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Final project of graduate engineers as realization of principle of combinatory when teaching English in distant form

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Abstract

A graduate with engineering degree is likely to become a competitive specialist if specialized knowledge is combined with the ability to communicate using a foreign language. The purpose of the study is to analyze the final stage of training engineers in the framework of distant interdisciplinary program “Translator in the sphere of professional communication” realized in Kazan Federal University and Kazan National Research Technological University. The final stage is recommended to be the presentation of the project, which is a representation of the principle of combinatory (interdisciplinary approach). The program has been operating in a full-time form for 15 years (approximately 1500 graduates) and in a distant form for 5 years (70 students). Preparation of the project in the framework of distant language teaching includes three stages: distant stage, full-time stage and the presentation itself. The topics with reference to the professional sphere are of great interest. For successful preparation, three stages are necessary; the first (distant) stage includes all aspects of language study.
Final Project of Graduate Engineers as Realization
of Principle of Combinatory when Teaching English
in Distant Form
Elena Y. Semushina
Foreign Languages in Professional Communication
Kazan National Research Technological University
Kazan, Russian Federation
epospelova@yahoo.com
Julia N. Ziyatdinova
Foreign Languages in Professional Communication
Kazan National Research Technological University
Kazan, Russian Federation
uliziat@yandex.ru
AbstractA graduate with engineering degree is likely to
become a competitive specialist if specialized knowledge is
combined with the ability to communicate using a foreign
language. The purpose of the study is to analyze the final stage of
training engineers in the framework of distant interdisciplinary
program “Translator in the sphere of professional
communication” realized in Kazan Federal University and Kazan
National Research Technological University. The final stage is
recommended to be the presentation of the project, which is a
representation of the principle of combinatory (interdisciplinary
approach). The program has been operating in a full-time form
for 15 years (approximately 1500 graduates) and in a distant
form for 5 years (70 students). Preparation of the project in the
framework of distant language teaching includes three stages:
distant stage, full-time stage and the presentation itself. The
topics with reference to the professional sphere are of great
interest. For successful preparation, three stages are necessary;
the first (distant) stage includes all aspects of language study.
Keywords distant training, English, interdisciplinary
approach
I. INTRODUCTION
Today a graduate of technical university is likely to
become a competitive specialist if profound knowledge of the
subject is combined with the ability to communicate using a
foreign language. Interdisciplinary educational programs are
successfully used to create language environment. Taking into
account significant overloading of students the introduction of
distant elements is necessary to improve the process of
English training. Distant education proved to be successful
because of the following: strong motivation of the students,
on-line resources to improve the language that help to create
natural sphere of communication, comfortable way of study,
comparatively smaller cost of the course. The effectiveness of
training depends on the following factors: successful distant
interaction of an English teacher and a student with
engineering degree, high quality of pedagogical technologies
and methodological material, the intensity of feedback [1].
They main problems students come across training a
foreign language in distant form mostly coincide with the ones
of full-time study such as psychological inconvenience,
misunderstanding of the speech task, lack of speech remedies.
They are possible to overcome successfully with the help of
synchronic and asynchronic systems. The following principles
are likely to be taken as the basis of teaching foreign language:
communicative orientation, graduating and interdisciplinary
approach [1].
The purpose of the study is to analyze the final stage of
training engineers in the framework of distant interdisciplinary
program “Translator in the sphere of professional
communication” realized in Kazan Federal University and
Kazan National Research Technological University. The final
stage is the presentation of the project.
The above-mentioned program is aimed at the applicants
with a certain level of English - the intermediate level of
language is acceptable, but to enter a distant type the upper-
intermediate level is preferable. The process of training
consists of successive stages: a distant stage (preparatory)
consisting of modules and in-class part. The ratio of in-class
and distant hours is 30-40% to 60-70% relatively which
proved to be effective. The topics of practical subjects go hand
in hand with the theoretical courses with the final project as
culmination, which includes the aspects of Professional
English, Theory of Translation, Country Studies, and
Intercultural Communication [2].
The final project is a representation of the principle of
combinatory (interdisciplinary approach), because to make a
good project it is necessary not only to use speaking skills but
also to have a profound knowledge in other subjects. The aim
is to allow the students practice their presentation skills to be
ready to present their scientific work abroad, which is of vital
importance in the frame of international cooperation.
The data are taken analyzing two kinds of interdisciplinary
program “Translator in the sphere of professional
communication” realized in Kazan Federal University and
Kazan National Research Technological University. The
program has been operating in a full-time form for 15 years
(approximately 1500 graduates) and in a distant form for 5
years (70 students). The methods of investigation such as
observation (long, systematic and massive), analysis of
previous experience and creative activity of the students are
used. The projects of the graduates 2011-2014 prepared under
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control of the teacher (working it out, planning and
organizing) are examined.
II. ASPECTS OF COMPETENCE DEMONSTRATED
BY THE FINAL PROJECT
Realization of the interdisciplinary approach is the basis
for making a successful final project as the latter demands
knowledge of technical subjects, profound knowledge of the
language and ability to present the results of the research. That
is why the presentation of the project is considered the best
way of checking the knowledge of the engineers graduating
the program “Translator in the sphere of professional
communication”. The students have a chance to demonstrate
the following aspects of their professional and linguistic
competence:
1) Speaking
A student should be able to communicate fluently with the
examiners reacting adequately. This part of the presentation is
the most difficult and demands careful preparation that is
conducted during the following classes according to the
schedule: Practice of Speech, Interpretation, and Business
English. In the framework of distant training, speaking faces a
number of obstacles to overcome as in-class studies take only
30-40% of practical classes (224 hours of in-class study, 276
hours of distant study). In-class training can occasionally be
held on-line. Face-to-face meetings are designed in such a way
that students revise and master their knowledge of the English
language [1]. Imitation of a discussion is strongly
recommended as an exercise, which follow a range of
trainings including translation on the spot, debates and
interpretation. As the graduates of a distant program are
mostly qualified specialists, they have a certain experience in
participating in the conferences as well as reading authentic
scientific papers in English, so the discussion can be held
fluently. For example, in 2014, active participation of the
students in “Global village on the move” contributed a lot to
their ability to discuss their professional issues in English.
2) Writing
Accurate writing is necessary to make a perfect slide. The
peculiarity of the distant program is that it is mostly aimed at
independent work of a student, which consists of significant
amount of written translation. Besides, such courses as
Business English, Practice of Speech, and Professional
Translation are partly devoted to training of the skill.
3) Presenting skills
A graduate has to be aware how to present the research to
advantage according to the rules: to be prepared, relaxed, pay
attention to details, convey a positive attitude, use terms, etc.
The skills are trained in the framework of the following
courses: Business Communication, Sociolinguistics,
Intercultural Communication and Theory of Translation. The
preparations starts with Intercultural Communication and
Sociolinguistics. When studying Theory of Translation on the
second course the students train their presenting skills
preparing a short project devotes to translation of the text of a
certain genre. The climax of the realization of interdisciplinary
approach is considered Business Communication, a class that
is directly devoted to training of presenting skills in oral and
written form. One of the most effective trainings for
successful presentation of the final project is proved to be the
following: a student has to analyze a certain number of videos
and make up his/her own video devoted to presentation of
some aspect of scientific work. The video is sent to the teacher
and is available online with the consent of the student. The
most important topics to examine during the course are the
following: job interview, employment, steps to success, public
speaking.
4) Professional terminology
Training is conducted during the classes of Professional
Translation, Interpretation, Theory of Translation and Practice
of Speech in a distant and full-time form. The first (distant)
stage is concentrated on independent training of basic aspects:
grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking. The preparation each
year consists of several modules, containing the following
tasks: vocabulary exercises, work with a text, written
translation, video to watch. The sample structure of the
modules consists of the following tasks: to translate the text in
written form; watch the video, make notes; read the text,
translate it; do vocabulary exercises and animated vocabulary
text. The texts are taken from different sources for technical
specialists. Each module contains several texts, which match
the principle of gradation (from a short and easy one to a more
difficult one) [1].
III. TYPES OF PROJECTS
Preparation of the project in the framework of distant
language teaching includes three stages:
1) Distant stage
The stage of training is aimed at preparing students for
discussion. Fluent speaking on professional topics can exist
only on the basis of profound knowledge of general
vocabulary and grammar, professional terminology as well [1]
A list of subjects including Practice of Speech, Lexicology,
Intercultural Communication is a significant contribution to
the success of the project.
2) Full-time stage
The second stage of preparation is devoted to forming
ability to communicate with the examiners. The most
important forms of training prove to be the following: free
discussions (online or live) where students train to use
spontaneous speech, role-plays that can be considered the
rehearsal of presentation.
3) The project itself
A typical presentation lasts for 10 minutes and is
usually designed with the help of Power Point and Prezi
programs. The topics with reference to the professional sphere
are strongly recommended. The type of the final project
depends not only on the type of a student but is chosen
according to personal interests. Analyzing the projects
presented in 2013-2014 by the students of Kazan Federal
University and Kazan National Research Technological
University, the following variants of the final project are
defined:
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1) The scientific research
This type of the project is widespread among graduates
of Kazan National Research Technological University (100%
of graduates) and graduates with degree in Geology of Kazan
Federal University (20% of graduates) as the students have
gone through manufacturing practice and can present their
results to advantage. In addition, the variant is of great interest
to the students sent to study by corporations because they can
demonstrate professional knowledge and translation skills
simultaneously. This type of the project is considered the most
difficult one because it demands a profound knowledge of
professional vocabulary and a certain experience in
presenting. Besides, the scientific research done by post-
graduates is welcome.
2) CV of the graduate
The type is recommended when the representatives of
potential employers are present at the exam for graduates to
make an impression on them. The sample final project consists
of six blocks: information about the university or institute, the
department, the scientific research, manufacturing, translation
practice and social life. The best presentation of 2014 had the
following structure:
xInformation about Kazan National Research
Technological University
xInformation about Faculty of Chemistry and
Technology of Polymers in Medicine and Cosmetics
consisting of three departments (Physical and Colloid
Chemistry, Technology of Cosmetics, Innovation in Chemical
Technology)
xInformation about Department of Innovation in
Chemical Technology with the description of components in
business innovation in the chemical industry (marketing,
management, taxation, polymer chemistry, electrical
engineering)
xDescription of the research work devoted to
production of polymer tiles as roofing material consists of
mixture of sand, dyes and polymers and produce by unique
technology
xInformation about additional qualification experience
as a translator during the Universiade, the Olympic and
Paralympic Games in Sochi 2014.
3) The project devoted to some aspects of translation
from the sphere of professional communication.
The following topics were offered by the graduates of
2014:
xDifficulties in translation of technical terms. The
project consists of 11 slides and covers the following points:
the main mistakes made when translating technical texts,
problems with polysemantic words, abbreviations, the types of
translation (transliteration, calque, descriptive translation)
xPeculiarities of machine-made translation. The
project consists of 12 slides and covers the following aspects:
how the machine translation is done, on-line systems of
translation are analyzed (translate.ru, google), advantages and
disadvantages are defined.
xVersions of the browser. English and Russian
versions of the browser are examined, different types of
mistakes that can lead to problems in operating the browser
are defined as well.
xSoftware-localization problems. The project is
devoted to analysis of the main errors made when adapting
foreign software.
xMistakes in translation of computer games. The game
“Sims 3” is chosen as an example, mistakes are analyzed and
qualified into semantic (partly translated words, missing
words, incomplete transmission of the meaning) and linguistic
(lexical mistakes, incorrect sentence structure, morphological
mistakes, incorrect punctuation).
xTranslation of computer terms. The project consists
of 10 slides and covers the following issues: importance of
translation of computer terms, characteristics of computer
language, methods of translation (transcription, calque,
approximate translation, untranslated terms), the ways of
translating abbreviations.
4) A creative type of the final project (1-2% of
graduates).
In 2014, the project about translation of songs was
presented consisting of 12 slides and covering the following
points: the main ways of translation (word-for-word, verse,
poetical, eurythmic), five principles of translation (singability,
sense, naturalness, rhythm, rhyme).
IV. CONCLUSION
Therefore, to become a good professional for a modern
engineer is necessary not only to have integral professional
competence but a professional knowledge of the language
including translation skills, ability to make presentations and
take part in discussion. When forming a good specialist an
interdisciplinary approach stands forward. The final project is
an example of combinatory (interdisciplinary approach) and
can be strongly recommended as a part of ultimate assessment.
It is important especially when studying in distant form
because the students are motivated professionals who have
scientific results to share. For successful preparation, three
stages are necessary, the first (distant) stage includes all
aspects of language study with the knowledge of terminology
and professional subjects to focus on. Distant teaching of
engineers in the framework of the program is likely to achieve
the following results, demonstrated by the project: strong
motivation, knowledge of specialty, perfect knowledge of
practical English, skills of professional translation and ability
to discuss.
REFERENCES
[1] E. Semushina, M. Galeeva, G. Galiullina. Peculiarities of teaching
speaking in distant form as a part of formation of translator’s conference
of technical specialists. SGEM conference on Psychology and
Psychiatry, Sociology and Healthcare, Education. Sofia: Andrey
Lyapchev, 2014. pp.641-648.
[2] E. Semushina, M. Galeeva. Distant form of mastering translator's
competence as a part of engineering education in Kazan Federal
University. 16th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative
Learning, 2013. pp. 519-521.
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... В то же самое время высокий уровень развития информационных технологий позволяет преподавателю организовать дистанционное сопровождение изучения иностранного языка в вузе для улучшения качества преподавания предмета. В целом дополнительное самостоятельное изучение материала онлайн помогает компенсировать отсутствие студента на занятии, изначально низкий уровень знания иностранного языка и обеспечивает проведение автоматизированного контроля [2]. Иными словами, появляется возможность использовать дифференцированный подход к обучению студента и повысить уровень усвоения материала. ...
... -понимать и высказываться на культурологические, социоэкономические и политические темы [11]; ...
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