Reflections on an Integrated Content and Language Project-Based Design of a Technical Communication Course for Electrical Engineering Students.
Journal article, 2013

Effective ways of teaching technical communication skills to engineering students have been much discussed. This article reflects on one setting, a first year course in Technical Communication at a university in Sweden, where electrical engineering teachers, language and communication teachers and student counsellors work in close, team-based cooperation using a project model which requires the students to analyse, implement and communicate technical problems. The paper discusses the change in this course - from an EAP course primarily prioritizing language training which ran parallel with a project course - to one unified ICL course. The progression is described through the changes in the organization of the course, and the article focuses on one learning activity: interdisciplinary tutorials on project reports. Through a pilot study where these sessions were video recorded and mapped, we conclude that the presence of different roles became an asset for the range of what the students see as relevant for their project report. In particular, the technical report genre was critically analysed, including problematic areas such as textual sequencing and display of technical problems; data visualisation and commentary; and referencing.

project model

technical communication

Integrated Content and Language

English for Academic Purposes

interdisciplinary tutorials


Becky Bergman

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers)

Ann-Marie Eriksson

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers), Language and Communication

Jörgen Blennow

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology

Jens Groot

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Electric Power Engineering

Thomas Hammarström

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology, High Voltage Engineering

Journal of Academic Writing

2225-8973 (ISSN)

Vol. 3 1 1-14

Subject Categories

Pedagogical Work

Specific Languages

Communication Studies

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

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