From College to Workplace: English for Specific Purposes Beyond Technical Skills


In most college curriculum, technical skills and knowledge are prioritized across disciplines. However, the academically monolateral curriculum insufficiently prepares college graduates for job-hunting and workplace. Developing essentials of professional communication are as vital as technical qualifications before college graduates enter the corporate world. The importance of communication competence in this regard calls for deliberate training to prepare nonnative English-speaking professionals for international environment. In the current study, an innovative course titled “Workplace English and Practicum” demonstrates an instructional design for 12 Taiwanese language majors to experience four learning modules—as the means to learn desired communication strategies and professional discourse. An entry survey, in-class feedback, and course evaluation are conducted to reveal students’ learning needs and outcomes. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis allow the holistic and in-depth evaluation on the instructional effectiveness. The findings show that the course content and learning tasks create affordances for the participants to raise their awareness of proper etiquette, work ethics, and the self-correction. They also learn to seek resources and network outside of school to overcome unforeseen challenges. The results of teacher- and course-evaluations at the end of the semester are validations to necessitate similar courses in all college disciplinary curriculums.

Author Information
Wen-Chun Chen, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2020
Stream: Higher education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon