Academic journal article IUP Journal of Soft Skills

Learning Scientific and Technical Terminology (STT) for Successful Professional Communication

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Soft Skills

Learning Scientific and Technical Terminology (STT) for Successful Professional Communication

Article excerpt

English language and communication skills are gaining importance on a par with technical subjects in higher education and corporate sector. Due to Globalization/Internationalization, English language teaching in Engineering, Sciences and IT education has become mandatory and is accorded equal importance along with other basic and applied sciences. Good command in English language and communication skills has become the mantra for high employability among engineering and management students. Amongst the various language skills, Professional Communication (PC) skills are considered very important for engineers and IT professionals for excelling in their profession. Poor PC skills have been identified by the corporate sector as one of the main factors for the gap between education and employability. Professional communication differs from general communication, in that it requires command over Scientific and Technological Terminology (STT) and domain knowledge. Professional grooming integrates STT along with the required English language and communication skills. The present paper aims to discuss the basics of PC, its importance, the role of STT and how to integrate it into English Language Teaching (ELT). Learning STT serves twin benefits: it not only develops skills for effective PC, but also helps the vernacular medium students to grasp the concepts of basic sciences and technology with complete understanding.

Introduction

Professional Communication (PC) refers to the usage of English for communication in 'professional' or 'business situations'. English being the lingua franca in a globalized close-knit community, it has become mandatory for every individual to learn English in order to communicate to a larger audience. English language pervades all areas of personal and professional life. The urge to learn English has led to students' shifting from vernacular medium to English medium education at college and university level. In spite of the demand for English medium institutions, teaching standards have not improved to the desired extent, the reason being shortage of quality English language teachers and the mismatched quality of training given to them. With the advancement of science and technology, and emergence of new words, English language is growing in its scope. English, being very adaptive, can still grow in the future. Against this backdrop, English teachers need to learn and keep themselves updated with the advancements to be effective. English teachers know how to communicate in English, but only a few are successful in doing it professionally. This could be due to the lack of awareness of the difference between English for General Purpose (EGP) and English for Professional Purpose (EPP). EPP is using English for Communication (EC) in professional situations or business situations. If one knows the nuances of communication in English at all times in various professional situations, then one would be successful in soaring to greater heights in one's professional life. For this, one needs to understand the professional world and the special forms of communication which have developed to meet these situations. To function effectively in professional situations, we need to draw upon our knowledge of English vocabulary, phonology, morphology (word structure), syntax (grammar), discourse, etc.

Enriching one's vocabulary is one of the most important components for successful PC. Thus, enriching one's vocabulary as per the needs of the profession is the need of the hour. To exemplify, a lawyer has to enrich himself with legal terminology, a doctor with medical terminology and an engineer with Scientific and Technological Terminology (STT). Given that engineering education deals with basic sciences and technology, it is necessary for students to learn STT to master the subjects. Enriching oneself with STT is important, provided the students not only learn the vocabulary, but also comprehend the meanings. …

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