Teaching Domain-Specific English to Engineering Students through SPRE Model-Based Projects

Polina Ermakova, Olga Rossikhina


Abstract- The authors present the adaptation of the Situation-Problem-Response-Evaluation (SPRE) critical thinking framework, originally developed by Dr. Hannigan [10], to a wide range of engineering projects in the English language course for undergraduates. Each student in a SPRE team acts in accordance with an assigned role and lives through the same stages, such as finding and processing information, selecting and evaluating sources, problem solving, presenting their position in the ‘panel’ discussion’ and report writing as the final stage. Thus the language is practiced in all four modalities and in the professional context. The authors share their experience in introducing professional English through projects ranging from wide- scope inter-domain problem-solving tasks to narrow -scope problems drawn from a particular subject area. They suggest supplementing this scheme with an initial stage, where students draft and redraft their proposals for further research after getting peer-and teacher feedback. This stage enables students to identify the research gap and narrow down the ‘problem’or the aim of the project. SPRE projects meet the request for professional English (ESP) from the university subject departments.


Keywords- critical thinking, the English language, task-based learning, engineering projects, SPRE model.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Polina Ermakova, Olga Rossikhina

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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