Table of Contents
The problem of IT English
In other words, English for Information & Communication Technology, a branch of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). ESP tackles a highly relevant, yet overlooked problem: That the language skills needed for one’s job are incredibly industry-specific, and oftentimes include vast amounts of advanced vocabulary that is not taught in school.
The same is true for English language skills specific to the Information & Communication Technology sector, IT English.
Chances are, your students’ regular English class taught them proper grammar and sentence structure, maybe even to interpret Shakespeare, but definitely not how to discuss Software, or Operation Systems. So what about those people who rely on these very specific language skills? Who need these skills for their jobs and job applications? Whose native language is not English?
We at English4Work have come up with a solution. English4IT is the English4Work module that targets all vocabulary terms and language skills that IT professionals need. Just as our other content modules – MedicalEnglish, English4Accounting, English4Hotels, and English4Office – English4IT offers a comprehensive learning journey that can stand on its own, or be seamlessly incorporated into your existing curriculum.
“We have tried other platforms in the past but not all the students have adhered to them. With English4IT, on the other hand, both our students and adult learners have given positive feedback. […] The site makes them more confident of being able to tackle any document they will encounter in their future professional life, which will invariably be in English.”
– Jane Cherrill,
Project Manager: English Teaching Programmes and Resources – GroupeAEN
Who is English4IT for?
We have already established that IT English and IT terminology has pretty much nothing to do with General English skills.
English4IT is our ‘first-born’ so to speak. Written by our English4Work founder himself, English4IT is the result of decades of work experience in IT combined with ESL teaching experience. In essence, English4IT is a ready-made course that IT English instructors and schools can set as stand-alone student exercises, or incorporate into an already existing curriculum. It is also a great resource for HR managers, aiming to help employees better prepare for the workplace.
In a nutshell, English4IT empowers IT English teachers by providing top-quality content to train IT professionals and IT students.
What can you expect from English4IT?
The entirety of the English4IT content module consists of 475 IT English terms spread over 28 units, each covering a different topic that carries significance for IT-related work. Ranging from Basic IT English vocabulary, over Software and Cryptocurrency, to Computer Ethics, everything is covered. Over the course of 7 activities per unit, students gain a thorough understanding of each topic, and in due course, they become fluent in IT English.
English4IT is well-structured, to promote learn flow, and enable students to intuitively and effortlessly complete their studies.
And, as a bit of free candy, English4IT users may also complete certain “Featured Units” from other modules if they please. Be it Office slang or Coronavirus, there’s something for everyone.
Let our English4IT Avatar Larry show you the ropes!
How does it work?
When you teach with English4IT, all you need to do is enroll your students into your online classroom or classrooms. With this step, they gain immediate access to all English4IT content, starting with the IT English vocabulary. They will be prompted to start studying by completing a number of activities which are designed to effortlessly learn and understand IT English language skills. All English4IT units contain the following mandatory activities:
- Reading & Reading Comprehension Questions
- Multiple Choice
- Listening Comprehension
- Spelling and Recognition
These activities are system-graded, meaning students receive immediate feedback on how well they did on any given activity. As their teacher, you receive an instant overview of all of your students’ grades.
In addition, you can also opt to activate 2 optional activities:
Both of these activities must be graded by a teacher, which is why you may choose to de-activate them.
Our main focus with English4IT is to create a deep-seated understanding of IT English jargon. Gamified elements support the learning process and natural flow of the course. For your and your students’ convenience, vocabulary sheets can be downloaded as pdf files, which is especially useful if you are choosing a blended learning approach.
Mastering IT English
The secret to mastering any language is repetition. Therefore, like in a factory, each IT English vocabulary word passes different stations – activities – before it can be considered mastered. Let’s take the term “DIP switch” for instance, from English4IT Unit 12 “Peripherals”.
Students are first introduced to the word in their first activity “Vocabulary”, where they are presented with a list of the most important terms and expressions for each topic.
Once they’ve worked through this list, they mark the activity as complete, and move on to the second activity: “Reading Activity Plus Questions”.
Reading & Reading Comprehension
To practice their Reading Comprehension in the context of the previously learned words, students are given a short article, in this case about Computer Peripherals. They may also listen to a recording of the article being read out loud as they read along – a method that has been proven to accelerate language learning.
All vocabulary words are clickable, so students can quickly look up their meaning once more, if the need arises, without having to interrupt their reading.
At the end of the article, 3 questions must be answered, to make sure students can understand IT English specific texts. You may disable this feature in your classroom settings.
With a basic understanding of this unit’s technical terms established, the next exercise is aimed at cementing the vocabulary in their brains. In a number of “Multiple Choice” questions, they are asked to pick the accurate definition for any given word or phrase.
Students need not only recognize and understand a word when they see it, but also when they hear it. This is practiced in the activity “Listening and Comprehension” where they listen to the vocabulary words to be learned, and are asked to spell them correctly. Both UK and US audio recordings boost students’ listening comprehension skills, and help prepare them for an international work environment.
Spelling and Recognition
What about active vocabulary? You know, knowing a word when you hear it is one thing, but being able to recall it at the top of your head is another. In an inversion of the previous exercise, students are given the definition of an IT English term in an activity called “Spelling”, and must write the correct word to fit the description.
When English isn’t your first language, English for IT words may be tricky to pronounce. Speaking is one of the 4 pillars of language learning, and while this activity is optional and may be disabled by the instructor, we recommend encouraging your students to actively practice their newly learned vocabulary in conversation, or simply by rehearsing practice sentences out loud.
Finally, writing a short essay using the previously learned words, truly cements the lesson in your students’ minds. In writing, they must prove their understanding and active recall of IT specific vocabulary words, as well as how to utilize these words to express themselves. The skills and knowledge acquired by the end of this activity, and through completion of the unit, will be a lifelong strength.
Having mastered IT English
Learning a language, and more so learning industry specific language skills, equips a person with transferrable skills. Most importantly, it promotes open-mindedness, thinking outside of set and stuck thought patterns, and broadens the horizon.
Information technology English lessons are a great way to hone those skills, as a byproduct of learning IT English.
After completing the English4IT course, your students will be fluent in IT English, and feel more comfortable in their professional environment. Reading IT specific documents and books will come much more easily to them. They will be able to work internationally readily communicate with colleagues and clients, and complete their tasks more easily. Furthermore, having mastered IT English opens even more doors. The world is your oyster, and it is your students’ oyster!
And don’t forget: English4IT was developed to support your teaching! Use our different features to customize the course, to fit your teaching methods and curriculum.
We exist to empower you! ❤️
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