Applied agricultural English

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Agricultural professionals must be able to participate in a range of
international activities, such as research projects, scientific
conferences, scientific report writing and understanding published
scientific research, using English as a lingua franca. These
scientific communication skills are essential to a successful
working life, but are typically learned `on the job¿. This course will
teach students the appropriate use of professional English using a
range of real-world examples, to enable them to work more
effectively and take part in the international community.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will gain experience of listening, comprehension,
reading, writing and translation skills in international settings, with
an emphasis on agricultural and scientific applications. Students
will be shown how to use English to obtain funding (research
grants, fellowships or agricultural subsidies), and how to apply for
study or work abroad.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
1). World Englishes - a brief history and American vs. British English (the spread of English worldwide) 2). World Englishes - Received Pronunciation vs. global variation (listening exercises) 3). Misspell or mispell ? Miss Pell's mnemonic spelling tricks (and pronunciation tips for agricultural words) 4). Corn or corn ? Translating and using crop and animal names 5). Let's discuss the EU's common agricultural policy ! (comprehension of official documents) 6). Formal letter writing and email 7). Understanding scientific reports 8). Writing scientific reports 9). How to publish internationally and be a scientific reviewer 10). Speaking in public to an international audience (preparing conference talks and scientific posters) 11). Applying for jobs and postgraduate study abroad
Prerequisites for admission
A basic working knowledge of English. Willingness to keep trying, despite making a few mistakes.
Teaching methods
Lectures using multimedia aids.
Teaching Resources
Will be provided by the lecturer.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is an oral examination in the English language. Candidates must use the writing and comprehension skills learned during the lessons: before the exam they must write a formal email addressed and sent to a real scientist, requesting an "offprint" of one of their scientific articles (a single, short experimental scientific paper, NOT a review). The lessons and course material contain instructions on how to do this. The topic of the article and the identity of the scientist depend on the candidate's own scientific interests and can be freely chosen. A copy of the email and the article must be sent to at least one week before the exam, and the article will be presented in public in the form of the discussion of a PowerPoint presentation of a maximum of 12 minutes length (a simulation of presenting scientific work at an international congress). The final mark will depend on both the email and the candidate's ability to interpret the article and demonstrate comprehension of the scientific findings.
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Pierce Simon
Educational website(s)