 4(1): 79-89.

      [26] Mukundan J & Roslim N (2011), Textbook representation of prepositions. English Language Teaching, 2(4), 13-24.

      [27] Mukundan J (2009), ESL textbook evaluation: A composite framework. Köln, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

      [28] Nation ISP & Hwang K (1995), Where would general service vocabulary stop & special purposes vocabulary begin? System, 23 (1), 35-41.

      [29] Nation ISP & Waring R (1997), Vocabulary size, text coverage & word lists. In N. Schmitt & M.McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition & Pedagogy (pp. 6-19). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

      [30] Nation ISP (1990), Teaching and learning vocabulary. New York, NY: Newbury House Publishers.

      [31] Nation ISP (2001), Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

      [32] Nation ISP (2007), The four strands. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 1-12.

      [33] Nation ISP (2008), Teaching vocabulary: Strategies and techniques. Boston, USA: Heinle Cengage.

      [34] Nesi H (2013), ESP and corpus studies. In B. Paltridge & S. Starfield (Eds.). The handbook of English for Specific Purposes (pp. 407 – 426). Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

      [35] Ng YJ, Lee YL, Chong ST, Nurhanis Sahiddan, Philip A, Noor Hafiza Nor Azmi & Mohd Ariff Ahmad Tarmizi (2013), Development of the engineering technology word list for vocational schools in Malaysia. International Education Research, 1(1), 43-59.

      [36] Nooreen N & Arshad AS (2005), Examining the importance of EST and ESL textbooks and materials: Objectives, content and form. English for Specific Purposes World. [Online] Available: http://www.esp-world.info/Articles_9/textbooks.htm (December 4, 2009).

      [37] Noorli Khamis & Imran Ho Abdullah (2013), Wordlists analysis: Specialised language categories. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 21 (4), 1563 – 1581

      [38] Pandian A & Ramiah R (2004), Mathematics and science in English: Teacher voice. The English Teacher, 33, 50-61.

      [39] Paquot M (2010), Academic vocabulary in learner writing. London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group.

      [40] Pritchard RMO & Nasr A (2004), Improving reading performance among Egyptian engineering students: Principles and practice. English for Specific Purposes, 23, 425-445. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2004.01.002

      [41] Sarimah Shamsudin, Noraini Husin & Amerrudin Abd. Manan (2013), Exploring fundamental engineering word list for engineering students: A literature review. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70, 1275-1281.

      [42] Schmitt N (2002), Using corpora to teach and assess vocabulary. In Tan, M. (Ed.), Corpus studies in language education (pp. 31-44). Thailand: IELE Press.

      [43] Scott M (2001), Comparing corpora and identifying key words, collocations and frequency distributions through the WordSmith Tools suite of computer programs. In M. Ghadessy, A. Henry, & R.L. Roseberry, (Eds), Small corpus studies and ELT (pp. 47-67). Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

      [44] Scott M (2008), WordSmith Tools version 5. Liverpool: Lexical Analysis Software.

      [45] Todd RW(2017), An opaque engineering word list: Which words should a teacher focus on? English for Specific Purposes, 45, 31-39.

      [46] Tognini-Bonelli E (2001), Corpus linguistics at work: Studies in corpus linguistics, v. 6. Amsterdam: John Benjamins

      [47] Trimble L (1985), English for Science & technology: A discourse approach. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

      [48] Ward J (2007), Collocation & technicality in EAP engineering. English for Specific Purposes, 6, 18-35.

      [49] West M (1953), A general service list of English words. London, UK: Longman.

      [50] Yang H (2002), An introduction to corpus linguistics. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

      [51] Yang MN (2015) A nursing academic word list. English for Specific Purposes, 37, 27-38.


 

View

Download

Article ID: 23119
 
DOI: 10.14419/ijet.v7i4.35.23119




Copyright © 2012-2015 Science Publishing Corporation Inc. All rights reserved.